THE PORSCHE Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship heads to Townsville in North Queensland this weekend for Round 3 of the championship.
It comes two weeks after Dale Wood swept the weekend in Darwin, scoring pole position, three race victories, the round in Equity One Pro and setting a new lap record in the process.
In SP Tools Pro Am, Dean Cook claimed the round win without winning a single race – the ‘race within a race’ delivering three winners from three starts last time out.
It’s a trend seen before in Townsville, with six different winners from the last six races at the Reid Park street circuit venue.
Round 1 winner Jackson Walls currently leads the championship by just five points over the resurgent Wood – with Callum Hedge a further 13 points further back.
In SP Tools Pro-Am, Adrian Flack enjoys a narrow lead over Dean Cook and Sam Shahin, who sit equal on points in second and third, respectively.
This weekend will also see the first race in the Carrera Cup Enduro Cup, Sunday morning’s encounter to be held over 28 laps.
Action commences on Friday with a pair of practice sessions ahead of TAG Heuer qualifying on Saturday morning.
Qualifying will again be split into separate segments for SP Tools Pro Am and Equity One Pro contenders.
Race 1 will launch on Saturday afternoon with two further races on Sunday to complete the round.
Races 1 and 3 will be shown live and free on the Seven Network, while the remaining sessions following Practice 1 will also be broadcast live and ad-break free on Fox Sports and Kayo.
FAST FACTS – Townsville
- There have been four winners from the past four rounds, dating back to Bathurst last year. They are Aaron Love (Bathurst), Callum Hedge (Gold Coast), Jackson Walls (Melbourne) and Dale Wood (Darwin). The last time there were four different winners in four rounds was the start of the 2022 series, which ultimately turned into a streak of seven winners from seven rounds, before Aaron Love dominated the end of the year.
- Townsville last year was the scene of Jackson Walls’ first race win and round podium finish. He enters this year’s round as the championship leader, having finished first and third in the two rounds held so far this year.
- Both of Walls’ podiums have come on a countback: He won in Melbourne on a countback, however lost second in Darwin to Callum Hedge for the same reason. Countbacks are decided based on which driver finishes higher in the final race.
- Dale Wood’s Darwin win was the first ‘clean sweep’ of a round in his career, the race three win coming in his 100th Carrera Cup race – the first time any driver has won in their milestone century affair.
- While Wood was happy history repeated in Darwin, he will be hoping the same is not the case in Townsville this year: in 2022, Wood qualified sixth however was a non-finisher two laps into the opening race, salvaging finishes of 15th and 16th in the final two races, respectively.
- Five (completed and official) races into the championship and only three drivers have finished all of them inside the top 10! Jackson Walls has not finished lower than third so far this year, while Dale Wood (lowest of 5th) and Callum Hedge (lowest of 4th) have also been the kings of consistency in the top five. Every other driver has a finish outside the top 10, or a non-finish, to their credit. Fabian Coulthard finished in the Top 10 every race in Darwin, but missed the Grand Prix.
- Rodney Jane’s race win in Race 2 was his first in Pro-Am competition since Bathurst, 2008 – a gap of 5362 days. It is the longest period between race wins in Carrera Cup history.
- Fabian Coulthard’s return, meanwhile, came after more than 6,400 days since his last race in the championship in November 2005 at Phillip Island. It’s the longest period between Carrera Cup Australia race starts in series history.
- David Wall set the Townsville lap record last year, re-setting a more than decade old benchmark and what was one of the oldest records in the series history, dating back to 2011. Lap records have been set at both rounds so far this year.
- Last year was the second time in two seasons that Townsville has featured three winners from three races and was the scene of maiden Carrera Cup race wins for Jackson Walls and Callum Hedge, and the Hedge’s first round win.
- There’s guaranteed to be a first-time SP Tools Pro-Am round winner this weekend; there are no former Townsville round winners on the grid this weekend.
- Dylan O’Keeffe is completing Dry July this year on account of one of his key supporters – GT racer Mike Sheargold – recently being diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. Sheargold, who is a major supporter of Garth Walden Racing via his RAM Motorsport brand, had the cancer detected early and underwent a successful operation to remove it. O’Keeffe will complete Dry July to help raise funds and awareness for Bowel Cancer Australia.