THE most wide-open Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field in years will return to Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania this weekend for the second round of an already compelling 2023 series.
A 23-strong field will head to the Apple Isle to contest three races at this weekend’s Ned Whiskey Tasmania SuperSprint event, competing alongside the Repco Supercars Championship for just the second time in series’ history.
It comes following a compelling opening round at Phillip Island in late February that saw 18-year-old New Zealand rising star Marco Giltrap claim two of the three races and win the round.
Giltrap starred on his debut performance in Australia, qualifying fourth before racing his way to victory in the opening race, backing that up with second in Race 2 and another win in the finale’.
Aussie teenager Marcos Flack grabbed pole at the opening round while Australian karting graduate, Aron Shields, won his first race and finished second overall.
Second-year Michelin Sprint Challenge racer Harrison Goodman enjoyed his best weekend yet by finishing third aboard his Bob Jane T-Marts-backed Sonic entry.
All three will be in action this weekend to be joined again by a host of fiercely competitive young stars all looking to make their impression felt early in the series.
The 23-strong Tassie grid includes some new talent joining the series for the first time.
17-year-old karting sensation Oscar Targett will make his debut this weekend, competing for the Grove Racing Junior team and supported by Earl Bamber Motorsport.
Target, a top-20 ranked driver in the FIA’s World Karting Championship, is a highly-rated prospect and joins a host of other rising stars on this year’s grid.
Following Giltrap, Shields and Goodman, second-generation star Ronan Murphy (Sonic) sits fourth in the standings while Porsche New Zealand scholarship winner Zac Stichbury is fifth.
The stacked Symmons Plains Pro field also includes McElrea Racing’s Caleb Sumich, Tom McLennan and Lachlan Bloxsom, TekworkX Motorsport’s young star Hamish Fitzsimmons and South Aussie driver, Tom Taplin.
In the Pro-Am ranks, two former class champions battled it out for the Round 1 victory with no signs of that intensity reducing heading into Round 2.
Sam Shahin (The Bend Motorsport Park) claimed round 1 ahead of McElrea Racing’s Brett Boulton, with Matt Slavin in third place.
Both Shahin and Boulton featured prominently at Symmons Plains on the last visit in 2019, with Shahin claiming the round win in the Pro-Am class and Boulton finishing second.
In Class B, Round 1 winner and defending champion Lachy Harburg misses Tasmania, opening the door to rivals Brad Carr and Phil Morris to score points.
The last time the series raced in Tasmania, Harri Jones scored pole position while Max Vidau swept the three races to claim the round honours.
Jones’ finished second and Ryan Suhle third, with Aaron Love just off the podium.
This weekend, Jones will make his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut while Vidau currently co-leads the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship and Love is a leading light in the Super2 Series.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field hits the track on Friday for two practice sessions and qualifying.
The first two races will then be contested on Saturday, ahead of the 40-minute finale’ on Sunday morning.
All three races across the weekend will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports, with coverage on Sky Sport New Zealand for Kiwi viewers.
|3||8||Car Mods Australia||Class B||Bradley||Carr||QLD|
|6||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Pro-Am||Sam||Shahin||SA|
|10||23||Bloxsom Team Navy||Pro||Lachlan||Bloxsom||QLD|
|12||64||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Marco||Giltrap||NZ|
|13||66||PER Equipment Rentals||Pro-Am||Tim||Wolfe||WA|
|14||72||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Zac||Stichbury||NZ|
|15||77||Sonic / Dayle ITM||Pro||Ronan||Murphy||NZ|
|16||78||Sonic Motor Racing / Rosche Paper / Supa Straws||Pro||Marcos||Flack||QLD|
|17||81||McElrea Racing / McLennan Motorsports||Pro||Tom||McLennan||QLD|
|19||86||Morriss Racing Service||Class B||Phil||Morriss||VIC|
|21||88||Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T Marts / True Grid||Pro||Harrison||Goodman||VIC|
|22||99||Southern Star Windows P/L||Pro-Am||Ross||McGregor||VIC|
Friday, May 19
Practice 1 – 11:05am
Practice 2 – 12:50pm
Qualifying – 14:50pm
Saturday, May 20
Live on Fox Sports & Kayo
Race 1 – 11:40am (20 Minutes)
Race 2 – 14:40pm (25 Minutes)
Sunday, May 21
Live on Fox Sports & Kayo
Race 2 – 11:50am (40 Minutes)