Mar 24, 2015
BUMPER FIELD FOR GT3 CUP CHALLENGE OPENER
22 CARS. 10 ROOKIES. NEW CLASS STRUCTURE
A bumper 22-car field will highlight the return of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series in 2015, which kicks off at this weekend’s Shannons Nationals opener at Sandown.
Following the progression of last year’s champions Fraser Ross and Matt Campbell to Carrera Cup, several up-and-coming rookies have joined the series eager to follow this proven path up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid.
The increased number of drivers fielding the second generation type 997 GT3 Cup race car has also sparked a restructure in classifications. The Professional Class and Elite Class will return for the newer model 997 GT3 Cup cars while Class B will again be fought out between the first generation 997 series race cars.
The series will see the return of many of its seasoned regulars, led by category stalwart John Goodacre, who will this weekend become the sole most capped driver in the series’ history. Currently Goodacre sits equal with Jeff Bobik with 27 round starts though the South Australian will forge a new record at his 28th round start at Sandown.
Joining Goodacre on the list of returning racers are fellow South Australians John Karytinos, Sam Shahin and Jed Wallis, Scott Taylor, who will contest both GT3 Cup Challenge and Carrera Cup in a busy season on track, and Tim Miles, Ross McGregor and 2014 series runner-up, Jon McCorkindale, who will be looking to go one better in 2015. Michael Tsigeridis, David Ryan, Nick Cresswell and Simon Ellingham also return to the Porsche series after part-time 2014 campaigns.
A surge in Porsche numbers can be attributed to the vast number of rookies joining the field.
Geoff Emery and Ryan Simpson will swap their V8 engines for six-cylinder boxer power; Emery having raced in V8 Supercars Development Series and Simpson, the V8 Touring Car Series; both having previously competed in the Carrera Cup Pro-Am event. Son-of-a-gun Aaron Seton, son of dual Australian Touring Car champion Glenn Seton, will also make the move from production car racing to one-make Porsche competition.
Other rookies include karting graduates Dylan O'Keeffe, Jaxon Evans, Jono Taylor and James Abela, the latter also having a season of Aussie Racing Cars under his belt, while Jim Campbell, Brian Finn and Shane Barwood will also make their first appearance in the GT3 Cup Challenge series, all in the older model Class B cars.
The Sandown season opener kicks off a new look calendar for the Porsche series, which races exclusively at Shannons Nationals events. The series has swapped an appearance at the Top Gear Festival Sydney and Mallala Motor Sport Park for a mid-season excursion to Sydney Motorsport Park and a season finale at the same Sydney venue in November, making the traditional final round venue, Phillip Island, the penultimate round.
To follow all Sunday’s racing from the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals, including race two and race three of GT3 Cup Challenge, visit the series’ website at www.thenationals.com.au.
Be sure to check out the all-new Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli website at www.gt3cupchallenge.com.au.
Friday March 27, 2015
4:35pm-4:55pm Practice 1 (20 minutes)
Saturday March 28, 2015
11:35am-11:55am Qualifying (20 minutes)
3:30pm Race 1 (12 laps)
Sunday March 29, 2015
10:30am Race 2 (12 laps)
1:20pm Race 3 (12 laps)
2. #3 Jono Taylor (Pro) - Orrcon Steel / Taylor Engineering
3. #4 Tim Miles (Elite) - Autobarn
4. #5 David Ryan (Elite) - Wrightlands Property Group
5. #8 Dylan O'Keeffe (Pro) - Dexion / Phoenix Lubricats / Allstar Equipment Sales
6. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite) - htfu
7. #16 John Karytinos (Elite) - Kinpath Group
8. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) - Melbourne Orthopaedic Group
9. #30 Aaron Seton (Class B) - Scott Taylor Motorsport
10. #33 Simon Ellingham (Pro) - Fastway Couriers
11. #48 Geoff Emery (Elite) - Emery Motorsport
12. #50 Nick Cresswell (Class B) - Team LHI - Motorsport Brakes
13. #54 James Abela (Pro) - Horsley Park Gun Shop
14. #60 Jed Wallis (Elite) - Warrin Mining Volvo Constructions
15. #66 John Goodacre (Elite) - GAP Solutions
16. #69 Jon McCorkindale (Pro) - Dial Before You Dig
17. #72 Jim Campbell (Class B) - Power Street Racing
18. #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) - Hunter French Real Estate
19. #82 Brian Finn (Class B) - Laser 3D/Force Acessories
20. #88 Ryan Simpson (Pro) - Sonic / Parramatta Smash Repairs
21. #91 Jaxon Evans (Class B) - McElrea Racing/N2C
22. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite) - Southern Star Windows