Marc Cini has locked in a gun co-driver for the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Pro-Am next week, confirming that Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercar star Michael Caruso will join him at the Porsche Rennsport Australia festival.
It locks away a strong two-car attack from the Porsche Centre Melbourne team with teammate Dean Fiore set to drive with experienced enduro and production car racer, Jake Camilleri.
Caruso will be making his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut at the Sydney Motorsport Park event (April 29-May 01, 2016) however will not be short of knowledge to draw on within his team next weekend.
Regular teammate Fiore – the pair race in the V8 Supercar enduros together – will be starting his 30th Carrera Cup round while Cini remains the most experienced driver in series history, with 82 round starts currently to his credit.
Cini said he was looking forward to Caruso joining the Hallmarc-supported squad in Sydney.
“Michael came to us through (teammate) Dean Fiore. They’re Nissan teammates and good friends and it works out well,” Cini explained.
“They know each other well and know their driving styles and work together so they’ll be very good for the team.
“I love this endurance round and it gives the Carrera Cup format some real spice.”
Cini said he enjoyed continuing to be pushed by the pro drivers joining the Carrera Cup grid.
“It’s not a question of learning from these guys – it’s about remembering. We’ve all done more than enough racing to know how to drive the cars but the Pros come in and get into micro-analysing everything in detail and you end up doing better because of it. They push you along.
“You’re also certain that the car is right. If they’re doing good times and racing with their contemporaries then you don’t need to worry if the car is good or not.
“If they’re doing the job you know its fine and you focus on your driving.”
Jake Camilleri will make also make his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut, driving with Dean Fiore in the #8 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
The Queensland car dealer is a dab hand at long-distance racing however having raced regularly in both Australian Production Car Championship enduros and recently with the MARC Cars Australia program in a series of international long-distance events.
Fiore currently sits ninth in the championship on his return to the series, a best finish of third in the opening race at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix his season highlight to date.
Teammates Cini and Caruso will also be competing for honours in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge, the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia’s race within a race for semi-professional drivers.
Cini currently sits sixth in the Challenge standings, which is led by round one winner, Tony Bates.