Sonic Lineup For Porsche Pro-am Challenge
often that you see Mick Ritter this excited.
But then this is no ordinary moment.
When the third round of the Carrera Cup Australia
Championship was announced as a Pro Am event at the
Philip Island GP Circuit and scheduled for later this
month it set about a reunion of sorts and three
performance pairings that has the Sonic boss in a whirl.
“Coming home” to his Sonic roots is established V8
Supercar star Tim Slade as he pairs up with elite racer
and comeback kid Adrian Mastronado for the one-off
“We’re really excited that Sladey’s back,” grins Ritter,
“it’s one of those situations that you never rule out
but you don’t give much though to either when drivers
move on to fulltime V8 Supercar drives. The Pro-Am is a
great concept and it gives Tim the opportunity to return
to our team and drive these great cars.”
Surprisingly the now Supercheap Auto Racing driver never
raced Carrera Cup in his formative years having skipped
from his Sonic Formula Ford drive to Development Series
before then moving into the main game.
“Ironically he was one of our Carrera Cup pit crew in
2005 but he never drove the cars,” recalls Ritter, “I
guess almost ten years down the track he now gets that
“I did the Pro-Am race with Marc Cini last year and I
really enjoyed it,” Slade explains, “I had some
frustrations in my Supercar world at that point so it
was good to do a one-make series event. When I found out
that Mick (Ritter) was re-entering Carrera Cup this year
I immediately asked him about the Pro-Am and if we could
put a deal together. So here we are.”
Slade will have tested twice at Phillip Island and once
at Winton by the time the May 23-25 event is conducted
and believes that by then he and co-driver Mastronado
will be on the money.
“I’m pleased to be paired with Adrian because I think
he’ll learn a lot from having another driver in his
car,” Slade says, “with his return to competition after
a lengthy layoff it’s always good to get someone else’s
perspective on what the racecar is doing. I think the
Pro-Am will be really beneficial to someone like Adrian
The other two pairings for Sonic are mouthwatering
Carrera Cup debutant Nick McBride will be joined by the
vastly experienced Rodney Jane.
“Nick’s already showing enormous potential,” explains
Ritter, “so to pair him with someone as experienced as
Rodney will be a huge plus for Nick. And to be honest,
Nick’s car speed and his energy will no doubt bring the
best out in Rodney as well. I see this pairing as very
exciting for our team and for the event.”
Livewire Nick Foster will be paired with someone with
less experience than he but that’s not something that
will slow this combination down as talented Sydneysider
Ryan Simpson saddles up.
Simpson, a former Sonic Formula Ford and now Kumho V8
Touring Car Series frontrunner recently showed his
considerable potential at the Mallala round by posting
pole position, breaking the lap record and recording
three race wins in the process.
“Ryan’s a very handy racer,” Ritter points out, “and
he’s in prime form after Mallala. The pairing of Ryan
and Nick will be a real handful for our rivals. Nick’s
only a young guy but he has a very wise head on his
shoulders and he’ll bring Ryan up to speed very quickly
in the Porsche. I couldn’t be happier with all three of
our pairings and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sonic Motor Racing Services Pro-Am combinations:
Tim Slade (Pro) Adrian Mastronado (Elite) Veritas #39
Nick Foster (Pro) Ryan Simpson (Elite) Bob Jane T-Marts
Nick McBride (Pro) Rodney Jane (Elite) Bob Jane T-Marts
More information on Team Sonic’s Pro-Am entry into the
Carrera Cup Australia event will follow soon.
For more information please visit www.teamsonic.com.au
Mastronado Veritas #39