Porsche titles up for grabs

There will be a lot to race for when the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge hits Winton for the fifth round of the Shannon Nationals.

Boasting the largest field of the five categories taking part, 24 drivers will use the series penultimate round to score points for both the outright standings and the final round ofJim Richards Endurance Trophy.

Leading both championships is Cooper Murray who has enjoyed a sensational season thus far, winning six races for the season, including a five-consecutive roll spanning threecircuits.  

The series will be on track three times this weekend with the first the 50 minute endurance race, marking the final of the Jim Richards Endurance trophy, while Sunday will return to the normal format with two 20-minute races.

Murray will be facing serious challenges from both Simon Fallon and Max Vidau, with the former just five points in the outright standings and Vidau close behind in the trophystandings.

Another battle to look out for will be for fourth between Jimmy Vernon and Chelsea Angelo, with Vernon’s recent season extension announcement potentially playing a role.

“Now that I have the reassurance that I will be competing until the end of the season, I’ll be more comfortable and relaxed than I have been all season,” Vernon said.

Dan Day joins Luis Leeds as the final drivers in the Pro class, Leeds hoping to find some much-needed consistency at Winton in a bid to catch Pro-AM class leader Daniel Stutterd in the outright standings.

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Stutterd headlines the largest class in the category with a further eight drivers taking part, Brett Boulton and Michael Hovey having the best chance of the lot to catch him.

Benalla local Shane Barwood will use his ‘home track’ as a chance to get his first class podium for the year, while New Zealander Sam Filmore and Ross McGregor will be hoping to continue their recent run of good form.

Making a return to the series after missing the previous round are Michael Loccisano and Marcel Zalloua, while series debutant Jonathan Gliksten rounds out the class.

Class B competitors Sergio Pires and fourth placed Richard Bloomfield also return to the series after an Ipswich absence, Bloomfield’s miss making it difficult to catch the top three including leader Christian Pancione.

Pancione, who has not put a foot wrong all season except a race one retirement at Sandown, has the class title in his grasp, with Phil Morriss and David Greig needing a miracle at Winton to overtake the 16-year-old at next month’s final round in Sydney.

A disheartening DNF from both Tom Taplin and Andrew Goldie in the final race of Queensland’s round will be extra motivation for the pair at Winton.

Coming off his best result for the season to date is a confident Tony Martin who rounds out the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge field.

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.

An extensive library of races from 2018 is also available on-demand on the TV tab of motorsportaustraliachampionships.com.au.