We take a look at the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge from Queensland


In our ongoing coverage from Queensland Raceway, we take a look at what happened in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli.


Micheal Almond won the fight in the night – taking a hard fought win from Richard Muscatt


John Goodacre took the Elite class (or class for Gentlemen drivers) win in race three, with a podium in race 2


Scott Taylor took home third in the night time race in the Elite class


Richard Walker is a relatively new face to the Porsche Cup Challenge, using a Championship contending Carerra Cup car from the past


Almond would take podiums in both of the Sunday races, having a great weekend overall


Stephen Grove took his first Elite class win on the night race and backed it up on the Sunday with another win and outright podium


The racing would be hard fought with consistently trains of cars being within a couple of seconds


Jack Fella would have a clean, if anonymous run over the weekend


John Modystach would be doing double duty with the Australian GT Championship but his run would come to an end with a broken engine before race 3


Goodacre is gaining pace and consistency in the Championship


Almond would take the fastest lap on Saturday’s race – the only race in the season that Muscatt hasn’t taken the fastest lap


Steven McFadden would the the last unlapped car in the 40 lap first race – taking 10th overall

The races in brief

Race 1

Michael Almond has scored back-to-back night race victories in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli at Queensland Raceway, while Stephen Grove won the Elite division battle for the first time.

Tonight’s 40 lap enduro, the finale’ of the Jim Richards endurance trophy series, was run in Le Mans style darkness – only a few flood lights illuminating key points of the circuit.

Almond in the Toshiba / Copyworld Racing No. 66 Porsche GT3 Cup Car made a stunning start from the second row of the grid, splitting Richard Muscat and Phil Woodbury on the run to turn one.

As the race progressed, Almond and Muscat would trade fastest laps – gapping the field by lap nine – while Woodbury dropped back with a flat spotted Pirelli tyre. Lap nine would also be the same lap that Almond set the quickest lap of the race, ending Muscat’s 12-race streak, a series record.

Almond twice tried to pass Muscat, attacking first on lap 14 and then again five laps later – the second attempt the successful one before he would pull away to take a strong victory.

It was Almond’s second night race win at Queensland Raceway, having won the series’ ingaural night race that the same venue twelve months ago.

“I had been practicing my starts – they were my weakness last year so I have been concentrating on them this year, which worked here tonight,” Almond said.

“I felt comfortable out there in the car tonight.  We made some changes to the car from the qualifying session that really paid off.  I got into a rhythm, maintained my pace through the longer corners and was able to piece the race together. It was a great race.

“To get the fastest lap was great – I feel sorry for Richard as he had a great run but the car felt great and I’m happy to be able to take the fastest lap.”

After being passed at turn three, Muscat would later run wide at turn six later in the race, costing him any chance of re-passing Almond for the lead.

“It was tough fighting with Michael – his lights were blinding and it was difficult coming out of turn two and turn three as it was blind in the night and his high-beams were hard to deal with,” Muscat said.

“We had a great battle and he passed me at turn three and I suffered a bit of brain fade at turn five. Late in the race though I was able to put in the same sort of lap times as Michael, which was good.”

It wasn’t all bad news for Muscat however, as he wrapped up the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy.

Peter Fitzgerald, Phillip Woodbury and John McCorkindale would battle all race, rarely more than a few seconds apart all race.

Fitzgerald would the final step on the podium from McCorkindale, with Woodbury finishing the race fifth after his tyre dramas.

Steven Grove would take out the Elite Class, beating out John Modystach by four tenths of a second to score his first ever Elite class victory in the GT3 Cup Challenge Australia.

“I’m really pleased – it was a tough race,” said Grove, who like Woodbury suffered a right-front tyre drama.

“I was worried that it was going to go down, so I just backed off and made sure I could win my class. I saw John (Modystach) coming at the end and it was fantastic to hold him out. I’m really pleased with the result.”

Race 2

Richard Muscat has continued his winning form in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Presented by Pirelli today at Queensland Raceway, winning round 5 of the series in style.

Meanwhile, Stephen Grove broke through for his maiden triumph in the series’ Elite division today.

Taking both race wins on Sunday, Muscat has provisionally won the 2013 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Presented by Pirelli, his 103 points margin over John Goodacre unreachable in the final round.

Muscat’s #22 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car took the lead from early challenger Michael Almond midway through race two and was never headed in race three, completing a strong weekend and return to the top of the podium.

“It was a credit to the team. We made some changes after last night’s race and they seem to have worked,” Muscat said.

“The car was a rocketship today and the racing was very good.  The changes we made last night worked and I’m very happy with today’s results.

“We’ve won the Championship provisionally now, but we’ll go into Phillip Island like we have done all year.  We take it race by race and we’ll approach the season finale in the same way.”

Despite Muscat’s form, Michael Almond in the Copyworld/Toshiba #18 was never far away from the lead, the pair finishing first and second in both of Sunday’s races.

Hoping to repeat his stunning form in Saturday night’s enduro, Almond started from pole in race two but couldn’t resist Muscat’s pace, losing the lead on lap six. Muscat then seized his opportunity, setting a new lap record of 1:13.3082 as he powered to the win.

That form was then repeated in the third race when Muscat led from the line and was never headed, though Almond moved to second in the professional class standings with his strong performance this weekend.

“The racing was good but it highlighted areas where I needed to improve. I probably needed to push harder,” he said.

“Both races were pretty straight forward.  I was able to lead from the start of the second race but once Muscat got past he build a small gap.

“I was able to maintain his pace but couldn’t challenge. The third race was pretty straight forward and didn’t have any issues.”

Behind Muscat and Almond, former Speedway ace-turned circuit racer Jon McCorkindale scored his maiden Porsche trophy with third in the professional class this weekend, driving his Dial Before You Dig-sponsored 997 GT3 Cup Car.

The third step of the podium would prove to be hotly contested; Stephen Grove taking the spot in the morning race before John Goodacre did the job in the finale, having charged from last to fifth in race two earlier in the day following his race one non-finish.

Grove’s race two outright podium finish was the first in his GT3 Cup Challenge career.

Having taken his Elite class win in Saturday’s night race, he backed that up with a second class win and a second today to seal his maiden Porsche Elite division round win.

“I wasn’t expecting to be so competitive this weekend,” he beamed following race three.

“We didn’t have many tyres coming into the races on Sunday so we had to manage those while pushing as hard as we could. The team did a great job and we worked hard throughout the weekend. On track it was a matter of pushing when we could and also being patient. It was a great weekend.”

Grove led home a series of first-time Elite division podium finishers, Scott Taylor (3rd) and John Karytinos (2nd) joining Grove on the podium.

John Modystach had looked like contending for the Elite division round victory however failed to start the final race after damaging his engine earlier in the day.

See more coverage from our Shannons Nationals weekend at Queensland Raceway

Preview with Nathan Assaillit

Interview with Australian GT driver, Klark Quinn

Interview with F3 Driver, Ben Gersekowski

Interview with Greg Murphy

Interview with Pedders Motorsport drivers

A hotlap experience

Our Australian GT photo gallery

Our Kumho Tyres V8 Touring Car photo gallery

Sports Sedan photo gallery

By Sam Tickell, August 2013

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring exclusive interviews and photos from motorsports finest drivers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the motorsport field. With a heavy presence on Facebook, Twitter and iTunes where we have over 2800 followers, our mission to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. We have partnered with motorsport teams like Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind Motorsport, Dark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.

We are always looking for new people to join our team. If you are a motorsports photographer or journalist looking for additional exposure or a great place to learn your trade, contact us