A bumper 28-car field has been entered for the opening round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 3 – 6.
Twenty-six Championship Class cars and two Invitational Class contenders, representing seven of the world’s most exotic automotive names, will take to the picturesque Adelaide street circuit.
It marks an increase in over the same event in 2015, which last year featured 12 Trophy Class and four Challenge Class car cars alongside the Championship Class contenders.
For 2016, Trophy Class and Challenge Class are eligible for their own championship for the first time courtesy of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series.
Heading into the Clipsal 500 six Audi’s have been confirmed with factory driver Christopher Mies set to debut the No. 1 on his JAMEC-PEM Audi R8 LMS following his 2015 Australian GT Championship title success.
Mies headlines the attack from Melbourne Performance Centre with Steve McLaughlan (JAMEC-PEM), James Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets), Rod Salmon (Skwirk Racing) and the Bathurst 12 Hour class winning duo of Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer (Adina Apartments) rounding out an impressive Audi customer contingent.
A privately entered R8 LMS from Fastway Couriers for Simon Ellingham makes for a total of six Audi’s on the grid.
Former two-time Championship winner Klark Quinn will once again pilot the Darrell Lea backed McLaren 650S GT3, sharing the car with father Tony Quinn for the opening round.
McLaren’s effort is strengthened by Tony Walls, who is set to return to the streets of Adelaide in the Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3.
Maranello Motorsport boasts a Ferrari 458 GT3 for Grant Denyer, runner up to Mies in last year’s championship, who will share the No. 88 car with V8 Supercars endurance driver Tony D’Alberto.
Lamborghini will field five cars spread across two models with three Lamborghini R-EXs and two Gallardo FLIIs entered.
Andrew Taplin and Dean Canto will share the Taplin Motorsport entered R-EX while Roger Lago will take the controls of his own Lago Racing R-EX.
The third car will belong to Justin McMillan, who will make his racing return after his M Motorsport Lamborghini was heavily damaged by fire at the season finale Highlands 101 event last November.
Peter Rullo will share with son and rising star Alex behind the wheel of their Performance West Lamborghini Gallardo FLII while M Motorsport will also prepare the car driven by John Magro and Hayden Cooper.
Germany is well represented with Mercedes-Benz and Porsche also out in force to complement the strong Audi contingent.
WALTEC Motorsport has a Porsche GT3-R entered for John Martin and Aaron Tebb while Andrew Macpherson will steer the AMAC Racing GT3-R.
Scott Taylor Motorsport boasts a Mercedes-AMG GT3, which Kiwi veteran Craig Baird will race alongside team boss Scott Taylor with Mark Griffith (Griffith Corporation) also debuting an Erebus prepared Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Ash Samadi will continue to fly the flag for the race proven Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
In the Invitational class Keith Wong will race a Porsche GT3 Cup MY11 while Brenton Griguol will compete in the Bank SA Ferrari F430 GT3.
The CAMS Australian GT Championship has three 30 minute races across the weekend.