Australia: Awards Night rounds out 2003

Richards collects the inaugural Cup; Marshall scores swag of silverware The Carrera Cup Australia Awards Night has rounded out a successful first season for the all-Porsche class following the final round of the championship at Eastern Creek on...

Richards collects the inaugural Cup; Marshall scores swag of silverware

The Carrera Cup Australia Awards Night has rounded out a successful first season for the all-Porsche class following the final round of the championship at Eastern Creek on the weekend.

Held at the superb Porsche Centre South Sydney last Sunday evening and hosted by series commentator Chris Jewell, some 200 guests were on hand to celebrate the category's achievers in 2003, headlined by series champion Jim Richards who collected the Carrera Cup from Cup Car CEO Jamey Blaikie and Porsche Cars Australia Managing Director, Michael Winkler.

Crafted by the Flynn Brothers of Melbourne, the silver trophy has been the aim of every driver in the championship, though it was the Melbourne-based expat Kiwi who won it despite stiff opposition from a full field of drivers, young and old.

Queensland-based up-and-comer Marcus Marshall accepted the Runner-Up Award for the series after a sensational year which was headlined by a win in round three at Winton in May.

The VIP Petfoods team driver also accepted the Michelin Rookie of the Year Award as well as the Michelin Driver to Europe Award. The latter will see the Gold Coast driver participate in a selected round of the 2004 Porsche Supercup, the main support to Formula 1 Grands Prix throughout Europe.

ENJO Racing's Peter Fitzgerald picked up the trophy for finishing third in the 2003 championship and also accepted a special award on behalf of Matt Coleman, whose major roll-over at Sandown in September received worldwide media coverage, deeming it a well and truly worthy winner for the Carrera Cup Media Coverage Award.

Greg Murphy Racing Team Braun driver Tim Leahey was voted by a panel of media and motorsport industry figures as the Motorsport News Personality of the Year and Christchurch-based driver Kevin Bell picked up the trophy for the Highest Placed New Zealand competitor from a strong Kiwi contingent that invaded the series.

VIP Petfoods driver Tony Quinn picked up the Fuchs Hard Charger trophy, awarded for passing the most number of cars over the course of the 27 races that made up the championship.

With the 2003 championship now at an end, all focus now turns to the Australian drivers and teams competing in the Trans-Tasman Challenge in New Zealand in January before the 2004 season starts with the non-championship races at the Australian Grand Prix in March. <pre> 2003 CARRERA CUP AWARDS LIST

Carrera Cup Champion                            Jim Richards (OAMPS Insurance/Greenfield Mowers)
Carrera Cup Runner-Up                           Marcus Marshall (VIP Petfoods Racing)
Carrera Cup Third-Place                         Peter Fitzgerald (ENJO Racing)
Michelin Rookie of the Year                     Marcus Marshall (VIP Petfoods Racing)
Michelin Driver to Europe winner                Marcus Marshall (VIP Petfoods Racing)
Motorsport News Personality of the Year         Tim Leahey (Greg Murphy Racing Team Braun)
Fuchs Hard Charger Award                        Tony Quinn (VIP Petfoods Racing)
Highest Placed New Zealand competitor           Kevin Bell (International Motorsport NZ)
Media Coverage Award                            Matt Coleman (Matt Coleman Racing)

-cupcar.com.au

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Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Tim Leahey , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Tony Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , Kevin Bell