Melbourne-based Stephen Grove is the epitome of a Porsche racer – a strong passion for motorsport and a vast appreciation of the 911 GT3 Cup race car.
A successful businessman away from the racetrack with his Grove Group company, which features on his Porsche 911 race car, Grove’s increasing experience behind the wheel has pushed him quickly towards the front of the Pro-Am competition.
Grove debuted in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia championship mid-way through the 2012 season, when you could also you could find him competing in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Cup (GT3 Cup Challenge) Australia series at the time.
Grove would go on to win the 2014 Carrera Challenge (Pro-Am) title, finish second in the 2015 season and third in the 2016 title race. And then, in 2017, Grove impressed by claiming his second-class crown before going back-to-back with a third crown in 2018.
In 2019, the Melbournian embarked on his first full-season campaign in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Series, finishing fourth in the Pro-Am competition in a strong debut year.
Grove has also won his class at the Bathurst 12 Hour on four occasions, each time racing a Porsche 911 GT3.
Tim Miles has made a successful ascent of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid over the past few seasons, moving from the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series through to the ultra-competitive Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia championship.
Miles’ racing trajectory with Porsche has seen him rise through the Sprint Challenge ranks to ultimately claim the 2016 Elite Class (Pro-Am) crown. His racing resume was also sprinkled with Porsche Pro-Am appearances as a co-driver for the likes of Renee Gracie, Matt Campbell and, in 2017, Jaxon Evans.
The Sydney-based businessman then made his Carrera Cup debut as a single driver entry at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway in 2017, placing second in the Pro-Am class for the round, before a successful run to the end of the season, which included a class clean sweep at Mount Panorama.
In his first full season in 2018 he won two races en-route to third in the Pro-Am championship, finishing fifth in class the following season.
Nick McBride joined Carrera Cup Australia in the hunt for a career in Supercars and has since forged a reputation as one of the series’ most competitive drivers.
The Victorian returned to Australia after a two-and-a-half-year campaign in the United Kingdom, competing in British Formula Ford and Formula 3. He finished 10th in the prestigious F3 title this year, but shifted his desire for an open wheel ambitions to one which would focus on a tin-top career in Australia.
McBride won his first Carrera Cup Australia race on home turf at Albert Park in 2015, and backed that up with his first ever round win at the Clipsal 500 in March 2016 and an eventual Sandown round victory in 2017.
Forging a reputation for being consistently fast and racing at the pointy-end, McBride has won four rounds entering the 2020 season, accumulating 9 podium finish and winning 11 races along the way. His career includes fourth in the 2016, 17 and 19 championship battles as well as 4 pole positions.
Having started his career with Sonic Motor Racing, the Victorian has since found his home at Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport where he remains a key contender to this day.
Seasoned Porsche racer Marc Cini has more experience in the Carrera Cup Australia championship than any other, sitting at 106 round starts at the start of the 2020 season – the only driver with more than 100 round starts to his credit in championship history.
A successful businessman away from the track with his company Hallmarc Developments, this Porsche enthusiast scores one of his highlight achievements in 2017, claiming the inaugural 2017 Pro-Am Endurance Cup title.
Like Grove, Cini took the bulk of the 2019 season off to compete in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe, following a dream to race internationally at the highest level of Porsche one-make competition.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia champions Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans, Harri Jones is the next discovery to rise through the Porsche Pyramid with the help of McElrea Racing.
Skipping the tradional starting-point in Karting, Jones began racing Formula Fords in 2015 before moving into ‘wings and slicks’ competition in 2018, winning the Australian Formula 3 title on debut. The following year he moved to the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series, winning the title on debut and also sealing the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy along the way.
Harri made his debut in Carrera Cup in the final round of the 2019 championship on the Gold Coast, and will contest the full 2020 championship with McElrea Racing. When not racing, Harri splits his time working at McElrea and major sponsor, HeliMods, while also studying a bachelor of Civil Engineering and Maths at the University of Queensland.
