Porsche’s second-tier GT3 Cup Challenge series has emerged as a popular source of talent for Carrera Cup’s top drivers ahead of this month’s Pro-Am at Phillip Island.
With each Carrera Cup professional having to choose a Challenge co-driver, the popular Porsche feeder series will have six of its full-time racers feature in the upcoming two-driver Carrera Cup round.
Geoff Emery and Tim Miles have both previously stood on the Carrera Cup Pro-Am podium and will aim to replicate the feat on May 22-24, racing with Shae Davies and Matt Campbell, respectively. John Goodacre will join Cam McConville, John Karytinos will again race with Michael Almond and Fraser Ross will enter his home event alongside Sydneysider David Ryan. Scott Taylor will also race as the primary driver alongside Dean Canto as he continues to race in both series.
Eight of the current regular Carrera Cup drivers graduated from the GT3 Cup Challenge category, five of who are outright or class champions.
Reigning GT3 Cup Challenge Class B champion Campbell suggests selecting a Challenge driver from the feeder series was the obviously choice for his Pro-Am campaign.
“I know first-hand what the transition from GT3 Cup Challenge to Carrera Cup is like. The two series are vastly different in professionalism and competitiveness, but at the end of the day the different generations of 911 race car have many of the same characteristics on track, which gives you confidence when making the transition,” said Campbell.
“For our team getting a strong driver from the GT3 Cup Challenge ranks was the obvious choice. Tim is part of our GT3 Cup Challenge line-up and he helped Renee Gracie gain her first Carrera Cup podium at last year’s Pro-Am event. I think Tim and the other GT3 Cup Challenge guys will have an edge for the event, though all the co-drivers will have plenty of pace. It will be an awesome event.”
GT3 Cup Challenge’s most experienced campaigner, Goodacre, is looking forward to the transition to the top tier Porsche championship. Goodacre sits on a record 28 round starts in GT3 Cup Challenge along with one Carrera Cup appearance when co-driving with Matt Kingsley in the 2013 Pro-Am.
“Racing in Carrera Cup is always pretty special; the championship is highly competitive and it’s a thrill to race in the latest spec 911 race car,” said Goodacre, who is looking forward to joining McConville in the two Phillip Island endurance races.
“I can’t think of a better circuit to race the 991 GT3 Cup car and Cam is one of the best out there so I’m looking forward to the event. GT3 Cup Challenge is a great preparation for something like the Pro-Am and it will be fun to line up against a lot of my usual competitors for the two races. I’m very pleased to be given the opportunity to race alongside Cam and I’m hoping I can help deliver the Copyworld Racing team its second podium result of the season.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round will be the first Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals event of the season, which will feature two hour-long Pro-Am races.