In 2019, Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia celebrates its 11th anniversary season in Australia. A concept became a reality in 2008 when a group of enthusiasts took their Porsche race cars to Mallala in South Australia to kick start a four-round mini-series. Now managed by Porsche Cars Australia, the series has developed into one of Australia’s best and most professionally run racing series.
For young drivers, the series is a launch pad for up-and-coming drivers in their pursuit of a professional motor racing career. Several drivers have used GT3 Cup Challenge to gain experience in a high-performance sports car before their journey up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid. The ultimate example of the success of this pathway of Matt Campbell. After winning GT3 Cup Challenge’s Class B in 2014, Campbell raced two Carrera Cup seasons, winning the title in 2016 and claiming success at the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout, which promoted the Queenslander to the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup as a Porsche Junior. Third in the Supercup saw Campbell promoted to a Porsche Young Professional role and an extensive Porsche factory race programme in 2018. Since then, Jaxon Evans has also been victorious in the Junior Programme Shootout before launching into an international racing career with Porsche.
Racing at both Supercars and Shannons Nationals events in 2019, the series retains Michelin as its Title Partner and Tyre Supplier.
For Pro and Pro-Am racers alike, Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will continue as one of Australia’s best racing platforms into 2019.
Racing at both Supercars Championship and Shannons Nationals events, Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will be well covered in 2019.The season opener at Symmons Plains Raceway will be held alongside the Supercars Championship, with each GT3 Cup Challenge race to be broadcast live on Fox Sports as part of the Supercars weekend coverage. This is predicted to be the greatest television exposure ever seen by the one-make series.
The following five rounds will be held at the Shannons Nationals, which features an event Live Stream on the Sunday of each round and a highlights episode following each event on motorsport show Speedweek, which airs on both SBS and Fox Sports.
The 911 GT3 Cup
Once a generation of 911 GT3 Cup cars have completed its time in Carrera Cup in Australia, it then becomes available in the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series. Introduced into Carrera Cup in 2014, the first generation 991 series 911 GT3 Cup car raced in Carrera Cup for four season up until its Carrera Cup swansong at the Gold Coast season finale in 2017. Thereafter, it became eligible for GT3 Cup Challenge competition.
GT3 Cup Challenge also features the second-generation 997 series 911 GT3 Cup car. Originally recruited for Carrera Cup competition from 2011 to 2013, the 997 series race car moved to GT3 Cup Challenge in 2014, where it was enjoyed as an outright contender. In 2018, following the introduction of its successor to the series, the 997 GT3 Cup to make up Class B.
Over the seasons, GT3 Cup Challenge is being used as a launch pad for young drivers’ motor racing careers. These drivers, who are racing a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991.I) car, have traditionally formed the Pro class in GT3 Cup Challenge. Most recently, Jordan Love was the form Pro driver of the series, claiming the 2017 series title in a record-breaking performance across the season’s six rounds. Other noteworthy Pro drivers have included Richard Muscat, Jaxon Evans, Dylan O’Keeffe and Matt Campbell, who won the final round of the 2014 season in the Pro division having already secured the Class B crown.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia is just as much about the Pro-Am racer as it is of the drivers competing for outright victory. The Pro-Am class is exclusively for semi-professional drivers racing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991.I) car. These drivers do not seek to make a profession from motor racing nor do they seek to earn an income from racing duties. Instead, the Pro-Am racer consists of business leaders with a willingness to race sports cars. Or more specifically, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series is a multi-class series, allowing drivers to compete in the older generation 997 GT3 Cup car. Regardless of whether a driver is classified as a Pro or Pro-Am, all racers competing in the 997 GT3 Cup car will form part of the Class B division.
GT3 Cup Challenge is a series based around sprint races, though its long-distance ‘series within a series’ has proven to be a popular element.
The Jim Richard Endurance Trophy debuted in 2011, traditionally featuring one long distance race at three events throughout each season. The highest outright point scorer form these three races will then before the Endurance Champion and receive the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy at the end of the season.
Jim Richards Endurance Trophy Champions
Porsche Cars Australia and Michelin Australia have joined forces to launch one of Australian motorsport’s most extensive driver development programmes, providing total benefits of up to $300,000. The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia supports seven young drivers across Australia’s two Porsche one-make series – Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia and Carrera Cup Australia – providing all Michelin Juniors financial support 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.
The Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia will consist of two teams – the GT3 Cup Challenge Junior Team, consisting of three drivers, and the four-driver Carrera Cup Junior Team.