After an exciting season opener at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the 2019 CAMS Australian GT championship heads west for an exciting round under lights.
Part of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s Pirtek Perth SuperNight support list, there is a lot to look forward to in the category’s return to Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway.
The two drivers to watch in this weekend’s three 40 minute sprint races are GT3 front runners Max Twigg and Peter Hackett, with the two set to battle it out in their Mercedes-AMG GT3s after claiming one race win and a nice set of points in Albert Park.
While Hackett found his groove during the season opener and will be a strong chance for maximum points, Twigg has enjoyed previous success on the Western Australian track and will be gunning to make it two consecutive round victories.
Both drivers will have their challengers too with local Peter Major returning to the championship in his Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX GT3 and reigning champion Geoff Emery in the mix for an upset.
Major has nice memories of his local track after taking out the last GT race to take place there in 2017, while Emery has less to be excited about after suffering one of the biggest accidents of his career the previous year.
Emery would still be positive though, with Audi having seeing plenty of success at the track in previous years.
Another slight advantage to Twigg is the previous success in Perth enjoyed by his team Scott Taylor Motorsport, with the Victorian based team holding the lap record of 55.4 seconds thanks to the efforts of Craig Baird in 2016.
Twigg’s teammate in Scott Taylor is the another former race winner, but this year he will be targeting a class victory over an outright title as he battles current Trophy Series leader Ryan How in his STM Type 997 Porsche GT3 R.
How has enjoyed an incredible rise over the past 12 months and his start to 2019 was even better as he picked up four class wins in Melbourne. After a last minute support-deal with Nick Kelly, the teenager was able to make the trip west thanks to the financial aid of Kelly.
Both Taylor and How will also have their work cut out for them during the weekend, with the Chevrolet Camaro GT3 of Dale Paterson sure to attract a legion of fanfare, while Richard Gartner and Joseph Ensabella will also provide plenty of headaches during round.
Other drivers to look out for during the championship’s second round are Mercedes-AMG GT3 pilot Mark Griffith and Trofeo Motorsport’s former Australian GT race winner Ryan Millier.
Behind the wheel of the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 which saw he and car owner Jim Manolios nab a Pro-Am podium at the Bathurst 12-Hour in 2017, Millier will be hoping he can handle the sprint round in a the successful car.
While he may not be in the same car, Manolios has again opted to enter the Trofeo Challenge category with the stunning Huracan Super Trofeo EVO. His biggest rival will be the season opener’s stand out Challenge driver in Nick Karnaros. Karnaros heads into the round with a solid lead in the standings thanks to his two class wins at Albert Park.
Starting on Thursday with two 30-minute practice sessions, qualifying will take place on Friday afternoon setting up the first race on Friday evening. Saturday will see the category undergo one afternoon race and the final race for the whole weekend.
The CAMS Australian GT Championship holds its second round at as part of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Barbagallo Raceway on 2-4 May.