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Each of last year’s GT Trophy title winners will be competing at Sandown this weekend led by last year’s champion, Rob Smith. Smith will lead a gaggle of Audi machinery comprising of Australian GT regular Steve McLaughlin, Rod Salmon, Rick Mensa, Con Whitlock, 15-year-old Ryan How and a pair of two driver combinations, Jake Fouracre and Rio Nugara, while Gary Higgon and Matthew Stoupas share the KFC Audi.

Leading the Italian challenge are the pair of Lamborghini’s for the returning Jan Jinadasa and Richard Gartner, who switches from a Porsche 997 Cup Car to a newly acquired Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 run by Wall Racing. Representing the prancing horse will be Victorian State Series competitor Wayne Mack in his Ferrari 458 GT3, fresh from competing at the Australian Grand Prix.

Reigning Challenge Class champion Scott Hookey will also represent Ferrari in his challenge spec 458, while another Victorian State Series competitor Emanuel Mezzasalma will make his national debut in his Porsche 997 Cup Car.

An interesting entry is the KTM X-Bow of Justin McMillan and Dean Koutsoumidis, which will be the only GT4-spec car running this weekend, but will be joined by a few more throughout the year when more GT4 cars become available.

The MARC cars also make a return with reigning class champion Jake Camilleri returns to take on the experienced John Goodacre and Keith Kassulke. Camilleri proved quick last year at the opening round, so will be one to watch not only in the MARC Class but potentially for outright.

Two 50-minute raises makes up this weekend’s racing as part of the opening round of the Shannons Nationals.