Sam Shahin is a product of the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid, entering Porsche one-make racing in the entry-level GT3 Cup Challenge series before making his Carrera Cup debut at the 2017 Pro-Am event at Phillip Island, where he teamed with Dan Gaunt to place third on the Pro-Am class podium.
Shahin’s continued improvement in Porsche one-make series has seen the South Australian businessman develop into a hugely competitive Porsche racer among the Pro-Am ranks, though he shocked even the overall competition when taking the outright victory at the opening 2017 GT3 Cup Challenge round at Sandown – the first Pro-Am driver to win outright.
Shahin then made his Carrera Cup debut as a single driver entry at Carrera Cup’s fourth round of 2017 in Darwin, where he claimed round honours in the Challenge class.
Racing with the Adelaide based Buik Motorworks, Shahin entered Carrera Cup full time in 2018 while also continuing his campaign in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge; wining the Pro-Am category of that championship in 2019.
When not racing, Sam is the Executive Director of The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia, a circuit that hosts rounds of both Carrera Cup and Sprint Challenge.
Josh Hunt joined Carrera Cup Australia with a broad range of motor racing experience.
Hunt moved to Europe aged 16 to pursue his professional driving career. From karting in Italy, Hunt moved to USF2000 in the USA before a stint in Toyota Atlantic Championship. Since then, Hunt had a range of open wheel, sports car and prototype experience that saw him well prepared for the 2018 season, when he made his full-time Carrera Cup debut.
Hunt is a partner in the Volante Rosso outfit that prepares and runs his car with the team completing a partial campaign in 2019.
One of Carrera Cup Australia’s ‘originals’, Dean Cook returned to the championship in 2017 after a more than a 13-year absence.
Cook competed in the first two season of Carrera Cup Australia, finishing a strong 10th outright in the inaugural 2003 championship – in front of serious names like Andrew Miedecke, Rodney Jane, Peter Hill and Geoff Morgan.
That was despite a limited racing CV prior to his Carrera Cup campaign, that included several starts over two years racing in the popular GT Nations Cup series, also racing a Porsche 996 GT3 Cup.
He returned for several races in the 2004 Carrera Cup season however did not contest the full series and had not raced in a major championship until his successful return in 2017, when he claimed a class victory in the final round of the season in the Gold Coast and a pole position on the series international debut in Sepang, Malaysia.
Since then he has firmed to be a regular Pro-Am frontrunner in the ultra-competitive category.
The vastly experienced David Russell returns to Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia in 2020, sharing the #23 car with Roger Lago. A veteran of the category, Russell made his name in Australian Motorsport with a series of strong performances in the series in the late 2000s.
Having since gone on to forge a solid career in Supercars – both in Super2 and the main game, especially as an Endurance race co-driver – Russell also has a wealth of local and international GT racing experience to his credit making him one of the most versatile drivers on the grid.
Entering the 2020 season, Russell has 38 Round stats, 10 podium finishes and 4 race victories to his credit and a best finish of 2nd in the 2015 championship.
Roger Lago is highly credentialed in Porsche one-make series.
The Queenslander won a pair of outright Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge titles (then known as GT3 Cup Challenge) before moving up to Carrera Cup in the Pro-Am category.
He was a frontrunner in the Pro-Am category in 2015 until a serious qualifying accident in Townsville ended his campaign that year.
Lago, however, returned to the category in 2018 and was again instantly competitive, and then finished second in the class in the 2019 season. His remarkable year included a stunning outright pole position on the streets of Townsville, becoming the first Pro-Am driver to achieve the feat in series history.
David Ryan joins the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia championship full-time in 2020, having made his solo debut in the series in 2019 and several starts in two-driver races prior to that.
A graduate of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge (Formerly known as GT3 Cup Challenge), Ryan brings vast experience in Production-based racing to the table, having finished on the podium in the Bathurst 12 Hour and twice won the Australian Production Car Championship.
Following his Production Car career, Ryan shifted to racing a Cup Car in Sprint Challenge and Production Sports car races, becoming a top-10 championship finisher in the former.
