Two national champions and Australia’s most promising female racer will contest this season’s Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series as Michelin Junior drivers.
Following the recent announcement of the four Michelin Juniors racing in Carrera Cup, a further three Michelin Junior drivers will contest the GT3 Cup Challenge series – Toyota 86 Racing Series champion Jimmy Vernon, Australian Formula Ford champion Max Vidau and former open-wheel and Supercars driver Chelsea Angelo.
Vernon enters GT3 Cup Challenge with the current Toyota 86 Racing Series crown – a championship in which he entered with several seasons of open wheel and production car experience. The 20-year-old will now join Queensland squad McElrea Racing in the 2016 Carrera Cup title-winning 911 GT3 Cup car, then driven by Matt Campbell and, more recently, by Jaxon Evans in Carrera Cup last year.
Vidau enters the Porsche series having won the 2016 Victorian Formula Ford title, followed by the 2017 Australian Formula Ford crown last season, an accolade for which the 16-year-old received the opportunity to participate in the Mazda Road to Indy Shootout in USA last December. Vidau will race with Sonic Motor Racing Services, the team which has claimed the past three outright GT3 Cup Challenge titles, driving the 911 GT3 Cup car raced by Nick McBride across the past four Carrera Cup seasons.
For Angelo, the road to GT3 Cup Challenge has seen the 21-year-old compete in Formula Ford, Formula 3 and the Super2 Series before joining Wall Racing ahead of the 2018 season. Angelo will now take the 2017 Carrera Cup championship-winning 911 GT3 Cup, last year driven by her now-team owner David Wall, into the 2018 GT3 Cup Challenge season.
The 2018 Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia driver line-up is now complete, with Angelo, Vidau and Vernon joining Carrera Cup’s Michelin Juniors Jaxon Evans, Adam Garwood, Cameron Hill and Jordan Love in the driver development programme.
Much like the Michelin Juniors in Carrera Cup, GT3 Cup Challenge’s Michelin Juniors will be provided financial benefits 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.
2018 Michelin Junior Team
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Junior Programme, which will provide a huge opportunity for me at this stage of my career. I’m looking forward to work closely with Porsche and Michelin during the 2018 season.
“My goal has always been to reach Supercars, but to see drivers like Matt Campbell, Jaxon Evans and Jordan Love use GT3 Cup Challenge as a platform into Carrera Cup – and in Matt’s case, into Europe – has certainly opened my eyes to the Porsche pathway. Being a Michelin Junior, I fele, will help in my pursuit of progressing my motorsport career.”
“It’s a dream come true to link myself with both Porsche and Michelin. Growing up, aligning myself with such brands in my racing career was always a goal so I’m exciting the now be named in this programme.
“I looked at racing in GT3 Cup Challenge after seeing Matt Campbell and his rise with Porsche. I’m now with McElrea Racing, who has proven that this is possible. So with their knowledge, I hope to rise up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid with the team.”
“It’s great to part of the Junior Programme for 2018 and I have to thank Porsche and Michelin for the opportunity.
“If you look at brands like Porsche, they have involvement in motorsport worldwide and I hope that I can continue with Porsche to ultimately replicate the path of someone like Matt Campbell. Not only has Matt secured international endurance drives with Porsche, but he has also maintained a racing presence in Australia with his Supercars enduro duties.”
Angelo, Vernon, Vidau and the remainder of the 26-car Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series will begin the 2018 season at The Bend Motorsport Park on April 13-15, starting tomorrow.