THE 2023 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series will launch into life at the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit this weekend, a 24-strong field set to be among the series’ most competitive yet.
Nine drivers will make their PMSC debut this weekend, including a remarkably strong Michelin Junior class that points to incredibly close competition at the top of the field.
Meanwhile, two defending class champions return in an effort to defend their respective Morris Pro-Am and Class B victories last year.
The 9 Porsche rookies include a host of second – or third – generation drivers all making the next step in their racing careers.
As well as Ronan Murphy, the son of four-time Bathurst champion Greg, Sonic Motor Racing will have the services of teenager Marcos Flack this year. Flack is the son of noted Carrera Cup racer Damien and returns to Australia after tackling open-wheel racing overseas.
Team Porsche New Zealand’s two-car attack includes Zac Stichbury, the son of Kiwi racing great, the late Ashley, while Marco Giltrap is the grandson of legendary New Zealand motoring and motorsport figure, Sir Colin Giltrap.
Caspar Tresidder is the son of well-known Sydney Porsche racer Paul, who has raced Carrera Cup Australia and Asia extensively, and makes his national racing debut this weekend.
Also joining the field are Perth teenager Caleb Sumich, who graduates from Radical Cup competition with McElrea Racing, Wall Racing’s Brayden Taylor – who will race David Wall’s 2017 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia title-winning car – Tim Wolfe and Hamish Fitzsimmons.
In the Pro class, returning drivers Harrison Goodman (Sonic), Lachlan Bloxsom and Tom McLennan (McElrea), Aron Shields (Who joins TekworkX Motorsport this sea) and Tom Taplin will hope to use their Porsche experience to get an early advantage over the fleet of newcomers.
In Pro-Am, Queenslander Brett Boulton returns to defend his hard-won 2022 title having finally make the breakthrough last season.
Boulton, who had twice finished runner-up in the Sprint Challenge ‘race within a race’, claimed the title last year over Sam Shahin – who also returns this year.
Andrew Goldie and David Grieg continue their ongoing battle, while Richard Cowen, Jonathan Glicksten, Matt Slavin, and Travis Knipe all add to the Pro-Am battle.
In Class B, Lachlan Harburg returns to commence the defence of his own class title from 2022 this weekend, however will again face strong competition in the category for the generation-1 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, including newcomer Brayden Taylor and the experienced Phil Morriss.
The addition of nine further names to Porsche one-make competition this weekend takes to 26 the number of debutants in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge in the last seven rounds.
This weekend marks the 15th time that the series, a key part of the Porsche Pyramid, will have visited the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and the second time in as many rounds – the famous Victorian circuit having hosted the 2022 season finale’ last November.
There, Thomas Sargent claimed the title while Ryan Wood won both races and the round for Team Porsche NZ / EBM.
Sargent will tackle Porsche Carrera Cup North America this year, while Wood progresses to the Super2 series.
The 24-strong Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge field will practice and qualify this Saturday at Phillip Island, with three races to be held on Sunday morning – culminating in the first Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race of the season.
Qualifying and all three races will be streamed live and free from the Island, with further details to follow.
ENTRY LIST – Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, Round 1.
|2||3||Racing to Beat FA||Pro-Am||Jonathan||Gliksten||VIC|
|4||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Pro-Am||Sam||Shahin||SA|
|7||18||Favrte Racing / Pinnacle Road & Race Works||Pro-Am||Travis||Knipe||VIC|
|8||19||Wall Racing||Class B||Brayden||Taylor||NSW|
|12||34||Wall Racing / Hillcrest Merimbula||Pro-Am||Caspar||Tresidder||NSW|
|13||64||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Marco||Giltrap||NZ|
|14||66||Per Equipment Rentals||Pro-Am||Tim||Wolfe|
|15||72||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Zac||Stitchbury||NZ|
|16||77||Sonic / Dayle ITM||Pro||Ronan||Murphy||NZ|
|17||78||Sonic Motor Racing / Rosche Paper / Supa Straws||Pro||Marcos||Flack||QLD|
|18||81||McElrea Racing / McLennan Motorsports||Pro||Tom||McLennan||QLD|
|20||86||Morriss Racing Service||Class B||Phil||Morriss||VIC|
|22||88||Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T Marts / True Grid||Pro||Harrison||Goodman||VIC|
|23||91||Autohouse Racing||Class B||Lachlan||Harburg||QLD|