Duvashen Padayachee returned to Carrera Cup Australia in 2019 after a short break from the championship, becoming teammate to his TAG Heuer Pro-Am ranked father Indiran Padayachee at the Sydney based GWR Australia team.
While the duo had never faced one another in Carrera Cup competition before 2019, they did become the first father-son combination to race any international Carrera Cup round in the same entry during the 2015 two-driver Pro-Am event at Phillip Island.
Since then Padayachee has become a consistent competitor in the championship, notching up a pair of sixth-placed round results in 2019.
Indiran Padayachee is one of the many Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge (GT3 Cup Challenge) graduates to compete in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia season.
The Pro-Am ranked driver also entered the 2018 Carrera Cup season having 15 rounds of experience in the GT3 Cup Challenge category and a single round of Carrera Cup after partnering his son and former Carrera Cup driver, Duvashen Padayachee, in the 2015 Pro-Am event at Phillip Island.
Padayachee Snr races alongside his son in his Garth Walden Racing-prepared Rentcorp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car.
Cooper Murray is one of Australia’s brightest young sports car drivers, standing out as an incredible talent during the 2018 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia season, where he ultimately placed second.
He then made his Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia debut in 2019 and, racing as a Michelin Junior driver, starred. Ultimately finishing second in the junior category, Murray finished his first full season fifth in the championship with a dominant round victory on the streets of Townsville; clean-sweeping the weekend.
Podium finishes in the final two rounds set him up as a key contender and potential favourite for the 2020 championship, where he again returns to McElrea Racing.
David Wall is one of the most successful drivers in the history of the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship, and the 2017 series champion.
Two-time Australian GT Champion David Wall made a triumphant return to the Championship in 2016, winning in Darwin, scoring 10 podium finishes and finishing an outstanding third in the championship.
He followed that up with the 2017 championship, finished second in 2018 and then third in his 2019 campaign in a remarkable four-year campaign that is yet to see him off the podium.
Sydneysider Wall made his name in Carrera Cup between 2006-2008, before winning in Australian GT and then making the move into Supercars competition.
Wall has made eight Bathurst 1000 starts and in 2016 also scored a podium finish – his first in the sport – on the Gold Coast, sharing the No. 33 Garry Rogers Motorsport entry with Scott McLaughlin.
Wall returned to Carrera Cup full-time in 2016 with his own Wall Racing team and eventually achieved the ultimate success, claiming the 2017 Carrera Cup crown.
Greg Ward makes his full-time debut in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship in 2020, having made his debut on the streets of the Gold Coast in 2019.
Ward raced Australian GT and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in the mid to late 2000s, before taking several years away from the sport.
He returned in 2019 to compete NSW Production Sports Cars and Carrera Cup, racing with Sydney-based Wall Racing.
Michael Almond burst on to the Porsche scene in 2010, when he qualified on pole on his debut in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia – and he has since to go on and forge a strong career with the brand.
A race winner in GT3 Cup Challenge, Almond also won races in the classic Touring Car Masters series, racing a 1973 Porsche RS against much larger and more powerful cars – and drivers like Jim Richards, John Bowe and Glenn Seton.
A move to Carrera Cup in late 2012 has seen his career climb towards a breakout season in 2016 that netted his first career win. Appropriately for this Adelaide born and bread driver, it came in front of his home town fans and friends on the streets of Adelaide at the Adelaide 500.
Since then, Almond has become a formidable contender and has remarkably finished seventh in the championship on five separate occasions. His 4 race wins and 9 podium finishes have come from 48 career rounds, a majority of them at the front of the ultra-competitive grid.
Runner-up in the 2019 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series, Aaron Love makes the step to the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia in 2020 as a Michelin Junior.
He follows in the footsteps of his older brother Jordan, who won the 2019 Championship and Junior prize.
Love, 17, started his career in karting before stepping into open-wheel racing in Formula 4 competition. From there he graduated to Porsches, coming close to winning the 2019 Sprint Challenge title for Sonic. After making his Carrera Cup debut on the Gold Coast at the end of the 2019 season, Love will step up to the main game in 2020 with a view to replicate his brothers remarkable achievements – just at a younger age.
