It’s race week! The opening round of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship launches into action at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Here’s all the fast facts, stats and info you need to know ahead of Round 1.
The first round of the 2023 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship will be the 137th round held in the history of the series since it began in 2003.
This year is the 17th time overall that the championship has competed at Albert Park., though the events from 2003 to 2007 were not a round of the championship.
The circuit has featured on the Carrera Cup Australia calendar every year except one since the category began in 2003, regardless of whether it has hosted a championship or non-championship event. The only year it missed was 2021, when the event was not held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There have been nine different round winners at Albert Park in the last nine years – Craig Baird (2013), Warren Luff (2014), Steve Richards (2015), Alex Davison (2016), Cameron McConville (2017), Jaxon Evans (2018), Dale Wood (2019), Cameron Hill (2020 – one race only) and Max Vidau (2022).
2020 winner Cameron Hill is unique in being the only driver in series history to win a round contested over only one race – the 40-minute Enduro Cup race on Thursday that year the only one staged prior to the event’s cancellation.
Outside of Cameron’s 2020 victory, only two drivers have clean-swept a weekend at Albert Park with pole position and victory in every race – Alex Davison in 2003 and Jim Richards in 2005. No driver has managed the feat since the round became a part of the championship in 2008.
Max Vidau’s win in 2022 was not only his first in Carrera Cup competition and the first for TekworkX Motorsport, but it also came without winning a race; the first time that has happened in Aus GP history.
Davison is the king of Albert Park pole positions. He has four poles there – 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2007 – however none of these have been in the era of Albert Park hosting rounds of the actual championship.
Max Twigg has proven to be the king of the SP Tools Pro-Am category at Albert Park, winning the round five times at the Grand Prix venue (2008, 2011-2013, 2015).
GAPS AND MARGINS
The closest finish in a championship race at Albert Park came in 2018 when Dale Wood beat Jaxon Evans to the line by just 0.2735-seconds.
The biggest winning margin for a championship race at Albert Park remains 9.6411-seconds in Race 2 in 2011 when Craig Baird beat home Daniel Gaunt.
The smallest pole position-winning margin for a round at Albert Park came in 2015 with Nick McBride just 0.0028s faster than Matt Campbell. It is the second closest in series history, only 0.0001s off the record of 0.0027s (Alex Davison to Jonny Reid at Townsville in 2012).
The biggest pole margin at Albert Park in a championship round came in 2016 when Matt Campbell outqualified second-fastest Nick McBride by 0.5322s.
David Russell will start his 150th PCCA race in Race 3 at Albert Park.
Dylan O’Keeffe will start his 100th PCCA race in Race 1 at Albert Park.
- The 30-strong Grand Prix field includes between them: 2 outright championships, 31 round wins, 111 round podium finishes, 94 race wins and 44 pole positions, plus 3 SP Tools Pro-Am titles. There’s a combined 756 rounds and 2126 races of experience on the grid.
- Alex Davison returns to the championship, bringing a second former champion to the 2023 field. He’s also the 2017 Pro Class Enduro Cup Champion. Alex’s first round win came at Eastern Creek in 2003. He holds PCCA records for most consecutive round wins (6), Most round wins in a season (6), most fastest laps (57/171 races) and most pole positions (15) – one of them (Townsville, 2012) by the smallest margin in PCCA history – 0.0027s.
- Kenny Habul, the reigning, two-time Bathurst 12 Hour winner and Intercontinental GT Challenge champion, makes his PCCA debut this weekend. It is believed to be the first time he will have raced a Porsche.
- Ryder Quinn is the first, third-generation driver to compete in PCCA, following in the footsteps of grandfather, Tony, and father, Klark.
- Courtney Prince will be the second female driver to race full-time in the championship and just the third overall.
- Chris Pither makes his debut in the championship. As well as being a long-time member of the Luke Youlden / Thomas Mezera-led Porsche Sport Driving School instructor squad, he’s also recently filled-in for series Driver Standards chief Karl Reindler at the opening round of Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.
- Neither the Pro, Pro-Am or Michelin Junior winners are returning to defend their 2022 titles this year.
- 9 drivers on the grid graduated from Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge prior to racing Carrera Cup.
ALBERT PARK LAP RECORDS
Qualifying: Aaron Love (Sonic Motor Racing) 1m49.3236s – 2022
Race: Max Vidau (TekworkX Motorsport) 1m48.6349s – 2022