Juniors headline GT3 Cup starting this weekend

The Porsche Michelin Cup GT3 Cup Challenge is back for 2019 with the first round of the season part of this weekend’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in Tasmania.

Last year, a number of young drivers chose the category to kick-start their career in motor sport and in 2019, the trend continues as seven Michelin Juniors will take part in the GT3 Cup Challenge.

Headlining the list of juniors taking part is Max Vidau, the South Australian returns to the series after finishing outright third last year behind Simon Fallon and Cooper Murray, with the latter now racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup.

Joining Vidau in the Pro-class is Christian Pancione, who joins the class in a new car after dominating the B class last year to comfortably seal the class title. Tom Taplin will also return to the pro-class for a full season after moving up throughout 2018.

While a host of juniors return to the series after solid years in their own right, the category welcomes four new drivers hoping to follow in the footsteps  of category graduates and success stories Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans.

Fresh from a runner-up finish in the CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship, Ryan Suhle will join McElrea Racing alongside Australian Formula 3 champion Harri Jones, while another Formula 4 regular in Aaron Love also joins the ranks.

The final junior to join the program is former Toyota 86 Racing Series driver Cameron Crick who will spend 2019 competing in both the GT3 Cup Challenge and Superutres.

With the seven drivers opting to choose the Category as a stepping-stone, Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager Troy Bundy was thrilled to welcome the new breed of talent into the one-make series.

“Young drivers are increasingly seeing GT3 Cup Challenge as an effective series to launch their racing careers – and for good reason,” Bundy said.

“We’ve seen the rise of Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans up the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid into professional international careers and many other young drivers are looking to replicate this proven pathway, starting with a GT3 Cup Challenge campaign.

“We’re pleased to have Christian Pancione, Tom Taplin and Max Vidau continue in GT3 Cup Challenge while also welcoming Cameron Crick, Harri Jones, Aaron Love and Ryan Suhle to GT3 Cup Challenge as Michelin Juniors for this season.

“Michelin Australia has been a tremendous support for young Porsche drivers in Australia through the Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia and it’s pleasing to see such a strong group of drivers as part of this programme in 2019.

With the first round taking place as a support category for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship this weekend, The GT3 Cup Challenge will be part of the Shannons Nationals for the remainder of its six round season.

The Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australian launches its 2019 season at the Symmons Plains Raceway  on 5-7 April.