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Mar 30, 2014 - 08:56 PM
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Porsche Man Makes Mustang Switch For Winton
Posted by: newsla on Mar 30, 2014 - 08:54 PM
Sports Cars
Porsche Man Makes Mustang Switch For Winton


ENZED TOURING Car Masters newcomer Sven Burchartz will make the biggest switch in his racing career yet when he makes his series debut at Winton Motor Raceway in Victoria this weekend.

 

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The Melbourne Lawyer joins the series – for muscle and sports cars built before 1976 – with a wealth of experience in the sport, but none in the car he’ll be driving at the tricky 3.0km circuit near Benalla.

Burchartz has long been a fan of the Porsche brand and is a champion of Porsche one-make racing in Australia. And though he could have driven one of the classic 1970s 911 RSs entered in TCM – he’s elected to drive a Ford Mustang, instead.. just for something different.

Winton will mark the first of a multi-round deal that will see him share Chris Stilwell’s five-litre 1968 Ford Mustang TransAm this year. The white Mustang is entered in the ProSports class – new to TCM this year to facilitate drivers looking to share a car throughout a season yet still get a shot at some silverware.

Burchartz won the inaugural Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series in 2008, finished second the year after and remains one of the toughest competitors the one-make series has seen.

And while he’ll be making the transition from 911 to Mustang for the first time this weekend, he’s not phased by the challenge ahead.

“The whole ‘unconventional’ layout of having a front engine and rear-wheel-drive will take some getting used to for me,” Burchartz quipped.

“But I’ve tested Chris’ car once already and will do so again before the round, and it’s very good to drive. It makes a glorious noise and really does stop and turn very well.

“The racing in TCM is clean and they put on a really great show. In some respects, it’s very similar a concept to what we originally started with when we founded the GT3 Cup Challenge.”

Burchartz, who after a short time away from the sport returned to racing recently in a Historic Porsche 911, said he was keen to change up his racing career with a switch to the heavier, but more powerful, TCM cars.

“When I look at TCM, I see a bunch of drivers fanging V8’s and a few Porsche’s.. and I was dead keen to not drive a Porsche! When Chris offered this deal I couldn’t say yes quickly enough.

“Chris is a client of mine and we were chatting about series and the fact that I’d never driven one before and It all led from there.

“I think I’m uncomfortably close to the driver demographic in the series so I should fit right in!”

The ProSports class features some tough competition, including Clipsal 500 class winner Cameron Mason (Chev Camaro) and HQ Monaro driver Leo Tobin and as such, Burchartz says he has realistic goals about results at Winton this weekend.

“I’m not going to get near the outright guys but we’ll be going for a class win and that’s the aim.

“ProSports is ideal for us because we can share a car but still get a chance to win a cup at the end of the year. It’s sustainable for blokes with a diary in business life but can spare the time to share a drive and do three or four rounds.

“I’ve done about four million laps at Winton so if I was going to start this anywhere it was going to be there: I’ve driven and tested there for years. I didn’t want to have a strange car that I was still getting comfortable with as well as having to learn a track as well.

“It should be interesting.. the little cars like the Porsche’s will be good but I think the Mustang will be on the money. It should be good.”

John Bowe (ProMasters), Mark King (ProAm) and Cameron Mason (ProSports) lead their three respective classes into the second round of the ENZED Touring Car Masters Series at Winton this weekend.

The round will mark the debut of three brand-new cars to the series, including Ian Palmer’s Pontiac Firebird, Tony Hunter’s Chevy Monza and Bruce McLeod’s Falcon XA Superbird.

Three different drivers won the opening three races of the season at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide in early March.


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