The final day of competition for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series was also potentially the most chaotic as a three-car incident in the final race of the season ultimately decided the Elite Class title.
Jordan Love secured the Outright and Professional Class titles with victory in the opening race and further extended his gap to second with victory in race two. A DNF in the final race – Love finished the season in the gravel trap following a battle for the lead with Brenton Grove – didn’t dampen Love’s sensational year on track, which included 15 wins from 18 races. Grove, who claimed the Professional Class round win, placed second in the season class standings from John Steffensen.
The Elite Class battle was the highlight of the final round of the season, with Anthony Gilbertson and Sam Shahin battling for the top position for the final three races. Shahin reduced the margin to just three points entering the final race of the season, however a mid-race collision between Shahin, Steffensen and Gilbertson saw the three fail to finish the race. The result was bittersweet for Gilbertson, who secured the Elite Class title, and disastrous for Shahin, who was on track to bridge the points gap to Gilbertson by the chequered flag.
Gilbertson therefore won the Elite Class title by three points from Shahin, with John Morriss finishing third for the season in class.
John Karytinos was the star performer of the two-day season finale. The South Australian claimed a clean sweep in the Elite Class and his consistency placed him on top of the outright points for the Phillip Island finale, becoming the first Elite Class driver since Shahin at the opening Sandown round to finish on top of the outright round standings.
Andrew Goldie was the Class B winner for the Phillip Island round, finishing ahead of David Greig and Brenton Cook on the podium. Greig was the ultimate Class B champion, his consistency throughout the season securing him the title at the penultimate Queensland Raceway round.
Love’s series win was also the third straight for the Sonic Motor Racing Services team with outright champions Ryan Simpson (2015), Hamish Hardeman (2016) and Love (2017).
GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series will return to the track early next season, with the 2018 race calendar to be announced in the coming weeks.