The largest field of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia at Albert Park since 2008 will take to the track for this weekend’s second round of the championship at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Hammering home the Melbourne theme for the event is sponsorship of the round by leading Melbourne based property developer Hallmarc and its new residential development, Arthur Apartments, located on Queens Road overlooking Albert Park.
Hallmarc figures prominently in Carrera Cup with company director Marc Cini a stalwart of the championship, lining up for 213th race in the one-make series this weekend as the category also celebrates its 250th Carrera Cup championship race on Saturday.
As part of the partnership Craig Baird will race a striking gold Arthur Apartments-branded 911 race car for the event.
Baird enters the second round 30 points adrift of championship leader and defending champion Steven Richards, who scored a hat trick of race wins at the Clipsal 500 and, in doing so, becoming the fifth different round winner in as many events – Baird (Sydney Motorsport Park), Michael Patrizi (Sandown), Shae Davies (Bathurst), Nick Foster (Gold Coast) and Richards (Adelaide).
With 13 Carrera Cup race wins and four round victories at Albert Park (2008, 2011-2013) Baird is eager to build on this strong record to claw back Richards’ early points lead.
“Albert Park is a circuit that is well suited to the Porsche and, being a Formula 1 round, it’s the biggest race we have in Australia so we all want to perform well there,” said Baird.
“It’s a great, really enjoyable track and each year we’ve always had close Carrera Cup racing at the Albert Park circuit.”
TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge kicked off its 2015 season with Melbournian Tony Bates taking three wins from as many races at the Clipsal 500.
Bates now aims for his third straight round win following his 2014 Gold Coast finale and 2015 Adelaide opener successes, with his closest points rivals, last year’s Albert Park class winner Roger Lago and reigning class champion Stephen Grove, to look out for.
Bates will also have to keep a close eye on returnee Max Twigg, who re-joins the championship for the Albert Park round. Not only is Twigg a triple class champion, the local has won the Challenge class at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix on four occasions (2008, 2011-2013).
Entering his home event, Bates is relishing the increased competition in the class at the most attended motorsport event in the country.
“The Australian Grand Prix gets a great crowd and there are some really strong Challenge drivers I’m racing against. These Challenge drivers have raised the bar again and our lap times have improved in comparison to the professional drivers,” said Bates.
“It’s a great event and on Sunday we’re on before Formula 1 so there is great hype and buzz. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Hallmarc will first hit the Albert Park circuit on Thursday for practice and qualifying before completing one race per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Thursday March 12, 2015
2:40pm-3:00pm – Practice
4:45pm-5:05pm – Qualifying
Friday March 13, 2015
3:30pm-3:55pm – Race 1
Saturday March 14, 2015
12:45pm-1:10pm – Race 2
Sunday March 15, 2015
12:55pm-1:20pm – Race 3
Round 2 Entry List
1 Steven Richards (Professional) Laser Plumbing & Electrical
4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire
5 Spike Goddard (Professional) Spike Racing
6 Ash Samadi (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Apartment Hotel
7 Matt Campbell (Professional) Phase 8
8 Craig Baird (Professional) Arthur Apartments/Porsche Centre Melbourne
9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc
10 David Russell (Professional) Finance Ezi
11 Simon Hodge (Professional) Team BRM
13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) MotorOne Car Care
14 Cam McConville (Professional) OPS Gateway
18 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge)
22 Richard Muscat (Professional) Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis Steel
23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) JBS Australia
24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) AFS / Ned Whisky & Cola
26 Michael Almond (Professional) Copyworld
39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Veritas/Builtform
45 Duvashen Padayachee (Professional) VIP Petfoods
56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents
65 Fraser Ross (Professional) Porsche Centre Brighton
77 Nick McBride (Professional) Bob Jane T-Marts
88 Shae Davies (Professional) Scott Taylor Motorsport
222 Scott Taylor (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Scott Taylor Motorsport
777 Nick Foster (Professional) Bob Jane T-Marts