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MATT CAMPBELL READY FOR PORSCHE SUPERCUP DEBUT

Matt Campbell makes his Porsche Supercup this weekend in Spain - Photo: Supplied

Matt Campbell makes his Porsche Supercup this weekend in Spain – Photo: Supplied

AFTER Two months of solid preparation, Matt Campbell will make his Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut this weekend at the Catalunya Circuit in Spain.

The reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion moved to Europe immediately after finishing on the podium in this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour race, and has since immersed himself into European life and in preparing for competition in the world’s top one-make series.

Campbell will race with Swiss-based Fach Auto Tech, who won the 2014 Supercup with Kiwi star Earl Bamber.

The 22-year-old Queenslander is now based near Porsche’s Stuttgart factory in Germany and has completed an extensive testing program ahead of his competitive debut this week.

“It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Europe for two months!” Campbell said.

“When I left Australia, I didn’t know where I was going to live or how everything was going to unfold – literally all I had was a boarding pass, a bag, my helmet and Stuttgart as a destination!

“Fortunately, it’s all come together and I’m staying with some great people who have made me feel at home and allowed me to dive into preparations for racing this year.”

Campbell’s busy program has included multiple test days at three separate locations, including a strong run in the official pre-season Supercup test at Catalunya where he was consistently scored within the top-10 across the two days of running.

“I’ve tested at Spa Francorchamps, Catalunya (Spain) and the Hungaroring so it’s been great to get some experience on three very different circuits and in different environments,” Campbell explained.

“There’s pretty limited track time in the Supercup so getting as much preparation and experience before the season starts will hopefully be extremely beneficial. I’ve been working well with my new teammates, Josh Webster and Glauco Solieri, and the relationship with them and the team has been great.”

“I’ve been taking it all in and even though it’s too early to tell where we are placed relative to everyone else, it has felt pretty good and it looks like our times have been competitive.

“I’ve been happy with the process so far and I’m just now really keen to get on track and go racing to find out where we sit amongst the field.”

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion Matt Campbell - Photo: Supplied

Reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion Matt Campbell – Photo: Supplied

The testing process has also allowed Matt to get up to speed in the second-generation type-991 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, a new car for 2017 that is a step up in performance from the existing car still raced in Australia.

“The new car is really good and it drives very similarly to the old car, just with more low-down torque and more power than its predecessor,” Campbell explained.

“It’s all been a pretty amazing experience so far, and that’s before we actually go racing.”

Participation in Porsche’s junior driver program also means a significant media program – Matt sneaking in a trip to New York for a Porsche event just before hitting the track in Barcelona for the pre-season test.

A maiden experience on the iconic Nurburgring Nordscleife was also on the schedule, ensuring the first steps towards qualifying for the all-important Nurburgring license that allows drivers to race competitively at the venue.

“The Nurburgring was amazing and I’ll be back later this year to get some more time and go to the next license level which will allow me to compete in some of the incredible races they have there.”

The opening round of the 2017 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be contested over two races at the Catalunya circuit, just outside of Barcelona in Spain.

Matt will line up against the 26-strong field for one practice, one qualifying session and two sprint races to commence the season.

Race 1 will be held on Saturday (2AM Australian time, Sunday May 14) and the second on Sunday prior to the Spanish Grand Prix, the race scheduled to start at approximately 7PM AEST on Sunday, May 14.