Sprint Challenge Bathurst Decider
CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON has come to Porsche Motorsport Australia, with the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series to kick off an amazing two weeks of title-deciding action this weekend at Mount Panorama.
The sixth and final round of a record-breaking Sprint Challenge season will see the category race three times at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International this weekend and decide the Pro, Pro-Am and Class B titles.
That will be followed two weeks later by a climactic Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia showdown at the VAILO Adelaide 500 on the Adelaide streets.
The Sprint Challenge season has been an unpredictable affair, though series leader Marco Giltrap’s consistency has him entering the final round with a commanding lead.
The 19-year-old New Zealander leads by 171 points with 180 up for grabs this weekend, meaning a 17th-placed finish in the opening race would be enough to deliver the Team Porsche NZ / Earl Bamber Motorsport driver his first Porsche title.
Giltrap has won four races this season, has never finished lower than fifth in a race and claimed round victories at Phillip Island and Symmons Plains to entrench himself at the top of the standings early in the year, where he has since remained.
The fight for the final steps on the podium is well and truly alive, however, with Aron Shields and Oscar Targett set to battle for second and third.
Shields leads Targett by just 32 points heading into this weekend, with the pair arguably the most in-form drivers among the whole field.
Targett won two of the three races at The Bend last time out, with Shields claiming the epic enduro cup race at the South Aussie venue.
The Pro-Am fight will also be decided this weekend, with Sam Shahin holding a 118-point lead over newcomer Matt Slavin in Porsche’s ‘race within a race’ title battle.
Shahin will be seeking his second PMSC Pro-Am title, having previously won the title in 2019.
Meanwhile, a fast-finishing Brett Boulton will aim to overhaul David Greig in the battle for third position in the final round.
Class B, for first-generation 991 GT3 Cup Cars, sees the most exciting title battle of all, with Phil Morriss, Lachlan Harburg and Brad Carr all firmly in contention.
The consistent Morriss leads Harburg by just 51 points heading to Bathurst, with Carr a further 26 behind in third.
A bumper 29-strong field will contest the three races this weekend, including 13 in the Professional class.
The field includes the addition of Porsche Carrera Cup Pro-Am regular Danny Stutterd, while Nash Morris will also return aboard his TekworkX Motorsport entry.
Last year at Mount Panorama, Kiwi Ryan Wood scored pole position with a Sprint Challenge record 2m07.9652s flyer.
Wood then claimed the round with two wins from three starts, would-be champion Tom Sargent claiming the first and second overall.
Wood also holds the Bathurst Sprint Challenge lap record at 2m07.7595s.
The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field will hit the track for a 45-minute practice session on Friday morning, ahead of qualifying at 1:50pm that afternoon.
Race one will be the enduro cup title decider and is due to commence at 4:40pm and run for 18 laps.
Two 7-lap sprint races on Sunday will then decide the title, with the first sprint at 12:05pm and the second at 2:50pm.
Both Sunday races will be live on Stan Sport, while the season finale will also be live on free to air via the Nine Network around Australia this weekend.
ENTRY LIST – Round 6, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia
|1||3||Racing to Beat FA||Pro-Am||Jonathan||Gliksten||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|2||4||Grove Racing||Pro||Oscar||Targett||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|3||5||Jacque Fine Jewellery||Class B||Jacque||Jarjo||NSW||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen I|
|4||7||Se7en Racing, InnovationTANK, AeroAscent, JSW Powersports||Pro||Slade||Orsmond||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|5||8||Car Mods Australia||Class B||Bradley||Carr||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen I|
|6||11||Aera Cloud & Security||Pro-Am||Eric||Constantinidis||NSW||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|7||12||Ares Group||Pro-Am||Matt||Slavin||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|8||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Pro-Am||Sam||Shahin||SA||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|9||14||McElrea Racing||Pro||Caleb||Sumich||WA||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|10||15||POWER AND EARTH. COM||Pro||Clay||Osborne||NZ||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|11||16||TekworkX Motorsport||Pro||Hamish||Fitzsimmons||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|12||23||Bloxsom Team Navy||Pro||Lachlan||Bloxsom||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|13||27||LocalsCo||Class B||Dave||Allan||WA||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen I|
|14||34||Wall Racing / Hillcrest Merimbula||Pro-Am||Caspar||Tresidder||NSW||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|15||35||Hyundai Forklifts||Pro-Am||Indiran||Padayachee||NSW||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|16||64||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro||Marco||Giltrap||NZ||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|17||66||PER Equipment Rentals||Pro-Am||Tim||Wolfe||WA||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|18||67||TekworkX Motorsport||Pro||Nash||Morris||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|19||77||Sonic / Dayle ITM||Pro||Ronan||Murphy||NZ||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|20||78||Sonic Motor Racing / Rosche Paper / Supa Straws||Pro||Marcos||Flack||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|21||81||McElrea Racing / McLennan Motorsports||Pro||Tom||McLennan||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|22||84||Bold Living||Pro-Am||Brett||Boulton||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|23||86||Morriss Racing Service||Class B||Phil||Morriss||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen I|
|24||87||DW Motorsport||Pro-Am||David||Greig||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|25||88||Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T Marts / True Grid||Pro||Harrison||Goodman||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|26||91||Autohouse Racing||Class B||Lachlan||Harburg||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen I|
|27||99||Southern Star Windows P/L||Pro-Am||Ross||McGregor||VIC||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|28||116||TekworkX Motorsport||Pro||Aron||Shields||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|
|29||702||TekworkX Motorsport||Pro-Am||Daniel||Stutterd||QLD||Porsche||GT3 Cup Gen II|