In 2020, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia (previously Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge) celebrates its 12th anniversary season in Australia. The series became a reality in 2008 when a group of enthusiasts took their Porsche race cars to Mallala in South Australia to kick start a four-round mini-series. Now managed by Porsche Cars Australia, the series has developed into one of Australia’s best and most professionally run racing series offering Porsche enthusiasts progressing from state level championships an opportunity to compete in the previous generation 911 GT3 Cup cars in a competive and welcoming enviroment
For young drivers, the series is a launch pad for up-and-coming drivers in their pursuit of a professional motor racing career. Several drivers have used Sprint Challenge to gain experience in a high-performance sports car before their journey up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid. The ultimate example of the success of this pathway of Matt Campbell. After winning the Class B title in 2014, Campbell raced two Carrera Cup seasons, winning the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Pro championship in 2016 and claiming success at the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout, which promoted the Queenslander to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a Porsche Junior. Third in the Supercup saw Campbell promoted to a Porsche Young Professional role and an extensive Porsche factory race programme in 2018. In 2019, Campbell was of the Bathurst 12 Hour Earl Bamber Motorsport winning team and for the 2020 was named as full Porsche factory driver.
Jaxon Evans would also finish runner-up in the 2016 GT3 Cup Challenge season before going on to win the 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup Championship. Following in the footsteps of Campbell, Evans was victorious in the Junior Programme Shootout before launching into an international racing career with Porsche as an official Porsche junior driver for 2019 and 2020.
Racing at Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships events in 2020, the series retains Michelin as its Title Partner and Tyre Supplier.
For Pro and Pro-Am racers alike, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia will continue as one of Australia’s best racing platforms into 2020.
Having celebrated the series 200th race in 2019, the 2020 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series sees the season start in late March at the Sydney Motorsport Park in NSW, before heading south to Winton in early May and continuing onto The Bend Motorsport Park a month later. The second half of the season, sees the series travel north to Morgan Park in Queensland before returning to Victoria for the last two rounds at the Phillip Island and Sandown Raceway circuits respectively. All Shannons Motorsport Australia Championship rounds feature an event Live Stream on the Saturday and Sunday of each round as well as a highlights episode following each event on motorsport show on Fox Sports. In 2019, the Shannons livestream digital audience grew to 602,112.
The 911 GT3 Cup
Once a new generation of 911 GT3 Cup cars is launched into Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup in Australia, the previous genration then becomes available in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia series. Introduced into Carrera Cup in 2014, the first generation 991 series 911 GT3 Cup car raced in the premier class for four seasons up until its Carrera Cup swansong at the Gold Coast season finale in 2017. Thereafter, it became eligible for Sprint Challenge competition.
Sprint Challenge also features the second-generation 997 series 911 GT3 Cup car. Originally recruited for Carrera Cup competition from 2011 to 2013, the 997 series race car moved to Sprint Challenge in 2014, where it was enjoyed as an outright contender. In 2018, following the introduction of its successor to the series, the 997 GT3 Cup car owners could then contend for the Class B title.
Over the seasons, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia has been a launch pad for young drivers’ motor racing careers. These drivers, who are racing a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991.I) car, have traditionally formed the Pro class in Sprint Challenge. Most recently, Harri Jones was the form Pro driver of the series, claiming the 2019 series title with consistentcy and performance across the season’s six rounds. Other noteworthy Pro drivers have included Richard Muscat, Jaxon Evans, Dylan O’Keeffe, Jordan Love and Matt Campbell, who won the final round of the 2014 season in the Pro division having already secured the Class B crown.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia is just as much about the Pro-Am racer and Porsche enthusiast as it is of the drivers competing for outright victory. The Pro-Am class is exclusively for semi-professional drivers racing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991.I) car. These drivers do not seek to make a profession from motor racing nor do they seek to earn an income from racing duties. Instead, the Pro-Am racer consists of business leaders with a willingness to race sports cars. Or more specifically, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. 2019 saw The Bend Motorsport Park owner Sam Shahin take the title after a season long battle with the McElrea Racing entry of Brett Boulton.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia series is a multi-class series, allowing drivers to compete in the older generation 997 GT3 Cup car. Regardless of whether a driver is classified as a Pro or Pro-Am, all racers competing in the 997 GT3 Cup car will form part of the Class B division.
2008 - 4 round series
2009 - 6 round series
2010 - 6 round series
2011 - 6 round series
2012 - 6 round series
2013 - 6 round series (Pro)
2013 - 6 round series (Elite)
2014 - 6 round series (Class A)
2014 - 6 round series (Class B)
2015 - 6 round series (Pro)
2015 - 6 round series (Elite)
2015 - 6 round series (Class B)
2016 - 6 round series (Pro)
2016 - 6 round series (Elite)
2016 - 6 round series (Class B)
2017 - 6 round series (Pro)
2017 - 6 round series (Elite)
2017 - 6 round series (Class B)
2018 - 6 round series (Pro)
2018 - 6 round series (Pro-Am)
2018 - 6 round series (Class B)
2019 - 6 round series (Pro)
2019 - 6 round series (Pro-Am)
2019 - 6 round series (Class B)
Jim Richards Endurance Championship
About Jim Richards Endurance Championship
Porsche Sprint Challenge is a series based around sprint races, though its long-distance ‘series within a series’ has proven to be a popular element.
The Jim Richards Endurance Trophy debuted in 2011, traditionally featuring one long distance race at five events throughout each season. The highest outright point scorer form these five races will then before the Endurance Champion and receive the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy at the end of the season.
Jim Richards Endurance Trophy Champions
Porsche Cars Australia and Michelin Australia have joined forces to launch one of Australian motorsport’s most extensive driver development programmes, providing total benefits of up to $300,000. The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia supports seven young drivers across Australia’s two Porsche one-make series – Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia and Carrera Cup Australia – providing all Michelin Juniors financial support by way of entry fee support and an allocation of Michelin race tyres, along with access to training, mentorship and education throughout the racing season.
The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia will consist of two teams – the GT3 Cup Challenge Junior Team, consisting of three drivers, and the four-driver Carrera Cup Junior Team.