The Walkinshaw Group will take the plunge into the Australian GT category when it enters an all-new Porsche 911 GT3 R this season.
Company boss Ryan Walkinshaw confirmed that he is diversifying the family’s motor racing stocks in Australia which is synonymous with the Holden Racing Team.
The company’s interest in a GT program has been known for some time and saw managing director Adrian Burgess attend last November’s Highlands 101.
“The GT3 category has enjoyed much success globally and is at the forefront of motorsport around the world – we are looking forward to being a part of that as a factory supported team,” Walkinshaw said.
“We are delighted to be introducing the first Porsche GT3 R to the Australian GT starting grid as I know it will be very competitive on-track and will attract a lot of support from the Australian public.
“My family has a rich history in endurance racing and under the Porsche brand the Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) designed Porsche WSC-95 won two Le Mans 24-hour races in 1996 and 1997.
“To once again be representing Porsche, in Australia and potentially internationally, is something we are very proud of and we look forward to achieving big things together.”
The new Walkinshaw/Porsche alliance has not yet disclosed its driver line-up for the GT campaign or whether it will couple the GT sprint series with the new-for-2016 endurance championship.
Paul Ellis, director of motorsport for Porsche Cars Australia, said the team is well versed on delivering winning results.
“In the Walkinshaw Group we have a partner well capable of bringing Porsche outright success in GT racing in this part of the world,” Ellis said
“It’s great to have a professional and successful operation such as Walkinshaw Group make a commitment to campaign a GT3 R in Australia and the greater Asia Pacific region.
“Porsche and Walkinshaw have a successful history in Europe dating back to the WSC Le Mans prototype of the mid to late 90s, so it’s wonderful to see that association now reborn in Australia with the new GT3 R.
“It is critical for Porsche to have a strong presence in GT racing in Asia Pacific beyond the already successful one-make Carrera Cup championships in the region.”
The Walkinshaw Group is looking to build on its previous racing success having won the 2014 Australian Rally Championship with Scott Pedder at the wheel.
Walkinshaw’s move into GT racing coincides with its V8 Supercars team downsizing from four cars to two this season.