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 five occasions; four times in a Class B time racing a Porsche 911 GT3 and in 2020 aboard a Porsche GT3R in the Pro-Am category.
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 in 2019.
Miles is a former co-owner of Triple Eight Race Engineering and returns to McElrea for his fifth Carrera Cup season in 2021.
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 2021 season, accumulating 10 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 working with legendary engineer, Carl Batson, and the Collingwood-based team
Away from racing, McBride is now a fully qualified lawyer, practicing family law at Marshall, Dent + Wilmoth lawyers.
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.
Second-generation Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia racer Jackson Walls steps up to the big time in 2021, making his one-make Porsche debut aboard an Objective Racing Porsche, run by the McElrea Racing squad.
The son of Morris Finance Pro-Am class regular Tony, 18-year-old Jackson has plied his trade in junior open-wheel racing, completing two years in Australian Formula 4 before tackling the Formula Renault Eurocup and the Toyota Racing Series.
He’s since shifted his focus to Porsche racing and made his debut in the non-championship Porsche PAYCE and Michelin event at Sandown in late 2020, impressing by being on the pace immediately.
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 traditional 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 was set to contest the full 2020 championship with McElrea Racing. Though the series was ultimately stopped, he did impressively win the season-ending Porsche PAYCE and Michelin Cup event at Sandown – his first in the ‘big’ class of Aussie one-make Porsche 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.
While Adrian Flack has limited Porsche experience, the ‘Flack’ name is well known in Carrera Cup circles.
Brother Damien Flack was a regular in the 2011 and 2013 Carrera Cup seasons and since returned for several Pro-Am appearances.
Adrian also has Pro-Am experience, entering the 2016 two-driver event alongside David Wall before his full-time debut in the 2018 season.
Since then he has become a regular race and round winning contender, grabbing six round wins, 7 race wins and 3rd in the 2019 Pro-Am Championship standings.
New Zealand karting ace Matthew Payne heads up the debut of Team Porsche New Zealand & Earl Bamber Motorsport in the 2021 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia.
The Auckland teenager is a multiple NZ Karting champion, including the KZ2 National Sprint Championship, and has also tasted success internationally in karting before shifting his attention to circuit racing.
Earlier in 2021 he swept to victory in the Toyota Racing Series, finished third in the New Zealand Grand Prix and was confirmed as the first recipient of the Team Porsche NZ scholarship – championed by two-time Le Mans 24 Hour winner and Porsche World Champion, Earl Bamber.
SP Tools will back his 2021 campaign in a stunning black, silver and Orange 911 GT3 Cup Car run by EBM.
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 Morris Finance 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 2021 season, Russell has 39 Round stats, 10 podium finishes and 4 race victories to his credit and a best finish of 2nd in the 2015 championship.
He’ll share the #23 Lago Racing car with team boss, Roger Lago, this year.
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.
He’ll run a shared campaign alongside long-time friend, coach and co-pilot David Russell in 2021.
Now one of Australia’s most versatile and experienced drivers, Luke Youlden returns to the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup for the first time since 2013 this year – and as a solo driver for the first time since 2005!
A former Australian Formula Ford and Production Car class champion, Youlden has forged a lengthy career as a regular Supercars endurance driver, driver trainer and coach and young driver mentor.
He has two podiums from 20 Bathurst 1000 starts, including pairing with David Reynolds and Erebus Motorsport to claim a famous victory in 2017.
Youlden tackled a full Carrera Cup season in 2005, finishing 4th outright for VIP Petfoods Racing.
In 2013 he returned to co-drive with Max Twigg in the Porsche Rennsport Pro-Am races, and has now partnered with Michelin Sprint Challenge regular Rob Woods to form the TekworX squad, which will run cars in Carrera Cup while also fostering young talent in other categories.
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 his Rentcorp-backed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Care out of the Garth Walden Racing stable in Sydney.
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 returned to McElrea Racing and won the opening round in Adelaide with a clean-sweep of victories.
Despite a year on the side lines, his impressive late-season form in 2019 and early 2020 mark him out as a key title contender in the 2021 championship.
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.
His remarkable career includes 17 podium finishes, 11 race wins and 9 pole positions – and an enviable record of never missing the championship top five.
