It was victory lane for Aaron Love at The Bend Motorsport Park as he completed an exceptional debut season in Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia and we caught up with the talented 17-year old West Aussie.
The Sonic Racing driver and Porsche Michelin Junior racked up an impressive 6 race wins and 3 round wins on his way to finishing 2nd in the Championship points on debut.
“Overall, I think the season went very well as we just kept on getting quicker and quicker,” Aaron said.
“Unfortunately, a couple of key race results really hurt us in the championship but I don’t want that to dampen the mood knowing that I was one of the quicker drivers.
“And to finish second to a 20-year old in my debut season of Porsche racing is really, what I think is a really big achievement.
“Obviously having my debut race in Carrera Cup at Gold Coast was a massive challenge.
“But I really enjoyed that weekend as it’s one of my favourite tracks and we got a few really promising results.
“So overall I am really pleased with how this year went knowing that I can carry some confidence going into next year.
“I want to thank Sonic for backing me from the start and thank all of my sponsors and personal sponsors because without their support I can’t do what I do,” Aaron said.
He started off the season at Symmons Plains Raceway in April for Round 1 with a string of 4th finishes across the three races. After going quickest in Practice 1.
Sydney Motorsport Park for Round 2 in May proved to be a tougher weekend after P2 in Race 1, P10 in Race 2 after being in the lead for several laps and then working his way back up to P2 in Race 3.
Phillip Island for Round 3 in June was a dominant display from the 17 year old West Aussie coming 3rd in Race 1 before winning his first race in Race 2 and then winning again on Sunday morning in Race 3. It was Aaron’s first Round Win and first couple of race wins.
Queensland Raceway for Round 4 in August showed a lot of promise given Aaron was having to get used to driving a new track. However, after an incident in Race 1 where another competitor spilled oil and fluid right in front of him, Aaron fought from the rear back to 6th. Race 2 up to 4th. Race 3 finished 5th.
Sandown Raceway for Round 5 in September was Aaron’s second round victory. He won Races 1 and 2, then finishing 2nd in Race 3. Love was in a class of his own at Sandown displaying all his track talents.
The Bend Motorsport Park for Round 6 saw Aaron smash last year’s lap record in Practice 2 when he went quickest. He was P2 in Qualifying and The Bend was Aaron’s third round victory after some edge of your seat racing with Sonic team Max Vidau. He was 2nd in Race 1. 1st in Race 2 and 1st in Race 3.
Aaron won 4 out of the final 6 races in GT3 Cup Challenge and finished the season full of confidence.
Adding to his 2019 list of achievements was a determined performance during his debut in Porsche Carrera Cup at the Gold Coast 600 on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
The second generation WA star worked his way up to 6th in Race 3 and played an important tactical role within the Sonic Racing team which helped them collect their first Championship since 2015.
Ben Blackburn Racing, one of Aaron’s personal sponsors, said:
“Aaron’s progress and development throughout this year has been mega,” Ben said.
“Going from racing Formula 4 to GT3 Cup this year and he seriously stepped up to meet the challenge. He started winning races and a few round wins once he was comfortable and now he is beaming with confidence in the car.
“Some of his driving at Phillip Island and Sandown in particular was up there with the best passing we have seen in the GT3 Cup Challenge category in recent years.
“Aaron’s sector times on debut at Gold Coast in Carrera Cup were really impressive. By race 3, he was maintaining position against some massively experienced guys who have been racing for over a decade.
“Its a credit to Michael Ritter and the Sonic Racing boys who have given him a great package to drive all year.
“Aaron has a tremendous understanding of the Porsche Michelin Junior program pyramid and he knows how to successfully build relationships and interact with sponsors and other key stakeholders in motorsport.
“I was absolutely amazed at just how much knowledge he has of these cars and his detailed understanding of motorsport in general.
“We are right behind him. So now just looking forward to next year and to see what the future holds,” Ben said.
Aaron would like to thank all of his sponsors for their support, including SRG Global, Cocos Restaurant South Perth, Porsche Centre Perth, Barbagallo Motors and Ben Blackburn Racing.