Max Twigg returned to the Carrera Cup Australia series full-time in 2018 as the championship’s most successful Pro-Am driver in series history.
The Melbourne-based driver was untouchable in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons, taking the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class title in each. Now vastly experienced in one-make Porsche and broader GT competition, Twigg remains a force to be reckoned with in Carrera Cup.
Twigg’s unprecedented Pro-Am record achievements include the most title wins (3) and most race wins (46).
23-year-old Sydney driver Joey Mawson has successfully made the switch from the open-wheel pathway to tin-top competition following a remarkable debut season in the 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which included a podium finish at the famous Monza circuit in Italy.
Having won multiple Australian karting titles, Mawson committed to racing in Europe from an early age and won the 2016 German Formula 4 Championship, before moving to the FIA Formula 3 European Championship in 2017 and then GP3 (Now FIA Formula 3) a year later.
A change of tack saw him shift to Porsche one-make competition and a successful debut in Supercup, racing in the same ‘Team Australia’ branded outfit as Carrera Cup regulars Stephen Grove and Marc Cini.
Dale Wood entered Porsche one-make racing in 2018 after a lengthy stint in Supercars.
Wood entered Supercars in 2007, racing in the Super2 Series and ultimately graduated to the Supercars Championship full-time in 2009. Wood would return to the Super2 Series and claim the series title in 2013 before securing a full-time Supercars drive from 2014 to 2017 and, ultimately, making his way to the Carrera Cup Australia series in 2018 in a season where he scored more race wins than any other driver.
After finishing fifth in the championship that year, he improved further in 2019 and was a title contender through to the final race of the year – narrowly falling short of beating teammate Jordan Love in a dramatic season finale’ on the Gold Coast that saw the pair come to blows in an early race.
Reinvigorated and with new backing from Timken in 2020, Wood fronts once again as a title contender for his third season in Australia’s top one-make category.
Canberra racing driver Cameron Hill chose Porsche power for the next phase of his career, announcing he would undertake a full-time campaign in the 2018 Carrera Cup Australia series following a stint in the Toyota 86 Racing Series.
The 21-year-old demonstrated his talent ahead of his Carrera Cup debut, winning the coveted Australian Formula Ford Series in 2015 and scoring more race victories than anyone else in the Toyota 86 Racing Series during 2016 and 2017.
Hill was also announced as one of four drivers that form the Carrera Cup component of the Porsche Michelin Junior Programme Australia.
He finished ninth in his debut season but improved to sixth in his second full year in 2019, a season that importantly delivered not only his first pole position (at Hidden Valley) but also a maiden race win, at the same round.
Hill enters his third season again carrying Michelin Junior status and racing with his own, family-based team from Canberra.
Now an experienced racing driver and team owner, Scott Taylor has built a diverse experience base in all forms of racing in his driving career, having now contested 18 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia championship rounds and a similar number in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.
He’s also vastly experienced in GT endurance racing, Production Sports Cars and Aussie Racing Cars – and has also completed several successful campaigns in the New Zealand V8 category.
Taylor lines up for a full-season tilt at Carrera Cup this year with support from Ash Seward Motorsport, prepping his STM-backed car sporting its unique black, green and red livery.
The 18-year-old from Adelaide is another to have followed the Porsche Pyramid through the ranks to ultimately end up in the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship.
The 2017 Australian Formula Ford Champion, Vidau joined the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge (GT3 Cup Challenge) in 2018, driving for Sonic Motor Racing Services with backing from Bob Jane T-Marts.
Vidau was instantly effective, finishing third in his debut season. He was even more competitive in his second and though he finished in the same championship position, he was a regular contender for race and round victories along the way and won more races than any other driver.
Now based in Melbourne and working full-time for Sonic Motor Racing, Vidau joins the ultra-competitive ranks of the Michelin Junior drivers in 2020 and will race the iconic #777 Bob Jane T-Marts backed car steered by Jordan Love to a championship in 2019.