A record field is set for Round 3 of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series presented by Pirelli, which heads to Queensland Raceway this weekend (August 5-6).
Boasting 21-cars across three classes, Trophy, Challenge Modern, and MARC, the field promises to deliver a thrilling weekend of competition around a circuit renowned for exciting racing.
Queensland Raceway marks the halfway point in the Australian GT Trophy Series, which has already seen nail-biting battles at both Sandown and Winton Motor Raceway.
At Sandown, Rod Salmon (Skwirk Online Education) and Rob Smith (Southern Star Developments) were inseparable all weekend while at Winton Motor Raceway Steve McLaughlan (Valvoline Jamec Pem) was pushed hard by Matt Stoupas (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Salmon.
The quartet of Audis will again battle it out this weekend, with McLaughlan looking to extend his series lead.
The Audi R8 LMS Ultra pilot holds a commanding position at the top of the table, though came under intense pressure last time out.
Around a circuit which has traditionally favoured Lamborghini and Porsche, he’ll also face a renewed challenge from Jan Jinadasa (JJA Consulting) and Richard Gartner (Safe-T-Stop), both aboard Lamborghini Gallardos.
Upholding the honour for Porsche in Trophy Class will be Emanuel Mezzasalma (Harcourts Epping), who has demonstrated strong pace already in the Porsche 997 Cup Car, as will series debutants Garry Mennell and Kean Booker who’ll share a similar car for On Track Motorsport.
Rick Mensa also stands as a strong contender, having quietly gone about his racing to sit third in the title race in the CCC Polished Concrete Audi R8 LMS and Travers Beynon continues making strides forward in the fearsome black and gold Audi.
Having shared driving duties so far in his Australian GT career, Rio Nugara is ready to race solo for the first time aboard his Eat Furniture Audi, while the ever consistent Con Whitlock (Whitlock Bull Bars) will again be looking to pickup a healthy haul of points from his journey north.
Ferrari is well represented, with Wayne Mack returning to the fray in the Mack Bros Roofing Products Ferrari 458 GT3 in Trophy Class, with three more entries from the Prancing Horse in Challenge Modern.
They’ll be driven by 2016 class winner Scott Hookey (Fiorano Motorsport) and Australian GT Championship regular Mark Griffith, who returns to the Trophy Series for the second time in his Griffith Corporation run Ferrari F430.
Newcomers Jamie Arratoon and John Nikolovski (Aranik Racing) will also line up in a Ferrari 458 Challenge.
A five car MARC Class completes the record field, with John Goodacre (Gap Solutions/Sektor) and Keith Kassulke (MARC Cars Australia) ready to do battle once more.
Having competed in the Australian GT Championship with Mark Griffith, Jake Camilleri returns to the MARC Class this weekend aboard a MARC Mazda V8, with one other entry for MARC Cars Australia still to be confirmed.
The packed grid is rounded out by Geoff Taunton and Jason Busk, who’ll once again share a MARC Focus V8 for Eastgate Engineering.
Action at Queensland Raceway gets underway on Saturday morning with practice and two 20-minute qualifying sessions.
That will set the grid for the first of two 50-minute races on Sunday, which will feature the added spice of pit stops and driver changes.
All the action will be available to watch live and free via an online stream, which will be available via the Australian GT website.
Round 3 Entry List: Queensland Raceway
|1||Audi Sport Customer Racing||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Rob Smith|
|6||Audi Sport Customer Racing||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Rod Salmon|
|10||Harcourts Epping||Porsche 997||Emanuel Mezzasalma|
|12||Anarik Racing||Ferrari 458 Challenge||Jamie Arratoon/John Nikolovski|
|17||Travers Beynon Racing||Audi R8 LMS||Travers Beynon|
|19||Griffith Corporation||Ferrari F430||Mark Griffith|
|22||CCC Polished Concrete||Audi R8 LMS||Rick Mensa|
|23||Kentucky Fried Chicken||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Matthew Stoupas|
|33||Fiorano Motorsport||Ferrari 458 Challenge||Scott Hookey|
|40||On Track Motorsport||Porsche 997||Garry Mennell/Kean Booker|
|66||Gap Solutions/SEKTOR||MARC Focus V8||John Goodacre|
|69||Safe-T-Stop||Lamborghini Gallardo||Richard Gartner|
|72||Whitlock Bull Bars||Audi R8 LMS||Con Whitlock|
|75||Audi Sport Customer Racing||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Steve McLaughlan|
|77||JJA Consulting Group||Lamborghini Gallardo||Jan Jinadasa|
|88||Audi Sport Customer Racing||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||Rio Nugara|
|91||MARC Cars Australia||MARC Focus V8||Keith Kassulke|
|93||MARC Cars Australia||MARC Mazda V8||Jake Camilleri|
|94||MARC Cars Australia||MARC Mazda V8||TBC|
|95||Eastgate Engineering||MARC Focus V8||Geoff Taunton/Jason Busk|
|147||Mack Bros Roofing Products||Ferrari 458 GT3||Wayne Mack|