Fresh from success in the opening round of the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia, round one winner Jaxon Evans and TAG Heuer Pro-Am leader Roger Lago are ready to continue their momentum into round two of the championship at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Michelin Junior driver Evans won two of the three races in Adelaide to establish himself as the early benchmark in season 2018, while Lago swept to three victories from three starts in his return to the series to build a strong early lead in the Pro-Am class.
However, continuing their strong form into the second round of the championship is likely to be a challenge given the unpredictable nature of Carrera Cup racing at the home of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix where five different drivers have won the last five rounds.
Evans heads to Albert Park looking for his third-straight round victory in the series, thanks to his success in Adelaide and, before that, on the streets of the Gold Coast at the end of the 2017 season.
Should he win in Melbourne, the McElrea Racing driver will not only continue his searing start to the season but also turn around a difficult Albert Park debut twelve months ago.
“Last year we didn’t have the best round at the Grand Prix, but I certainly enjoy the circuit and the atmosphere of the event is awesome,” Evans said.
“I’m looking forward to getting back there and completing what we couldn’t quite achieve last year and hopefully continuing the momentum we have.”
Making a fired-up comeback to the championship will be Alex Davison, who missed the season opener in Adelaide due to FIA World Endurance Championship commitments but returns to the grid with an imposing Melbourne record.
The 2004 Carrera Cup champion driver has twelve race victories to his credit at Albert Park; second most of any driver at the circuit and only one behind record-holder Craig Baird.
Davison has won three of the last eight races at the Grand Prix, including the final race of the 2017 round held last March.
Davison’s return adds further competitive intent to the battle for the championship this year following an intense start in Adelaide two weeks ago.
While Evans’ won two of the three races, race one winner Dale Wood, defending champion David Wall, Dylan O’Keefe and Michael Almond each featured in the top three in at least one race in South Australia.
Impressive Michelin Junior driver Jordan Love and Supercars Championship returnee James Moffat also starred at the front of the field.
The battle for the TAG Heuer Pro-Am category was just as competitive, though in Adelaide it was Lago who was quickest out of the blocks to start the new season.
His three victories delivered him the round victory in Adelaide, ahead of former triple champion Max Twigg and defending class winner, Stephen Grove.
Prior to his Adelaide success, Lago’s last Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia victory came at Albert Park in 2014 – a fact that only adds to his enthusiasm for the Formula One event.
“I love the Grand Prix, it’s one of my top five tracks of all time. I think the addition of the ABS is really going to help us and I can’t wait to get there,” he said.
“Everyone has good weekends and bad weekends. I happened had a good one in Adelaide but will probably have a bad one somewhere along the line, so you just have to keep pushing because the boys behind me will keep coming.”
A full field of 26 new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will contest the four Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia races in Melbourne; the only event of the year to feature the unique four-race format.
As well as featuring more racing, the Albert Park event is famed for being one of the most unpredictable on the Carrera Cup Australia schedule.
Despite featuring as either a championship round of exhibition event in every season of Carrera Cup Australia since its inception in 2003, only twice in series history has one driver won every race in a single weekend in Melbourne.
Five different drivers have won the last five rounds at the 5.3km circuit, with 2016 round winner Alex Davison the only driver in the 2018 field to have scored a round victory at the venue.
The Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia grid will tackle four races across the weekend at Albert Park, with practice, qualifying and the first race held on a busy Thursday afternoon. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will feature one race each.
Network Ten and Fox Sports will both broadcast the second, third and fourth races of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix round.
Race Schedule (local time)
Thursday March 22, 2018
12:20pm – Practice 1 (20 minutes)
3:50pm – Qualifying (20 minutes)
6:40pm – Race 1 (10 laps)
Friday March 23, 2018
2:55pm – Race 2 (10 laps)
Saturday March 24, 2018
3:20pm – Race 3 (10 laps)
Sunday March 25, 2018
1:05pm – Race 4 (10 laps)
Broadcast Schedule (local time)
Channel: ONE & Fox Sports 506
Race 2 – 2:55pm, Friday March 23
Channel: Ten & Fox Sports 506
Race 3 – 3:20pm, Saturday March 24
Race 4 – 1:05pm, Sunday March 25
Entry List: Round 2
#1 David Wall (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security
#4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Grove Group
#5 Greg Taylor (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Arris/Strongbuild
#6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Miles Advisory Partners/Garage 1
#7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) Morris Finance
#8 Nick McBride (Pro) Porsche Centre Melbourne
#9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmarc
#12 Adam Garwood (Pro) Garwood Motorsport
#13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) The Bend/htfu
#14 Peter Major (Pro) Sonic/Totally 4×4
#15 Josh Hunt (Pro) LORY Construction
#18 James Moffat (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security/JBL
#19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmark Homes
#20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Agas National
#22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) BMF/Pitman Racing
#23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) JBS Australia
#35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hyundai Forklifts Australia
#77 Michael Almond (Pro) Bob Jane T Marts
#80 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) WM Waste Management
#88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) APB Group
#100 Dale Wood (Pro) Sonic/Polyflor
#111 Cameron Hill (Pro) Southern Star Truck Centre/Anytime Fitness
#131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Harcourts Williams
#777 Jordan Love (Pro) Bob Jane T Marts
#808 John Steffensen (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Crown/Timken/Porsche Melbourne
#888 Alex Davison (Pro) Porsche Centre Brighton