Jordan Love has secured the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia championship, despite crashing out on the last lap of race three at Phillip Island.
The Western Australian was locked into a fierce battle with rival Brenton Grove in the closing stages of race three, but Love found himself in the gravel trap on the last lap of the race, letting Grove cruise to victory.
Earlier in the day, Love had taken out the race one and two wins, which gave him a big enough points cushion to Grove in the championship standings to seal the professional class and outright title, even through he ended his campaign with a DNF.
Grove however, didn’t have the perfect weekend either. The young racer was unable to set a time in qualifying after a crash in practice left his car in ruins. The team resorted to the spare car late Friday night, but Grove would have to start race one on Saturday morning from last.
Carving his way through the field, Grove managed to work his way into the lead by race three, courtesy of a brilliant start from fourth position.
The 20-year old held it throughout the race, heading every lap except for the opening one. Love, who had a difficult first half of the race hooked onto the back of Grove as the championship rivals locked horns, but Grove was able to cruise home when Love found the ‘kitty litter’.
The battle for the Elite class title was just as intense, with Anthony Gilbertson and Sam Shahin duking it out for the top spot and the big trophy.
The two drivers were separated by just three points heading into the final race of the championship, which ended up being a decisive three points for Gilbertson who claimed the accolade after a mid race collision between Shahin, John Steffensen and himself saw the trio fail to finish the race.
The result was bittersweet for Gilbertson who was crowned champion with a rather bent and mangled car, but disastrous for Shahin, who was on the path of bridging the points gap to Gilbertson before the crash.
John Karytinos was a star performer throughout the day, taking a clean sweep of all the Elite class race victories which placed him on top of the outright points tally for the Phillip Island round.
David Greig claimed the Class B championship, but Andrew Goldie was the Class B round winner ahead of Greig and Brenton Cook on the podium.
The series win for Love is also the third successive championship for his team; Sonic Motor Racing who scored outright title’s with Ryan Simpson in 2015, Hamish Hardeman in 2016 and now Love in 2017.
“It’s been an awesome season,” said Love.
“We sort of went into the year with the idea that it was going to be a learning year, being a new style or racing for me because I’ve come out of Formula 4, but to dominate like I have; it’s been wicked.”
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge will be back next year, with the 2018 National Racing calendar set to be announced in the coming weeks