Capacity grid for Australian GT opener

Speedcafe.com

Wednesday 27th January, 2010 - 10:41am

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The Australian GT class at Albert Park last year

The Australian GT class at Albert Park last year

Want to enter the first round of the 2010 Vodka O Australian GT Championship at Adelaide? Sorry, you can’t, because the grid is fully subscribed!

The exceptional growth of the GT category has made it necessary for the administrators to revise the marque (manufacturer) limit numbers in the GT Championship division.

In 2010, the Championship division will feature a maximum of five entries running Lamborghini Gallardo GT3, Porsche GT3 997 Cup S, and Dodge Viper GT3.

Four Mosler MT900 GT3 positions are filled with the two positions for Aston Martin DBRS9 and Maserati Trofeo GT3 also taken.

Single positions for Porsche GT3 997 Cup Car, Audi R8 GT3 and Lotus Exige GT3 have also been allocated.

Australian GT also holds the rights to invite new competitors with marques not currently competing in the Championship or high profile local/international individuals.

“This line-up, together with strong entries in the GT Challenge and GT Production divisions, sets the scene to make the 2010 Vodka O Australian GT Championship among the strongest Sportscar series running anywhere in the world,” said category manager Terry Little.

Adding to the good news is that Vodka O has re-signed as the category’s major sponsor for the next three years.

Reigning 2009 GT champions David Wall (GT Championship), Jordan Ormsby (GT Challenge) and Paul Freestone (GT Production) all return to defend their titles, but the most competitive Sportscar field ever assembled in Australia will be breathing down their necks.

2008 class champ Mark Eddy will drive a Audi R8 GT3, while another former champion Greg Crick will be returning to the fray in a Dodge Viper GT3. Crick has also entered another two GT3 Vipers for the season, with drivers to be announced soon.

Tony and Klark Quinn have a selection of glamorous cars to compete in after securing the two Mosler MT900 GT3s from John Briggs. Along with the Aston Martin DBRS9 that Tony Quinn raced last year, the pair will be an instant on-track threat.

Porsches will again be at the forefront, with Jim Richards (Porsche GT3 997 Cup Car), brothers Theo and James Koundouris, Max Twigg, and Marc Cini – all in Porsche GT3 997 Cup S models.

Ross Lilley and Ian Palmer in their Dodge Viper GT3’s will also be strong contenders while Ash Samadi will be running a Mosler MT900 GT3 along with Andrew Macpherson.

The Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 fleet consists of entries for Dean Grant, Ted Huglin, Andrew Taplin, Peter Hill, and Ross Zampatti, while Rod Wilson will pilot a Maserati Trofeo model.

Angelo Lazaris will be behind the wheel of his Lotus Exige GT3.

Making a welcome return to the opening rounds of the season is Irish international Hector Lestor who will be running a Ferrari 430 GT3.

In the GT Challenge division Jordan Ormsby (Porsche GT3 RS) can expect plenty of competition from a grid including fellow Porsche drivers Michael Loccisano, Paul Tresidder, Simon Middleton, Shane Smollen and Ray Angus, and more. Tresidder is expected to sit out the first round in Adelaide due to a recent operation on his leg, and is likely to be replaced by Des Wal.

The Corvette Z06 of Paul Freestone will be joined by an identical car for Barrie Nesbitt, and Tony Alford will again drive his Nissan GTR R35 with Timothy Poulton contesting the GT Production division in a Lotus Exige S.

The field will expand yet again for Round 2 of the Vodka O Australian GT Championship at the F1 Australian Grand Prix just two weeks after Adelaide.

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