Friday, 20 February 2009 - Sunday, 29 November 2009
NTEREST IN PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GROWING WITH NEW NAMES ENTERED FOR ‘09
2008 round winner Jeff Bobik will return to the GT3 Cup Challenge in '09 after already confirming his series entry.
AFTER A SUCCESSFULL ‘ROOKIE’ season, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia has rapidly gathered support for 2009 with series organisers today confirming that at least eleven drivers have already committed to contest next year’s six-round series.
2008 regulars Terry Knight, Brad Rankin, Ray Angus, Graham Gorman, Ryan Flynn and inaugural series winner Sven Burchartz have already lodged their full-season entry applications with GT3 Cup Challenge series organisers and are beginning to prepare their machinery for the season opener, to be held at the WPS Bathurst 12 hour in February.
But 2008’s elite will face a tough challenge thanks to a group of newcomers that are looking to upset the applecart, one of the strongest likely to be Tony Quinn.
A veteran of three seasons in Carrera Cup, endurance races at Bathurst, Dubai and the Nurburgring and several tarmac rallies including Targa Tasmania, Quinn will compete in next years GT3 Cup Challenge driving his existing 996 GT3 Cup car.
Joining Quinn as an expected front runner in ’09 is former Australian V8 Ute series racer Matt Kingsley.
24-year-old Kingsley recently purchased a 996 GT3 Cup car from New Zealand and makes the jump into Porsche racing after consistently being inside the top half-dozen in the competitive Ute series and the one-make Lotus Challenge before that.
Victorian driver Michael Lentini (996 GT3 Cup) , Western Australia’s George Bradbury and ex-Saloon Car racer Shane Smollen have also confirmed their intent to run and will join the growing ranks of newcomers racing next year, fulfilling the series founding mantra of giving Porsche owners ‘a place to race’.
From South Australia, Simon Gardiner has committed to run at least four rounds in 2009 after making his debut at Phillip Island this year.
GT3 Cup Challenge Category Administrator Jodi Zylstra said that interest was very strong ahead of the series’ debut at Bathurst next year.
“We are very pleased to welcome the newcomers to the series and also confirm the return of a host of strong drivers from the 2008 season.
“It is a great shot in the arm for the category to have someone like Tony Quinn join us, and to also have drivers like Matt Kingsley and Shane Smollen commit so early to the new season.
“This category is all about giving Porsche owners a place to race at an affordable level. With drivers like Ryan Flynn from Tasmania who purchased a car and has commited to running the full season is proof positive that the series is living up to its concept. We are thrilled.
“We have fielded a huge number of expressions of interest from competitors not only looking forward to experiencing the racing as a Support Category for the Bathurst 12 hour next year, but to also stay for the entire six-round series with the Shannon’s Nationals.” she said.
The GT3 Cup Challenge will again join forces with the Victorian based Porsche 944 Challenge in 2009 at Bathurst where a capacity 55-car grid is expected.
After the opening round on the mountain, the series will take in a further five rounds in four states, including a return to Mallala and Phillip Island, and first-time rounds at Queensland Raceway, Sandown and Eastern Creek.
For more information about the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia head to www.gt3cupchallenge.com.au
About the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia is modelled on the internationally endorsed Porsche series of the same name and has replaced the previously named Porsche Drivers Challenge of Australia.
The Series – founded in early 2008 - runs under the CAMS umbrella with the Shannon’s Nationals Racing Series. The category will be professionally administered, however, the primary objective is to provide a cost effective place to ‘race your mates’ with simple rules & regulations, value for money and a real focus on fair and enjoyable Porsche motor sport. The series is supported by Porsche Cars Australia.
Melbourne lawyer and Porsche enthusiast Sven Burchartz won the inaugural Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge series, driving a 996 GT3 Cup car prepared by Sonic Motor Racing, but was forced to work for his win. The first year produced four different round winners from four rounds (Graeme Cook, Bill Pye, Jeff Bobik and Sven Burchartz), 27 drivers scored championship points and provided some unforgettable racing action on some of the best tracks in Australia.
With an expanded 2009 calendar, interest in the series continues to grow. The GT3 Cup Challenge Australia is the series to watch!
2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia schedule
Round 1 - 20-21 February 2009 - Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW
Round 2 - 16-17 May 2009 - Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Cowes, VIC
Round 3 - 6-7 June 2009 - Mallala Motor Sport Park, Mallala, SA
Round 4 - 18-19 July 2009 - Eastern Creek Raceway, Sydney, NSW
Round 5 - 8-9 August 2009 - Queensland Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
Round 6 - 28-29 November 2009 - Sandown International Raceway, Melbourne, VIC