Arguably one of the most credentialed drivers ever to join the Morris Finance Pro-Am class in the long history of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, Geoff Emery is likely to be a strong title contender in 2021.
A three-time Australian GT Champion, Emery is also a five-time Commodore Cup champion in the one-make V8 formula and has extensive experience in the Super2 Supercars series, Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge and the NZ V8 Super Tourers.
Though he has only five Carrera Cup rounds to his credit, he has already tasted success in the category; he paired with Matt Campbell to sweep the 2016 Pro-Am event at Sydney Motorsport Park – scoring pole, both race wins and the round victory with the eventual champion, forming a key part of his title year.
This year, Emery makes his full-time debut driving for Ash Seward Motorsport with a Force Accessories-supported entry.
Another second-generation driver with another notable surname, Ben Stack makes his full-time Carrera Cup debut in 2021 driving for another new team – Duttons EMA Motorsport.
The son of noted 1980s Touring Car privateer Bernie, Ben Stack has one round credit already in the books, contesting the 2018 Carrera Cup round at The Bend Motorsport Park. He also has several starts in Sprint Challenge competition.
A long time friend and colleague of former Sprint Challenge winner Fraser Ross, Stack’s addition with the EMA Motorsport squad comes as they switch their focus to Porsche competition in 2021.
Christian started in karting, racing karts from 2012 till 2017, winning numerous Regional and State championships and Australian championship rounds. He went on to race in two international championship racing events in Daniel Ricciardo’s race team.
His first move to main circuit was straight into Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge in 2018, where he won the class B championship and impressed by racing with the Pro cars in class A.
In 2019 Christian stepped up again, this time to Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Pro class, where he saw highlight performances including a qualifying pole position, two podiums and a lap record.
In 2021 he joins McElrea Racing and hopes to add to his own win count as well as continue their winning championship streak, while also contesting a five-round Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup campaign prior to a full championship tilt with the 992-generation car in 2022.
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 50 career rounds, a majority of them at the front of the ultra-competitive grid.
He returns for another season aboard the Bob Jane T-Marts car for Sonic Motor Racing in 2021.
Runner-up in the 2019 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series, Aaron Love made the step to the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia in 2020 as a Michelin Junior – impressing immediately with his raw speed.
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’s immediate impact in the shortened 2020 season saw him finish on the podium at the Adelaide season-opener, and at the season-ending (non-championship) Porsche Payce and Michelin Cup event, proving his title-contending abilities.
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, Wood fronts once again as a title contender for his fourth season in Australia’s top one-make category with a new team – Ashley Seward Motorsport – in 2021.
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.
He then superbly won the only race held at Albert Park in 2020, claiming his maiden round win as a result before the season was stopped.
Hill enters his fourth season 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 20 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.
He posted career-best results in his 2019 campaign and was set to improve further in 2020, before the season was cut short.
One of Australia’s greatest and most well-known drivers of the last three decades, Craig Lowndes is possibly the most successful driver ever to make his Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia debut.
With 7 Bathurst 1000 victories, 3 Supercars championships and 110 championship race wins, Lowndes is a household name in the sport and one of Supercars’ most popular drivers.
Lowndes’ made his Carrera Cup debut at the ill-fated Australian Grand Prix event in 2020, completing practice, qualifying and one race before the event was unfortunately cut short.
He has paired with Sydney-based Wall Racing aboard a Paynter Dixon supported entry for the 2021 season, with a limited campaign initially confirmed but the potential for more rounds later.
He will continue his role as an expert analyst for Fox Sports’ Supercars coverage into the 2021 season.
Two years out of the seat are unlikely to phase Simon Fallon, who returns to one-make Porsche racing in 2021 as the 2018 Porsche Michelin Sprint Cup Champion.
After a funding shortfall sidelined him for two seasons, Fallon has re-grouped for 2021 and reunited with the same team with which he won the Sprint Challenge title – beating Cooper Murray in the process – in Sonic Motor Racing.
The young Victorian will take over the famous #777 entry for the Melbourne based team, who technically remain the defending champions thanks to their success with Jordan Love (in the same car) in 2019.
He follows in the footsteps of the champion Love, Nick Foster and Andre Heimgartner to have steered the #777 car.
Fallon graduated to Sprint Challenge from open-wheel racing, where he was a regular contender in the Australian Formula 4 Championship.