Eight car outright class for Australian GT season opener

Australian GT will boast a 25-car field for its season opener

An eight car outright field will contest the opening round of the Australian GT Championship at this weekend’s Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

The 25-strong entry list features four classes, with the Championship (outright) class boasting the additional of the all-new McLaren 720S GT3.

Fraser Ross unveiled the car, which will be run by new squad 59Racing  in Melbourne last week.

It will be the first time the car has competed in Australia, with the same true for the squad’s McLaren 570S GT4 set to be raced by Ryan Simpson.

Also in the Championship field is 2017 and 2018 title winner Geoff Emery, while 2018 Australian Endurance Championship winner Max Twigg is also present.

American-based Australian Kenny Habul will join the competition in a Scott Taylor Motorsport run Mercedes-AMG GT3, with Audi and Aston Martin the only other brands represented in the Championship class.

Australian GT recently revised driver eligibility regulations limiting ‘professional’ drivers to only the three endurance format events on the calendar.

The Trophy Series, for older-spec GT3 cars, boasts seven cars with the addition of Richard Gartner’s Lamborghini R-EX which is now eligible for the class.

Scott Taylor will also compete in the class in his Porsche 911 GT3 R, teenager Ryan How is set to make his second Australian GT appearance after his debut at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2018, and Nick Kelly, who won the 2018 competition, also returns.

The GT4 field boasts five cars, with two KTM X-Bow GT4s joining the 59Racing McLaren, Mark Griffith’s Ginetta G55 GT4, and only the second appearance of the Audi R8 GT4 in Australian GT competition.

Rounding out the field is the five car Trofeo Challenge class, with series owner Jim Manolios to debut a Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO against a quartet of previous generation Porsche GT3 Cup Cars.

Australian GT is first on track in Albert Park for two qualifying sessions and the opening 20-minute race on Thursday, before three further races across each of the weekend’s remaining three days.

Entry List: Australian GT Championship, Round 1

Num Team Driver(s) Car Class
1 Valvoline Geoff Emery Audi R8 LMS Evo Championship
7 Local Legends Snacks Tony Quinn Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Championship
8 WM Waste Management Max Twigg Mercedes-AMG GT3 Championship
24 KFC/Ctech Laser/Moveitnet/B&B Tony Bates Audi R8 LMS Evo Championship
28 Aussie Driver Search Lee Partridge Audi R8 LMS Championship
59 59Racing/HSY/Opti-Coat Fraser Ross McLaren 720S GT3 Championship
63 Eggleston Motorsport Peter Hackett Mercedes-AMG GT3 Championship
75 SunEnergy1 Racing Kenny Habul Mercedes-AMG GT3 Championship
34 Motorsport Leasing John Morriss Porsche 911 GT3 R Trophy
64 Aaron Laboratories Joseph Ensabella Porsche GT3 Cup Car Trophy
69 Safe-T-Stop Richard Gartner Lamborghini R-EX Trophy
71 Dale Paterson Motrsports Dale Paterson Chevrolet Camaro GT3 Trophy
99 Industrie Nick Kelly Audi R8 LMS Ultra Trophy
125 BTE Bulk Transport Equipment/Ren Racing Ryan How Audi R8 LMS Ultra Trophy
222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Scott Taylor Porsche 911 GT3 R Trophy
16 MPD Steak Kitchen Victor Zagame Audi R8 LMS GT4 GT4
48 M Motorsport Justin McMillan/Glen Wood KTM X-Bow GT4 GT4
50 Vantage Freight/WME Group David Crampton/Trent Harrison KTM X-Bow GT4 GT4
55 Griffith Corporation Mark Griffith Ginetta G55 GT4 GT4
74 59Racing Ryan Simpson McLaren 570S GT4 GT4
21 Melbourne Ortopaedic Group Shane Barwood Porsche GT3 Cup Car Trofeo Challenge
22 Seidler Group Chris Seidler/Chris Seidler Porsche GT3 Cup Car Trofeo Challenge
25 Earth Electrical Contractors Nick Karnaros Porsche GT3 Cup Car Trofeo Challenge
29 Haekokinesis/Trofeo Estate Jim Manolios Lamborghini Super Trofeo EVO Trofeo Challenge
87 Daikin Airconditioning David Greig Porsche GT3 Cup Car Trofeo Challenge

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