2010 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series schedule announced
2/09/2009 at 6:45:34 AM:

BUILDING TRADITIONS could be the most important phrase for the 2010 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series calendar, officially announced today by series organizers.

The rapidly growing all-Porsche series will once again take in six rounds across Australia next season, visiting five states primarily with the Shannons Nationals of which the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge is a ‘core’ category.

The 2010 schedule features a group of circuits quickly becoming ‘traditional’ stops for the series, spread across nine months. The calendar features a two month break in winter to allow for competitors to recharge their batteries and make it easier for those with businesses needing attention during the busy June – July end of financial year period.

Most rounds are split by between 4 – 6 weeks allowing plenty of time for competitors to regroup and to reduce the impact on time away from both businesses and family.

The calendar is confirmed pending any changes made by the Shannons Nationals following the confirmation of the V8 Supercar schedule, expected later this month.

As it did in 2009, the 2010 schedule will kick off at the Bathurst 12 Hour event at Mount Panorama, Bathurst in February.

More than 40 cars took the starter at the iconic 6.213km circuit this year in a round that set the scene for a season filled with big grids featuring competitive racing and a fun atmosphere.

The GT3 Cup Challenge will then rejoin the Shannons Nationals for the remainder of the year, starting with a return to Symmons Plains raceway in Tasmania – the scene of the 2008 title decider.

The Tasmanian round will also mark the 50th anniversary of motorsport at the Symmons Plains circuit and, with all five core Shannons Nationals categories set to be present at the Launceston circuit, a big event is ensured.

South Australia’s Mallala Raceway will host round three, series officials keen to return to the circuit that was the scene of the categories ‘birth’ in 2008 and of fantastic local hospitality and support enjoyed each year by the competitor base.

After a hugely successful inaugural round just a month ago, the GT3 Cup Challenge will then return to Morgan Park Raceway outside of Warwick in regional Queensland on August 14 – 15 on the extended track.

The Warwick round this year had perhaps the most level playing field of the season with the battle between the strong local contingent and the visiting interstaters a feature, series organizers keen to see more ‘southerners’ make the trip next year following the success of the inaugural round.

The Eastern Creek round will move from its July date this year to one in early September whilst Sandown Raceway in Melbourne will back-up as the season finale’, as it will be this year.

The Sandown date, provisionally scheduled for late October, ensures a much more compact season offering cost savings and easing logistical issues for competitors.

“We are very pleased to lock away our 2010 calendar so early to give our competitors plenty of time to prepare,” Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series Category Manager and director Jodi Zylstra said.

“For next year we have allowed for a more balanced schedule with more time between rounds, and a much earlier finish than this year given we start our season in early February.

“There is no racing in June or July which avoids the predominantly cold and wet winter months but also allows for our competitor base, a majority of whom are self-funded businessmen, to focus on end of financial year commitments without having to squeeze in a round or two.

“On the whole we are very pleased with our 2010 schedule and are looking forward to continuing the growth of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series.”

For the first time in the series history the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit misses out on a round, the decision designed to ease travel pressures as the Shannons round at the famous Victorian track falls in the busy period between Symmons Plains and Mallala.

“Not going to Phillip Island, a driver’s favourite, was a tough decision to make, but it was one made for the competitors,” Zylstra explained.

“That round would have fallen in between Symmons Plains and Mallala and as such would have given us 3 rounds in 6 or 7 weeks – which would have put too much strain on our competitors. We were adamant for 2010 that we would leave a good break of 4 – 6 weeks between rounds.”

The final round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series will be held at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne on November 28 – 29.

For more information head to www.gt3cupchallenge.com.au

2010 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series Schedule:

Round 1 – Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW (Bathurst 12Hour) 12-14 February
Round 2 – Symmons Plains Raceway, TAS (Shannons Nationals) 10-11 April
Round 3 – Mallala, SA (Shannons Nationals) 29-30 May
Round 4 – Morgan Park, QLD (Shannons Nationals) 14-15 August
Round 5 – Eastern Creek, NSW (Shannons Nationals) 11-12 September
Round 6 – Sandown Raceway, VIC (Shannons Nationals) 23-24 October
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