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Jan 30, 2014 - 07:17 AM
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Richard Muscat joins Erebus Motorsport GT for Australian GT
Posted by: newsla on Jan 30, 2014 - 07:15 AM
Sports Cars
Richard Muscat joins Erebus Motorsport GT for Australian GT


Despite having just two years of circuit racing experience under his belt, reigning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge champion Richard Muscat is already considered one of the best young talents in Australia, and Erebus Motorsport GT and the Erebus Academy are proud to reveal that he will join the team to contest the 2014 Australian GT Championship in an SLS AMG GT3.

 

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“Due to our commitments in China last year we were unable to contest the full season in Australia, but it was always high on our agenda for 2014,” Daniel Klimenko, Team Principal of Erebus Motorsport GT explained. “We know the package is good - with six wins from seven starts in AGT last year - so all we needed was the driver, and to attract someone as talented as Richard in a GT-spec car, puts us in a very solid position to fight for the championship again this year.”

“We looked at a number of options for this year - not just in Australia,” Muscat admitted. “Initially we were going to go the next step and join the Carrera Cup field, but after testing the SLS at Winton last year and going to Macau to see the event there, I was just blown away with how good the whole Erebus program is. After that I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

In two seasons of competition the 21-year old Victorian has won two championships (Porsche 944 and GT3 Cup Challenge) and broken records at almost every venue he has competed. In two seasons across those two classes he contested 38 races and won 26 of them, in the process also claiming ten of 13 pole positions, and eight new lap records..

It was that kind of talent which brought Porsche stalwart John Morriss into the equation, the long-time sportscar racer putting all his support behind Muscat to help him negotiate a career path in GT.

“I was all for the Porsche program - in fact we’d ordered one of the new Carrera Cup cars,” Morriss confirmed. “But Richard was adamant that he wanted to drive with Erebus and contest the Australian GT Championship, and potentially some events overseas.

“From the outset two years ago I could see a special talent, and he just keeps surprising me. We put a deal together for him to make the transition from 944 to GT3 Cup Challenge last year, and he rewarded all of us in the best way possible by dominating the series, but more than that, he completed more than 4000 kilometres of racing without putting a single scratch on the car. That’s talent!”

Muscat was present during the Erebus team’s ‘shakedown’ of their twin SLS AMG GT3’s at Phillip Island ahead of the Bathurst 12-Hour, and he will be an interested spectator behind the wheel of a Class B car as the Erebus team go for back-to-back victories on Mount Panorama.

“Sadly we did the deal after the 12-Hour preparations had been concluded, so there was no option there this year,” he admitted. “I’m keen to be a part of their program next year though, so I wanted to go up there and get some valuable miles round the mountain - it will be my first visit up there and I’m really looking forward to it.

“The test was okay, it was pretty warm and there wasn’t much of an opportunity to really push the cars, and I was mindful of the fact that they were in the middle of preparations for the 12-Hour, but it reminded me again of just how complete a racecar they are.

“We’ll have a chance to test again ahead of the opening round of the championship at Sandown and be ready for what the season brings. It sounds like there’s some very good teams and drivers lining up for this season, so it won’t be an easy task carrying on the Erebus team’s tradition of victory, but we’ll certainly be giving it our best shot.”

“This is the very opportunity we’d been looking for,” Barry Ryan, Erebus Motorsport’s General Manager of Motorsport said of his new recruit. “Unfortunately for us we weren’t able to put a complete season together despite being the most successful team in Australian GT last year, but this year we think we have the right driver and the right package to go after the championship.

“Richard’s ability is without question. To have won two championships so convincingly in his rookie season is incredible enough, but to do it with a better than two-thirds win ratio for every race he started AND without getting a mark on the car, that’s impressive.

“He has had a few laps now in the SLS, but we haven’t been able to let him loose yet to see what he can really do, but after the success we had with fellow Erebus Academy graduate Jack Le Brocq last year, I think Richard will adapt very quickly and I expect he’ll be the form driver in GT this year.”

The opening round of the 2014 Australian GT Championship is set for Melbourne’s Sandown International Raceway as part of the Shannons Nationals series, on March 28-30 with two 60-minute races scheduled across the weekend.

Richard Muscat is proudly supported by Genis Steel, Archiclad Plasterboard and Fibre Cement, Carter Grange, Genesis Australia Pty Ltd and Muscrete Constructions.

Richard Muscat (DOB 09/07/1992)
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Champion (2013)
• Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Rookie of the Year (2013)
• 13 races wins from 18 starts (2013)
• 3x race lap records, 5x qualifying lap records (2013)
• 17x fastest race laps from 18 starts (2013)
• 4th in Carrera Cup debut (best result second) - 2013
• Porsche 944 Challenge Champion (2012)
• Porsche 944 Challenge Rookie of the Year (2012)
• 13 races wins from 20 starts (2012)
• 5x race lap records (2013)
• 14x fastest race laps from 20 starts (2013)


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