MORGAN PARK ADDED TO GT3 CUP CHALLENGE SCHEDULE AS INTERSTATE RIVALRIES GROW QUEENSLAND'S MORGAN PARK RACEWAY, near Warwick, will host its inaugural round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia in 2009 following a change in the Shannons ...
MORGAN PARK ADDED TO GT3 CUP CHALLENGE SCHEDULE AS INTERSTATE RIVALRIES GROW
QUEENSLAND'S MORGAN PARK RACEWAY, near Warwick, will host its inaugural round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia in 2009 following a change in the Shannons Nationals Calendar announced recently.
The previously scheduled Shannons Nationals round at Queensland Raceway will move to Warwick and will be held between August 8 - 9, marking the first time that the circuit has hosted a national series event - though it has held the Formula Vee and Improved Production national titles in the past.
Predictably, the change of location has spurred on some old fashioned state-of-origin posturing from the large contingent of Queenslanders that make up a good proportion of the GT3 Cup Challenge field.
With six Queenslanders already registered with the GT3 Cup Challenge organizers to contest the full series - and more expected following Bathurst - their local round promises to be a highly competitive and well attended affair with home-state bragging rights on the line - though the Queensland corps has a bigger picture in mind.
"It's safe to say that the internal battle between the Queenslanders will be very competitive," Porsche Centre Gold Coast Dealer Principal and McDonald's-supported GT3 Cup driver Terry Knight said.
"Brad Rankin in particular has been very fast at Morgan Park in the club sprint days we have had, with the gap between he and I only about 1/100th of a second so it should make for some pretty close racing. The reality is, though, we Queenslanders are just so pleased that we will be going to a circuit that none of the New South Wales or Victorian drivers know," he laughed.
"It's safe to say there will be plenty of practice days put in by the Queensland group between now and the round. We need to be as prepared as we can be to take on the southeners!"
Knight said Morgan Park would pose a challenge for drivers, though the track is known for being Porsche friendly.
"It is a great little track. Very technical but with the extensions it will give plenty of tight stuff for overtaking but some faster stuff as well," he said. "The people that run the track are very Porsche friendly and have hosted many Porsche Super Sprints and club events. We're all very keen to go there and race.
"Warwick is a racing town, too," Knight added. "They support their motorsport and really get behind the circuit so it should be a fantastic event."
Morgan Park - 160km South West of Brisbane - features a tricky and undulating 2.1km circuit surrounded by trees in the Queensland countryside. Racing at the circuit harks back to 1968 when racing was held on a dirt circuit. The track gained bitumen in 1997 and has been consistently improved and upgraded since, gaining state championship status in 2001 and a full resurface in 2006.
A further extension currently underway will see the track gain a further kilometer in length in time for the Shannons Nationals round this August.
GT3 Cup Challenge organizers are also pleased to announce a new partnership with SMS Commander, who will provide the series with the technology to keep competitors up to speed on session times, events, announcements and more during the course of the 2009 season.
SMS Commander's unique software allows text messages to be sent directly from a computer to a large list of people for immediate delivery. The series hopes to utilize this technology this year to further improve communication between the administration and competitors.
"Drivers are always hard to keep a track of, especially when trying to get them all to Briefings etc," GT3 Cup Challenge category manager Jodi Zylstra said.
"SMS Commander is going to give us the tools needed to keep everyone in the loop with times for drivers briefings, functions, TV alerts, and even news updates or special announcements. The drivers probably won't like it but as a category administrator it's going to be my best friend!"