Entry incentives and a prize pool worth $60,000 will highlight the 2017 season for one of Australia’s most enjoyable and affordable professional motor racing series – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli.
Pirelli will continue as the series’ Presenting Partner and Tyre Supplier for the 2017 season, which will retain its six-round format. The one-make sports car series segue to Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will race at Sandown Raceway, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Winton Motor Raceway, Sydney Motorsport Park, Queensland Raceway and finishing once again at Phillip Island, the dates of which will be announced in the coming days. The popular Jim Richards Endurance Trophy will continue into 2017, to be held at the Winton, Sydney and Ipswich rounds.
Porsche will again award the Jamey Blaikie Scholarship to an up-and-coming young driver following Perth based Jake Klarich receiving the inaugural scholarship in 2016. Applications for the 2017 Porsche Junior Programme Australia will open soon, which will again provide a support package worth over $40,000, including free entry to the 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge season, Pirelli race tyres, Porsche Junior race gear and mentoring and fitness training throughout the season.
Porsche will also continue its assistance for young drivers looking to ascend the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid from GT3 Cup Challenge into Porsche Carrera Cup Australia by providing free entry to the 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge outright champion for the 2018 Carrera Cup season, valued at approximately $40,000. This prize is available to 2016 series champion, Hamish Hardeman, should he take the step to Australia’s premier one-make championship. This is aimed to help young drivers to follow in the footsteps of Matt Campbell who, after racing in GT3 Cup Challenge, progressed to Carrera Cup and recently returned from the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout with the chance to become a Porsche Junior and race in the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season.
In 2017, Porsche will award prize money in GT3 Cup Challenge, with a prize pool of $18,000 to be distributed to round winners of the Professional Class, Elite Class and Class B across the season’s six events.
As an added incentive for competitors with Class B specification Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars (model year 2006-2009), Class B drivers will receive a 50 per cent reduction in 2017 entry fees. Meanwhile, the season entry fees for the Professional Class and Elite Class will be held at 2016 prices.
Class B will also feature a secondary title which counts the best three rounds from all Class B drivers, providing an incentive for part-time Class B drivers to commit to at least three rounds of the series.
Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager, Kurt Sakzewski, is thrilled to announce the new initiatives for the 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge season.
“We are very much looking forward to the 2017 season of GT3 Cup Challenge, which will provide greater incentives than ever, while continuing the many elements that have made the series so popular over recent years,” said Sakzewski.
“Class B will receive a boost in 2017 with the addition of new incentives, including reduced entry fees and the three-round Class B title in addition to its full-season points race. There are many Class B Porsches parked in garages and participating in Porsche Club events and it’s our intention to bring some of these into the GT3 Cup Challenge series. Once many of these drivers get a taste of what the series is about – fun, friendly motor racing with the professional support of Porsche – they have the option to race when they want and have the eventual choice to progress up a clearly defined driver progression path provided by Porsche – including the move to a Class A spec car and, eventually, Carrera Cup.
“We’re also thrilled to enter another season with the support of Pirelli, which has been a driving force not only for the success of the series, but also for the Porsche Junior programme. We look forward to working with Pirelli in its fifth straight season as part of GT3 Cup Challenge.”