The battle of two young racers will come to a head this weekend as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series embarks on its 2016 season finale at Phillip Island, where all class titles will be decided.
Hamish Hardeman and Jaxon Evans have battled closely throughout the season, claiming five and seven respective race wins a piece. Hardeman has finished inside the top three in every race this year, while Evans sustained a costly DNF at Winton, handing Hardeman a valuable buffering entering the latter stages of the season.
Evans has momentum on his side, however, claiming pole position, three race wins with three fastest laps at the penultimate Ipswich round.
“I took as many points as I could out of Hamish’s championship lead at Queensland Raceway. I’ll plan to do the same at Phillip Island. I really enjoy the track so it will be interest to see how it all unfolds at the season finale,” said Evans.
The Elite Class battle will also come down to the final round, though heartache for the points runner-up, Sam Shahin, in Queensland provided Tim Miles a handy lead entering the final round. Shahin was en route to his maiden class race and round win at the penultimate round before a snapped throttle cable ended his race three in the final stages. Shahin’s despair was delight to Miles’ title aspirations; the Sydneysider now sits 43 points ahead of Shahin with three races remaining.
While the Elite Class title will be fought out at Phillip Island, another class highlight is the inclusion of one of the series’ founders, Sven Burchartz.
The inaugural series champion in 2008 and 2009 series runner-up, Burchartz was pivotal in bringing GT3 Cup Challenge to Australian race tracks and was one of the series’ front-runners in its early years, claiming one series title, one round win, three race wins, two pole positions and eight round podium results in his 16 GT3 Cup Challenge round starts.
Anthony Gilbertson and Brian Finn will fight for third in the Elite Class at Phillip Island, while Michael Stillwell and Mike Vati return to GT3 Cup Challenge competition after stints in the series earlier in the season.
Shane Barwood looks set to capture his maiden Class B crown this weekend at Phillip Island. The Melbourne racer has had a consistent year in the division, visiting the round podium at each event and claiming his first round win at Sydney in July.
The unique round format will see all practice and qualifying sessions completed on Friday, while all three races will be held on Saturday before the 2016 Awards Night celebrations that evening.
Friday September 09, 2016
10:10am Practice 1 (25 minutes)
12:40pm Practice 2 (25 minutes)
3:50pm Qualifying (20 minutes)
Saturday September 10, 2016
9:55am Race 1 (11 laps)
12:25pm Race 2 (11 laps)
4:10pm Race 3 (11 laps)
Round 6 Entry List
1. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory Partners
2. #6 Michael Stillwell (Elite Class) Logicar Australia
3. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue
4. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services/arris property group
5. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF Family & Cosmetic Dental Spa
6. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU
7. #17 Michael Vati (Elite Class) Zoo York
8. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes
9. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group
10. #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) Hunter French Real Estate
11. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories
12. #90 Sven Burchartz (Elite Class) Kalus Kenny Intelex Lawyers
13. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship
14. #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster
15. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows