WORLD CHAMPION Karter Clay Osborne will join the already remarkable mix of young talent contesting this year’s Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series this weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park.
The 18-year-old from New Zealand will join what is already the most talented mix of young drivers Sprint Challenge has ever seen amidst a 28-strong field entered for the penultimate round of the series this weekend at the South Australian venue.
Set to drive for McElrea Racing, Osborne claimed a Karting world championship title in Italy in 2019, as well as a pair of National titles in his native New Zealand.
Following a brief stint in Formula First and Formula Ford, Osborne graduated to tin-top circuit racing in 2022 and has now contested two seasons of the New Zealand Toyota 86 Series prior to making his Porsche debut.
He joins the series at a remarkable time as the title race builds with just six races remaining in the season.
Fellow New Zealander Marco Giltrap holds a comfortable series lead of 141 points heading into The Bend’s three races however faces challenges from all angles.
The biggest threat of late has been Queenslander Nash Morris, who since making his debut for TekworkX at Sydney Motorsport Park has slammed home five race wins from six starts, including a clean sweep at his home circuit last time out.
His teammate Hamish Fitzsimmons has also been a mover in the last few races, claiming a pair of seconds at the last round.
Since joining the series’ at Round two at Symmons Plains, Oscar Targett has not finished a race lower than eighth position and has charged up the championship order – now sitting just 47 points behind second-placed Aron Shields in the Michelin Sprint Challenge series standings.
In the Pro-Am class, Sam Shahin continues to hold the lead in both major one-make Porsche titles this year – his Carrera Cup points lead mirrored by an even larger 87-point gap at the top of the Sprint Challenge standings.
Shahin will be challenged this weekend, however, as Queenslander Brett Boulton returns to the championship having missed the two most recent rounds.
Brad Carr and Lachy Harburg find themselves tied on points in second position in Class B – for the older-model Generation 1 991 GT3 Cup Cars – as they both race to chase down runaway series leader Phil Morriss.
The latter has a handy 118-point lead heading into the final two rounds and six races this year.
As well as the young Kiwi in the outright class, Class B will see a pair of Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge debutants, in the form of New South Wales driver Jacque Jarjo and fellow Class B runner, Dave Allen.
The Round 5 field includes 14 cars in the Pro class, 9 in Pro-Am and 5 in Class B.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field tackles three races this weekend as part of the Shannons Trophy Series Event at South Australia’s world-class racing venue.
Following practice on Friday, the field races twice on Saturday before the Jim Richards Endurance Championship decider will be held on Sunday.
There, Marco Giltrap leads Hamish Fitzsimmons by 16 points and Ronan Murphy by 26 going into the winner-take-all finale.
That race will be broadcast live on 7plus on Sunday.
|2||5||Jacque Fine Jewellery||Class B||Jacque||Jarjo||NSW|
|3||8||Car Mods Australia||Pro||Bradley||Carr||QLD|
|4||11||Aera Cloud & Security||Pro-Am||Eric||Constantinidis||NSW|
|6||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Pro-Am||Sam||Shahin||SA|
|8||15||POWER AND EARTH. COM||Pro||Clay||Osborne||NZ|
|10||23||Bloxsom Team Navy||Pro||Lachlan||Bloxsom||QLD|
|14||47||Effect Building Projects/ Beverage Distribution Australia||Class B||Stephen||Moylan||NSW|
|15||64||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Marco||Giltrap||NZ|
|16||66||PER Equipment Rentals||Pro-Am||Tim||Wolfe||WA|
|18||72||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Zac||Stichbury||NZ|
|19||77||Sonic / Dayle ITM||Pro||Ronan||Murphy||NZ|
|20||78||Sonic Motor Racing / Rosche Paper / Supa Straws||Pro||Marcos||Flack||QLD|
|23||86||Morriss Racing Service||Class B||Phil||Morriss||VIC|
|25||88||Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T Marts / True Grid||Pro||Harrison||Goodman||VIC|
|26||91||Autohouse Racing||Class B||Lachlan||Harburg||QLD|
|27||99||Southern Star Windows P/L||Pro-Am||Ross||McGregor||VIC|