AUS: 2006 calendar announced

EIGHT BUMPER ROUNDS FOR 2006 WRIGHT PATTON SHAKESPEARE CARRERA CUP The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will embark on an eight round national championship in 2006 with the new 997 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as the exclusive race car, ...

EIGHT BUMPER ROUNDS FOR 2006 WRIGHT PATTON SHAKESPEARE CARRERA CUP

The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will embark on an eight round national championship in 2006 with the new 997 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup as the exclusive race car, CEO Jamey Blaikie announced in Bathurst today.

Carrera Cup, regarded as the fastest and most successful one make motor racing championship in the world, will enter its fourth season in Australia and the second partnered with naming rights sponsor Wright Patton Shakespeare.

The championship will also continue as the primary support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series, maximising its national and international exposure and status as a professional and successful Australian motor racing category.

The 'bumper' 2006 championship will commence at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 23 to 26.

Spectators at the Clipsal 500 will get the first glimpse of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (997 model) in action on Australian shores. This year the new model is being raced in the Porsche Michelin Supercup, the primary support category at select rounds of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The following week (March 30 to April 2), the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup 'road show' travels to Melbourne for the FORMULA 1 Foster's Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

Cup Car Australia Pty Ltd, the organisers of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, recently extended its contract with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation to run a 'Non Championship Round' of the series for the next five years.

Carrera Cup has been a support category at the FORMULA 1 Foster's Australian Grand Prix since 2003. The all-Porsche championship was introduced to Australian motorsport in that year and has continued to grow in driver talent, sponsorship and fan support since then.

The Non Championship Round at the FORMULA 1 Foster's Australian Grand Prix will be followed by Round Two at Wakefield Park in Goulburn from May 26 to 28 -- the first time the all-Porsche championship has raced in the NSW regional centre.

Round Three will return to Hidden Valley in Darwin from July 21 to 23, while Sydney's round will be staged next at Oran Park from August 11 to 13.

The final four rounds will be held over an intense three month period starting with Round Five at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown from September 8 to 10; Round Six at the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst from October 5 to 8; Round Seven at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast from October 19 to 22; and the final round once again at Phillip Island from December 8 to 10.

Today's announcement of the 2006 calendar was held at the Super Cheap Auto 1000. The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is in the first year of a three year extension to be a support category at Australia's 'Great Race'.

Cup Car Australia Pty Ltd CEO Jamey Blaikie said eight rounds plus a Non Championship Round was an ideal scenario for the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup in 2006.

"We will be introducing 25 brand new 997-series Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars next year, with the racing action to be as exciting and intense as it has ever been over the first three years in Australia," said Blaikie.

"The championship will continue on the program of the major V8 Supercar rounds in Australia. This provides us with maximum exposure for our sponsors, teams and drivers.

"When we design the calendar, we have to consider the future growth of the series, exposure for our key stakeholders, team budgets, circuits and facilities, and also reaching a national audience.

"I believe it will be a massive year for the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup and continue the progress enjoyed by the category each year since 2003." <pre> 2006 CALENDAR

Round 1 Clipsal 500, Adelaide March 23 to 26 Round 2 Wakefield Park, Goulburn May 26 to 28 Round 3 Hidden Valley, Darwin July 21 to 23 Round 4 Oran Park, Sydney August 11 to 13 Round 5 Betta Electrical 500, Sandown September 8 to 10 Round 6 Super Cheap Auto 1000, Bathurst October 5 to 8 Round 7 Lexmark Indy 300, Gold Coast October 19 to 22 Round 8 Grand Finale, Phillip Island December 8 to 10

SPECIAL EVENT: Non Championship Round FORMULA 1 Foster's Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park March 30 to April 2

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Series Porsche
Drivers Phillip Island