Porsche Carrera Cup Australia’s impressive driver line-up for this weekend’s Phillip Island Pro-Am round is now complete following two champion additions – Troy Bayliss and David Reynolds.
Renowned for his performance on two wheels, triple World Superbike champion Troy Bayliss returns to Carrera Cup after his debut alongside Michael Patrizi at the corresponding Pro-Am event at Sydney Motorsport Park last season.
Bayliss boasts six victories at the Phillip Island circuit aboard Ducatis and this weekend re-joins Patrizi in the hunt for his first four-wheel success at the ’Island.
“I’ve had many ups and downs at Phillip Island in my career, mostly ups, and I’m really looking forward to racing there this weekend in the Porsche,” said Bayliss.
“I tested the new car a couple of months ago and it was great to drive. For an amateur driver like myself, it helps you get more out of the car, though I’d probably feel more comfortable on a motorcycle around Phillip Island than I do on four wheels.
“Last year we came very close to victory. Michael is really competitive so I’ll be looking to get him into a good position to give us the best chance of the win.”
Popular V8 Supercar racer Reynolds ends a seven-year Carrera Cup absence when he teams with Elite Class driver Tony Walls for the Pro-Am.
With four Carrera Cup round wins, 13 race wins and 13 round podium finishes, the 2007 Carrera Cup Australia champion and V8 race winner is looking forward to his Porsche reunion.
“I’m really looking forward to returning to Carrera Cup with Tony Walls this weekend. It has been seven years since leaving the category and I’ve followed it closely ever since,” said Reynolds.
“The new cars are unbelievably good. They are comfortable to drive and do everything that you would want a race car to do. It’s like using the PlayStation with the damage switch on.”
Reynolds is one of six V8 Supercars drivers competing in the two 60-minute Carrera Cup races at Phillip Island; a group that also includes Jason Bright, Scott McLaughlin, Nick Percat, Tim Slade and Dale Wood.
Only four co-driver pairings remain unchanged from the 2013 Pro-Am event: points leader Warren Luff retains his co-driver Geoff Emery, as does James Bergmuller (Wood), Patrizi (Bayliss) and Shae Davies (Adam Gowans).
There are six drivers making their Carrera Cup debut this weekend – McLaughlin, Bright, Ryan Simpson, Neale Muston and GT3 Cup Challenge duo John Karytinos and Tim Miles – and 26 drivers in total who have never turned a wheel in Carrera Cup at the Phillip Island circuit.
Reigning champion Craig Baird and Max Twigg, winner of the 2013 Pro-Am event with Luke Youlden, enter the weekend as the most experienced driver pairing with 94 round starts between them, closely followed by Marc Cini and Dean Fiore with a cumulative 92 round starts.
The Porsche Pro-Am will feature two 60 minute races and requires each Carrera Cup driver to pair with a non-Carrera Cup racer; Professional Class drivers are to race with a non-regular Elite Class competitor and vice versa.
Each driver must complete a minimum of 25 minutes in each race and perform a driver change during a compulsory pit stop between the 25 and 35 minute mark. The finisher of Race 1 must then start Race 2.
This weekend’s Phillip Island round will be the first time Porsche Carrera Cup Australia races at the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals and will be available to watch online via live streaming at www.thenationals.com.au across Saturday and Sunday.
Friday May 23, 2014
10:30am Practice 1 (Pro) 20 minutes
12:10pm Practice 2 (Elite) 20 minutes
2:20pm Practice 3 (Pro/Elite) 30 minutes
4:20pm Sponsor Rides 20 minutes
Saturday May 24, 2014
9:05am Qualifying (Pro) 15 minutes
10:05am Qualifying (Elite) 15 minutes
12:50pm Race 1 60 minutes
Sunday May 25, 2014
9:25am Warm up 10 minutes
10:45am Race 2 60 minutes