Australian GT races into Phillip Island as part of the Shannons Nationals this weekend for what will be the biggest event in the category’s history.
Thirty-five cars will make the journey to Australia’s most picturesque race track in a double-header event featuring the CAMS Australian GT Championship and the inaugural round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship.
For the CAMS Australian GT Championship it marks the fourth round of the campaign and will prove crucial as the title battle heats up.
Just 12 points separates the top three in the championship, with Klark Quinn (Darrell Lea) holding a slender two-point advantage fellow McLaren 650S GT3 driver Nathan Morcom (DPO) with former championship leaders James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall (Supabarn Supermarkets) in third.
On track they’ll be joined 52 other drivers on the 4.445km Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, including the returning Marco Bonanomi (Jamec Pem) and former DTM champion Bruno Spengler (MARC GT) who joins the all-new MARC GT squad.
The 32-car field will have two 60-minute races with compulsory pit stops on Saturday, following two qualifying sessions on Friday afternoon.
The all-new Australian Endurance Championship will then take centre stage on Sunday afternoon with its inaugural 101-lap event, the Phillip Island 101.
A 30-car field will take on the epic 101-lap challenge which will include at least one driver change and two compulsory pit stops.
Twenty-seven cars from Saturday’s Australian GT Championship round will be on double duty with a further three entries from MARC Cars Australia set to go toe-to-toe with the latest GT3 machinery the world’s leading automotive manufacturers.
Joining the field for both GT Championship and Endurance Championship events is former V8 Supercars champion Garth Tander, who will team up with Australian GT race winner Steve McLaughlan in the Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS.
He’ll face off against his V8 Supercar co-driver Warren Luff in the Object Racing McLaren 650S GT3 who shares with Round 1 race winner Tony Walls.
Joining forces once again with Klark Quinn will be Shane Van Gisbergen, the V8 Supercars regular having recently competed in a McLaren 650S GT3 in the Blancpain Sprint Series at Silverstone.
Debuting the brand-new Lamborghini Huracan, the first of its kind in Australia, Jim Manolios (Pirelli/Trofeo Motorsport) has paired up with his CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series co-driver Ryan Millier.
The duo will also be on double duty, competing in both the CAMS Australian GT Championship and CAMS Australian Endurance Championship during the action-packed weekend.
Australian GT will take to the track on Friday morning with opening practice for the Australian GT Championship, followed later in the day with a session for the Australian Endurance Championship.
Two Australian GT Championship qualifying sessions then follow ahead of the opening race at 9:35 on Saturday morning. The second 60-minute race is scheduled for 11:50.
Focus will then turn to the Australian Endurance Championship, with qualifying getting underway at 10:35 on Sunday morning ahead of the 101-lap epic, beginning at 13:05.
All the Australian GT action will be streamed live online via the Australian GT website (www.australiangt.com.au) from Saturday morning through to the conclusion of the Phillip Island 101 on Sunday afternoon.