MALLALA JUST LIKE HOME FOR PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE GIVEN IT HAS BEEN IN at least semi-continuous operation since the 1960s, Mallala Raceway has created plenty of fond memories for plenty of people involved with Australian Motorsport. However...
MALLALA JUST LIKE HOME FOR PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE
GIVEN IT HAS BEEN IN at least semi-continuous operation since the 1960s, Mallala Raceway has created plenty of fond memories for plenty of people involved with Australian Motorsport.
However the rural 2.6km circuit some 50-minutes north of Adelaide holds particularly special memories for the people behind the introduction of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series Presented by Mission Foods.
The all-Porsche series contested its first ever round at Mallala in 2008 and has rapidly grown to become one of the strongest components of Shannons Nationals events, and a feature of major events like the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour.
The series was designed to cater for a growing market of Porsche enthusiasts looking for a 'place to race' with their mates in a competitive yet friendly environment - and has rapidly grown since.
The large number of competitors to enter the series from a club sprint or track-day background has easily justified this approach, drivers like Terry Knight having had limited race experience before his debut before going on to succeed in the GT3 Cup Challenge.
"Mallala is a favourite of many of our competitors because we receive such a warm welcome, and everyone remembers the good times and great racing we've always had there," said Category Administrator Jodi Zylstra.
"We have a strong South Australian contingent that competes in our series and they love having the national contingent coming and playing on their turf - and more often than not beating them!
"The series has grown significantly since our first round but Mallala will remain one of our key, traditional rounds that we endeavour to do every year. The numbers entered for this weekend's round is a testament to how much our guys love coming here."
With the formative steps put in place by long-time Porsche competitors Sven Burchartz and Jon Trende, coupled with the administrative and management skills of Jodi Zylstra, the series contested its first round at Mallala on a damp weekend in May 2008 and has flourished since.
Where the first round had thirteen cars, this weekend's third of six rounds in 2010 features a strong entry of 21 cars, hailing from four states and three countries.
Of the thirteen at round one, 2008, six drivers continue to compete regularly in the series and will race this weekend, namely Sven Burchartz, Jon Trende, Terry Knight, Paul Bollinowsky, Anthony Skinner and Mark Krashos.
The strong growth behind the category has been witnessed this season with 22 cars - plus an additional 11 Victorian Porsche 944s - contesting the first round at Bathurst.
A strong contingent of 14 made the trip across bass straight for round two but it's this weekend's grid at Mallala that proves the circuit holds a sentimental place in many of the GT3 Cup Challenge competitors' hearts.
"From what I have seen the series has a fantastic atmosphere around it," Said new competitor, South Aussie Jed Wallis.
"The racing is competitive and the cars are quick but once it stops on track then everyone gets together and has some fun. I'm looking forward to being part of it this weekend at my home track."
Action this weekend at Mallala will include qualifying and one race on Saturday before a further two races complete the round on Sunday, May 30th.