Porsche 944s on show for Nationals Cup

The Porsche 944 Challenge will make their grand return to the Shannons Nationals this weekend when the category lines up for the special invitational Dennis O’Keefe Cup.

In order to mix up the results, the category’s cup will provide a different starting grid for their three 15-minute races.

The weekend will begin with a normal qualifying formation in the first race, a reverse grid in the second and a handicap start in the third and final race.

Series president and competitor Mark Taubitz believes that the unique formations will have many benefits to both competitors and spectators.

“This will give everyone on the grid a chance to have a consistent weekend and give the fast guys a run for their money in the cup,” Taubitz said.

“It was great result last time we did this formation, because the guys who were usually at the back of the pack were right up the front and it ended up going right down to the wire.”

Headlining the 13-strong field alongside Taubitz is series leader Cameron Beller who will be looking for a strong result despite no points going to the overall season tally.

“Obviously, there will be a bit of competition because a lot of us get very competitive when we jump in the car and put the helmet on,” Beller said.

“We all want to win regardless of whether there are points on offer or not.”

Regular 944 Challenge competitors Robert Holding, James Mitchell, Richard Howe, Pedr James, Keith Marriner, Peter Doherty and Michael Westaway have also confirmed their entry in the event.

A notable omission from the grid is series runner-up Jamie Westaway, who will sit out of the weekend to give father Tony an opportunity to jump back into the Porsche.

Tony is yet to register a race this season, the driver was part of the series before giving up his seat at the start of the year for Jamie.

Former 944 Challenge champion Chris Lewis-Williams has dusted off his old winning 944 to make a special appearance in the Dennis O’Keefe Cup.

Lewis-Williams is one of two drivers to join the category for the Nationals weekend at Winton Motor Raceway, Paul Crocletti being the other competitor to be in the standalone cup.

The Porsche 944 Challenge’s qualifying session on Saturday morning will set up their first race on Saturday afternoon, their two remaining races taking place on Sunday.

The Shannons Nationals at Winton Motor Raceway will take place on 1-2 September with live coverage of Sunday’s sessions available live and free at motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.