AU GT3: Series Bathurst preview

PORSCHE POWER TO REIGN AT BATHURST THANKS TO MASSIVE SEASON-OPENING GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GRID THE LARGEST ALL-PORSCHE grid to take to an Australian racetrack in more than ten years will make up the opening round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup...

PORSCHE POWER TO REIGN AT BATHURST THANKS TO MASSIVE SEASON-OPENING GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GRID

THE LARGEST ALL-PORSCHE grid to take to an Australian racetrack in more than ten years will make up the opening round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia at Mount Panorama later this month.

47 cars - made up of a competitive mix of stunning Porsche models - have entered for the February 20 - 22 event to be held as part of the WPS Bathurst 12 hour festival.

It makes the grid the largest all-Porsche field to have entered for an event in Australia since the strongest days of the Porsche Cup series in the 1990s.

The grid is made up of 26 cars in the GT3 Cup Challenge and 21 from the predominantly Victorian-based Porsche 944 challenge, the two series track-sharing once again in a true example of a ‘race within a race'.

The talent packed grid features drivers from every state of Australia and plenty of heavy-hitting Porsche names, including some of last years key contenders and some new faces joining the fray.

2008 Champion Sven Burchartz will front up with proven competitors Bill Pye, Jeff Bobik, Mark Krashos, Terry Knight and Brad Rankin - all front runners throughout the course of the inaugural GT3 Cup Challenge series last year.

New faces include former Carrera Cup racer Tony Quinn, who returns to his VIP Petfoods 996 GT3 Cup, and ex V8 Ute Series racer Matt Kingsley who will make his Porsche racing debut at Mount Panorama.

Fellow Queenslander Phil Holzberger - the president of the Queensland Porsche Club - will also make his series debut in his ex- American LeMans Series GT3 RS. Holzberger has recently contested mainly QLD-state level races but will return to national competition at Bathurst behind the wheel of the car that won the GT class at the 2002 LeMans 24 hour race in the hands of successful team The Racers Group.

Max Twigg, another successful and highly experienced Porsche fan at both state and national level - will also join the talent packed grid, and with previous Bathurst experience in his GT3 Cup Car should be an outright contender.

Two West Australian's, Walter Epple and George Bradbury, will make the trek across from Perth whilst the grid includes nine Queenslanders, seven Victorians (not including the mainly Victorian-based 944 challenge entries), five New South Wales drivers and one each from South Australia (Mark Krashos) and Tasmania (Ryan Flynn).

A majority of the field is made up by the Type 996 GT3 Cup Cars contesting the Open Class, whilst several of the more-standard GT3 specification cars make up Class A. Flynn's 1990's specification type-993 RSR is the sole Class B entrant.

In the Porsche 944 challenge defending champion Robert Lange and his 2007 rival Chris Lewis-Williams and other strong competitors including ex-Atlantic racer Josh Hunt and experienced lady-racer Amber Anderson.

At 17, Victorian driver Justin Tate will be the youngest driver in the field after deciding on a one-off return to the category he used to springboard himself to national success in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship. Tate was a Victorian 944 champion aged just 15 and last year finished on the outright podium of a Gold Star race as he had a rapid rise to prominence in open wheel racing.

Round one of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series will begin with practice on Friday, February 20th, ahead of three races held across Friday and Saturday.

-credit: gt3cupchallenge.com.au

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Series Road racing
Drivers Tony Quinn , Josh Hunt , Sven Burchartz , Max Twigg , Jeff Bobik , Terry Knight
Teams Williams