This season, three Australians will compete in the international Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup series as part of a newly created outfit, Team Australia.
Run by German operation Herberth Motorsport, the team will be led by Australian racing sensation Joey Mawson, who will make the transition from open wheel racing to sports car competition in the world’s most competitive one-make sports car series.
Mawson will be joined in the three-car squad by two drivers with significant experience in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia championship – three-time TAG Heuer Pro-Am champion Stephen Grove and the series’ most experience racer, Marc Cini.
The creation of Team Australia will mark Australia’s best ever representation for a season in the international sports car championship. While the series has featured several Australian full-time drivers since its 1993 inception – including the likes of Alex Davison, Sam Power, Spike Goddard and Matt Campbell – it has never before had three Australians contested an entire individual season.
The local trio will join New Zealander Jaxon Evans on the grid, who received a position as a Porsche Junior upon winning both the 2018 Carrera Cup Australia title and the 2018 Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout.
For Mawson, the move sees a transition from the GP3 Series, in which he raced throughout the 2018 season. Before that, the Sydneysider won the 2016 ADAC Formula 4 Championship before stints in both the British Formula 3 and European Formula 3 series ahead of his eventually move to the GP3 Series and, ultimately, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
“It’s surreal to think that I’ll be racing at many of the same events at which I competed last season, though this time in very different surroundings – and a roof over my head,” said Mawson.
“The move to Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup definitely marks a different tact in my career, moving from open wheelers to sports car racing. It’s an ultra-competitive racing series and I look forward to lining up for the 2019 season alongside my Team Australia teammates Marc and Stephen. My maiden Supercup season will no doubt include some unique challenges so it’s great to have a couple of Australians in my corner throughout the season.”
Stephen Grove is one of Carrera Cup Australia’s most successful TAG Heuer Pro-Am drivers having three class crowns to his name from title successes in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Grove also has international one-make experience having raced in several one-off appearances at Spa-Francorchamps (Carrera Cup France), Sepang International Circuit and Fuji Speedway (Carrera Cup Asia) along with three Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup races in 2018 at Monaco, Hockenheim (Germany) and Hungaroring (Hungary).
“Having had my first taste of Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup last season, I’m thrilled to now be part of this new Team Australia outfit for the entire 2019 season,” said Grove.
“The Supercup series limits the number of Pro-Am entries for each season, so it’s an honour for both myself and Marc to be accepted for 2019. After what I experienced last season at Monaco, Hockenheim and Hungaroring, I can’t wait to expand on that and compete in the entire Supercup series in 2019 and see how we go against the other experienced Pro-Am drivers in the series.”
Meanwhile, vastly experienced Pro-Am driver Marc Cini, who starts his 300th Carrera Cup Australia race this weekend at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, will complete the three-car team.
“This is truly a bucket list thing for me. I have great admiration for Porsche one-make series – I’ve raced in Carrera Cup Australia since its debut series – so when this opportunity to compete in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup came up, I had to jump at it,” said Cini.
“I’m still pinching myself by the fact that I’ll be racing at iconic tracks like Monaco and Monza – truly world-class circuits – and share this experience with Joey and Stephen. It’s an incredible opportunity and one made possible by the incredible Porsche Motorsport Pyramid – it not only allows young drivers to further their careers, but it also enables Pro-Am drivers like myself and Stephen who look for unique motor racing experiences. This certainly ticks that box.”
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Project Manager Oliver Schwab is pleased to have Team Australia add to the international flavour of the pinnacle of Porsche one-make racing.
“Our ambition is to be involved in global customer sport of the highest standard. With this in mind, it is obviously great that we have been able to inspire an Australian team to enter the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup this year. The successful history of drivers from Down Under in the Supercup shows just how passionate Australians are about motorsport. As such, we are delighted that Joey Mawson, Stephen Grove and Marc Cini will take their place in our international field this season. The trio can look forward to exciting motorsport on the same bill as the Formula 1 World Championship,” said Schwab.
Team Australia’s Mawson, Cini and Grove, who will all race as part of the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia series at Albert Park this weekend, will begin their 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup season campaigns at the season-opening Spanish round at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10-12, 2019.