Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge teams head to Queensland for Round 4 of the 2019 Championship
Forty kilometres south-west of the Brisbane CBD lies the City of Ipswich, a historic mining settlement founded in 1827. Along with the city’s more than 6000 heritage-listed sites and 500 parklands, many of its 200 000 residents are ardent motorsport fans and huge supporters of the local race track, the Queensland Raceway.
The 3.12km circuit – dubbed the ‘paperclip’ for its unusual layout of four right and 2 left-hand turns – plays host to Round 4 of the 2019 Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Championship this weekend, the premium one-make category of the Shannons Nationals series.
The Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Championship has always been a feeder category for the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia, catering for both experienced Porsche enthusiasts as well as up-and-coming stars of the future.
This weekend, Race 2 will mark the 200th race in the series history, a significant milestone for the category and the Australian motorsport landscape. The first-ever race was held at Mallala Raceway on 28 May 2008. Greame Cook won all three races from Sven Burchchartz that weekend, with the latter going on to claim the inaugural 2008 championship.
From 2008 to 2018 there have been 67 rounds of the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series and of these 199 individual races, only three have been declared ‘no races’.
Over its history, the series has witnessed many drivers cut their teeth in top-level national racing and given rise to the likes of Matt Campbell, Jaxon Evans, Fraser Ross, Roger Lago, Michael Almond, Brenton Grove, Dylan O’Keefe and Tony Quinn.
The category is also the launchpad for talented youngsters to climb the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. After successful campaigns in Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge, Jordan Love and Cooper Murray have looked to emulate Campbell and Evans’ progression up the ladder thanks to dominant performances in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia season thus far.
Love’s brother Aaron, was the pick of the Michelin Junior contenders in Round 3 of the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Championship in Phillip Island. But with three different winners from three different rounds this season, anyone can take line honours in Queensland, with all seven Michelin Junior drivers occupying the first eight positions in the overall standings.
Harri Jones’ pace and consistency through every round sees him head the Championship into Queeensland with a 58 point lead over Max Vidau and Aaron Love. The Sonic Motor racing teammates are tied for second position with Ryan Suhle and Christian Pancione fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sam Shahin continues to lead TAG Heuer Pro-Am class, although his earlier comfortable margin has been reduced to 42 points with Ross McGregor in second and ever-improving Brett Boulton in third.
David Grieg retains the lead Class B however his margin too was reduced last time out, thanks to Andrew Godie’s clean sweep at Phillip Island.
The Ipswich round will also see the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy decided across all four classes. After a pair of practice sessions on Friday, qualifying and two races will be held on a busy Saturday – the second race the longer, Jim Richards Endurance Trophy affair.
A final sprint race completes the round on Sunday morning with all three to be streamed live via the Shannons Nationals website.
Schedule – Round 4, Queensland Raceway
Friday, 2 August
11.25-11:55am: Practice 1
15:50-16:20pm: Practice 2
Saturday, 3 August
12:55–13:15pm: Race 1
16:05–16:50pm: Race 2 (Jim Richards Endurance Trophy)
Sunday, 4 August
09:40-10:00am: Race 3
TV Broadcast details
Qualifying and all three races will be streamed live via www.thenationals.com.au website
For more race information throughout the weekend, follow the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge social pages: Instagram – @CupChallengeAus / Twitter – @CupChallengeAus / Facebook.com/CupChallengeAus