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Nov 15, 2013

RICHARD MUSCAT CROWNED 'RACER OF THE YEAR'

PORSCHE GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli champion Richard Muscat has won the inaugural Driver of the Year poll conducted by the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals and The Racing Magazine.

The 21-year-old Melbourne driver edged out Kumho V8 Touring Cars ace Ryan Simpson and F3 Australian Drivers Championship leader Tim Macrow in voting conducted prior to this weekend’s grand finale’ at Sandown in Melbourne.

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10 members of the Shannons Nationals management and selected members of the series’ Media core group voted on a shortlist of 30 drivers – the high achievers from ten core categories represented at Shannons Nationals rounds this year.

A fan poll run on www.thenationals.com.au drew more than 1000 votes and also counted towards the overall results – though Muscat also won the fan tally as well.

The depth of talent across the Shannons Nationals categories was shown with drivers representing 8 of the 10 different categories featuring in the top 10 standings once voting was completed.

Behind the top three, Neale Muston (Radicals), Benjamin Grice (Swifts), Simon Tabinor (Saloons), Glenn Seton (AMChamps), Michael Almond (Porsche GT3 Cup), Tony Ricciardello (Sports Sedans) and Liam Talbot (Radicals) featured in the top 10.

21 of the 30 nominated drivers received at least one vote.

In additional voting, the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 driven by Jack LeBrocq was awarded the ‘Car of the Year’ as a testament to its preparation, presentation and overall performance in the three rounds it contested.

The John Gourlay-owned Audi A4-chev driven by Darren Hossack and Tim Macrow’s Team BRM Dallara-Mercedes Formula 3 racer finished in second and third, respectively.

The stunning battle between Glenn Seton and Ryan McLeod for honours in the first of two, 200-km AMChamps races at Queensland Raceway this year saw the night race voted the Race of the Year.

“Congratulations to Richard for being selected the Shannons Nationals ‘Driver of the Year’,” said Shannons Nationals Series Director, Rob Curkpatrick.

“Richard and his team have performed brilliantly all season and he is clearly a very talented young driver with a bright future and we wish him well in his future endeavours. Winning competitions like this might not seem overly important, however when it is voted on by peers and industry people who really understand the sport it means something.

"He clearly has the support of the public and his friends and family as he also won the fan vote on our online poll.

“The Shannons Nationals exists so categories like the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge can give their competitors a place to race and we are always very excited to be part of something special – and we’ll always remember that Richard Muscat came to prominence at Nationals events this year.”

"The Driver of the year award will become an annual affair at the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals."

This weekend marks the final round of the 2013 Shannons Nationals with a bumper six-category program in action from today (Friday).

The blockbuster season finale’ includes the Kumho V8 Touring Cars, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Dial Before You Dig Saloon Cars, Australian Manufacturers Championship, Kerrick Sports Sedans and Australian Swift Racing Series.