Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion Matt Campbell will this weekend make his debut in the world’s most competitive one-make sports car championship, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Campbell’s progression to Porsche’s pinnacle one-make series is the result of the 22-year-old’s three-year rise of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid: the driver from Warwick, Queensland, made his sports car debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia category in 2014 before two successful seasons in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia (2015-2016), the second of which he was crowned champion.
Campbell was also Carrera Cup Australia’s nomination to attend the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout, which he won to become a Porsche Junior with partial funding for a seat on the grid of the Supercup championship.
Since relocating from his hometown of Warwick to Germany, Campbell has aligned himself with the Swiss-based Fach Auto Tech – the team with whom now-Porsche works driver Earl Bamber won the 2014 Supercup crown.
Campbell, now more settled into European life, is looking forward to the new challenge of racing against some of the world’s top sports car stars.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Europe for two months,” said Campbell.
“When I left Australia, I didn’t know where I was going to live or how everything was going to unfold – literally all I had was a boarding pass, a bag, my helmet and Stuttgart as a destination.
“Fortunately, it’s all come together and I’m staying with some great people who have made me feel at home and allowed me to dive into preparations for racing this year.”
Campbell’s busy program has included multiple test days at three separate locations, including a strong run in the official pre-season Supercup test at Catalunya where he was consistently in the top 10 times across the two days of running.
“I’ve tested at Spa-Francorchamps, Catalunya (Spain) and the Hungaroring so it’s been great to get some experience on three very different circuits and in different environments,” Campbell explained.
“There’s pretty limited track time in the Supercup so getting as much preparation and experience before the season starts will hopefully be extremely beneficial. I’ve been working well with my new teammates, Josh Webster and Glauco Solieri, and the relationship with them and the team has been great.
“I’ve been taking it all in and even though it’s too early to tell where we are placed relative to everyone else, it has felt pretty good and it looks like our times have been competitive.
“I’ve been happy with the process so far and I’m just now really keen to get on track and go racing to find out where we sit amongst the field.”
The testing process has also allowed Matt to get up to speed in the second-generation Type 991 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, which will be adopted into Porsche Carrera Cup Australia in 2018.
“The new car is really good and it drives very similarly to the old car, just with more low-down torque and more power than its predecessor,” Campbell explained.
“It’s all been a pretty amazing experience so far, and that’s before we actually go racing.”
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, starting this weekend with two races at the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, runs as a support category for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and visits iconic locations such as Monaco, Monza, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and the season finale in Mexico City.
2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Calendar
Round 1 – Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix (Barcelona) May 12-14, 2017
Round 2 – Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix (Monaco) May 25-27, 2017
Round 3 – Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix (Spielberg) June 30-July 02, 2017
Round 4 – Formula 1 British Grand Prix (Silverstone) July 07-09, 2017
Round 5 – Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix (Budapest) July 21-23, 2017
Round 6 – Formula 1 German Grand Prix (Hockenheim) July 28-30, 2017
Round 7 – Formula 1 Belgium Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) August 25-27, 2017
Round 8 – Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix (Monza) September 01-03, 2017
Round 9 – Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix (Mexico City) November 02-05, 2017