The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia will have its third round of the season next month as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ meeting at Morgan Park.
One driver who is certainly enjoying a new lease of life in the series is Christian Pancione, with the Victorian now in second place after an impressive weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park in May.
Trailing his teammate Ryan Suhle by 26 points, the Victorian overcame a self-proclaimed disappointing season opener at Phillip Island to notch up two race wins and a second place finish in Sydney.
With the young Callum Hedge adding to his round one race win with three podiums, the race for the title is already shaping up to be one of the most entertaining in recent years and Pancione welcomes the challenge.
“Round two in Sydney was a big step forward. Realistically, our focus for this year was to be winning races and after a luckless opening round, it was good to bounce back,” Pancione said.
“We reassessed ourselves ahead of Sydney Motorsport Park which ended up being a thousand times better. I was on top of my game, the car was set up well and I won my first ever races in the series.
“Ryan and I had been setting the pace all weekend and we were both stronger by sharing the data, which is good for our development. He has been a great teammate who has been getting the best out of me.
“To be honest, I would prefer a stress-free clean run to a title, however it’s really good to have some great battles going on. I like the challenge and it’s all clean.”
The duo’s fight to title will continue at Morgan Park next month with three races once again to make up the schedule – one of which will be run on Saturday and the remaining two to be run on Sunday.
Pancione, who is in Queensland this weekend for the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup’s round at the NTi Townsville 500, has only been to Morgan Park once in his life – a test day early last year.
Despite his lack of experience at the venue, a problem that a few of the competitors are likely to have, the 19-year-old was a fan of the circuit.
“The test day at Morgan Park was my first experience not on just the track, but for being in that part of Queensland too,” Pancione added.
“I did enjoy the track quite a lot because it is small, tight technical. I don’t want to make mistakes because there isn’t much out there and I think it will be a fair bit of fun.
“The one thing I will need to make sure of is that I am qualifying high because passing is tough. With that said, I am looking forward to it as it’s very similar to Winton.
“This is my final year in the series, so I would love to go out on a high and win the title, which would set myself up nicely for the 2022 Carrera Cup.”
The third round of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia and fourth round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships takes place at Morgan Park on 13-15 August.
Tickets for the event are now on sale with all general admission tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s sessions currently available. Each day will cost $25 per person while a weekend pass costing $40. For Friday sessions and children under the age of 15 all weekend, admission is free but attendees must register for a free ticket in advance for contact tracing purpose.
Photo: Speed Shots Photography