The release of an impressive 2017 race schedule is the latest announcement adding to the appeal of the coming Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli season.
Australia’s most enjoyable and affordable professional motor racing series last month announced several initiatives, including entry incentives and a $60,000 prize pool, that will make the one-make series even more attractive in 2017.
In 2017, the series will race exclusively at CAMS National Racing Championships events, commencing at Sandown in April before heading to Phillip Island to compete at the same event as the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship, which itself will headline with its annual Pro-Am.
GT3 Cup Challenge will then visit Winton Motor Raceway, Sydney Motorsport Park and Queensland Raceway for the three Jim Richards Endurance Trophy rounds before returning to Phillip Island to conclude the season.
The 2017 calendar announcement follows the confirmation of several initiatives announced for the coming Porsche season:
– Jamey Blaikie Scholarship continues in 2017
– Free Carrera Cup entry for 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge champion
– $18,000 prize money to be won
– Half price Class B entry fees
– Additional three-round Class B title
The continuation of the Jamey Blaikie Scholarship will see Porsche and Pirelli back one up-and-coming racer in GT3 Cup Challenge, which was this year awarded to Perth based Jake Klarich. 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 to promote drivers up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, awarding the 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge outright champion free entry to the 2018 Carrera Cup season, valued at approximately $40,000. This follows the crowning of former GT3 Cup Challenge runner, 21-year-old Matt Campbell, as Carrera Cup champion last weekend in Surfers Paradise.
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 expecting a strong season of GT3 Cup Challenge ahead, especially with the success shown by its 2014 graduate and now Carrera Cup champion, Matt Campbell.
“The 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge calendar is a great foundation for the coming season, where we have created several initiatives to entice more Porsche racers to the series,” said Sakzewski.
“Matt Campbell is a great example of how young drivers can use GT3 Cup Challenge to boost their careers. He started in GT3 Cup Challenge in Class B in 2014, perfecting his craft before moving to Carrera Cup the following season. And in 2016, he won the Carrera Cup championship. This is a tremendous example for young drivers in series like Formula 4 and Formula Ford as to how they can use GT3 Cup Challenge as part of their career progression.
“The incentives are not exclusive to young drivers. We have included prize money for all three classes – Professional Class, Elite Class and Class B – while half-price entry fees and a three round mini-title will aim to attract more racers with Class B Porsches to the GT3 Cup Challenge category.
“We are thoroughly looking forward to the 2017 season, which is expecting to be a truly exciting year of Porsche racing.”
2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli Race Calendar
Round 1 – Sandown Raceway, Vic (April 07-09, 2017)
Round 2 – Phillip Island, Vic (May 26-28, 2017)
Round 3 – Winton Motor Raceway, Vic* (June 09-11, 2017)
Round 4 – Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW* (July 07-09, 2017)
Round 5 – Queensland Raceway, Qld* (Aug 04-06, 2017)
Round 6 – Phillip Island, Vic (September 08-10, 2017)
* denotes Jim Richards Endurance Trophy rounds