The eighth and final round of the 2022 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship sees a return to the streets of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast, a venue that has historically provided a dramatic backdrop as the Championship decider in both the Pro and Morris Pro-Am classes.
- Harri Jones currently leads Aaron Love in the Pro Championship by 74 points, with 181 points up for grabs on the Gold Coast.
- Dylan O’Keeffe sits a further four points behind, 78 from the lead, while David Wall (-94) and David Russell (-104) are the other drivers still in contention
- Should Love score pole and win all three races, Jones would just need to finish fifth or better in each race to ensure he wins the 2022 title.
- In Morris Pro-Am, Geoff Emery leads Dean Cook by just 22 points with Liam Talbot (-32 points), Sam Shahin (-78 points) and Rodney Jane (-138 points) all still in contention.
The streets of Surfers Paradise have hosted Australia’s premier one-make Championship every year it has been in operation – this year is the 16th time Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia has raced on the Gold Coast and the eleventh time it has hosted the Championship’s final round.
History shows that no driver has ever won a Gold Coast Carrera Cup Australia round, without winning at least one of the races on that weekend. The infamous curves and towering skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise have also witnessed the closest finish in Championship history – though it probably didn’t feel like it at the time!
David Russell crossed the line 5.0456s in front of Steve Richards to win the first race in 2014, however a five-second penalty for a start infringement meant the official margin was only 0.0456s in the final results!
From a team perspective, McElrea Racing has won three of the last five rounds on the Gold Coast (Matt Campbell 2015 & 2016, Jaxon Evans 2017) while Sonic Motor Racing has two round wins to its name with James Moffat in 2008 and Nick Foster in 2014. Nick McBride took victory in 2018, Porsche Centre Melbourne’s most recent round win.
Last time out, David Wall won all three races in dominant style in 2019 to beat Cooper Murray and Cameron Hill to the round victory – marking Wall Racing’s first win on the Gold Coast.
Wall set a qualifying record (his second in as many years on the Gold Coast) to start from pole and dominate the weekend. The event was memorable for the at times tense title showdown between Sonic Motor Racing teammates, Jordan Love and Dale Wood, with the pair having a heated showdown, that saw both drivers having to work their way through the field after dramas in race two. Love would ultimately claim the Pro title ahead of Wood and David Wall.
In Morris Pro-Am, Liam Talbot edged out Roger Lago and Adrian Flack in another close Championship finish, winning by 30 points following a consistent, if conservative weekend, on the Surfers streets. It was his and Wall Racing’s first Morris Pro-Am title.
PRO TITLE FIGHT:
Harri Jones leads Aaron Love in the 2022 Pro Championship by 74 points, meaning he can’t lose the lead of the Championship in the opening race, regardless of the result.
Dylan O’Keeffe sits a further four points further behind, 78 from the lead, while David Wall (-94) and David Russell (-104) are the other drivers still in contention, with 181 points up for grabs on the Gold Coast.
Should Love score the Tag Heuer Pole position and win all three races, Jones would need to finish fifth or better in each race to ensure he wins the title. At the same time, should Jones claim Race 1, Love would need to finish 14th or better to keep the title alive going into Sunday’s final two races.
Jones has history on his side: both prior McElrea Racing Carrera Cup titles have been claimed on the Gold Coast.
However, the only time the Championship has changed hands in the final round of the season also occurred at Surfers, when McElrea’s Warren Luff was overhauled by Steven Richards en-route to his 2014 crown.
Love’s come from behind story this year is remarkable and should he claim the title on Sunday, would represent the greatest comeback in Championship history – eclipsing another Sonic driver.
In 2015, Nick Foster had zero points following the first four races of the Championship and following the conclusion of Round 2, was 298 points behind then-leader, Steven Richards.
This year, Aaron Love missed Rounds 2 and 3 of the Championship due to international racing commitments and arrived at Round 4 some 330 points behind leader Harri Jones.
O’Keeffe is in a vastly similar position to Love from a title contention point of view and will be looking to better his previous best of 3rd in the 2019 Carrera Cup Championship.
Wall is further back and will need some luck to go his way to claim the title, though he does stand in a position to continue his remarkable record of never having finished lower than fourth in the Championship since his return in 2016. Wall finished 3rd in 2016, 1st in 2017, 2nd in 2018, 3rd in 2019 and 4th in 2021.
MORRIS PRO-AM BATTLE:
The Bathurst event broke a trend in the Morris Pro-Am battle, as Mount Panorama was the first time this year that the Championship didn’t leave with a different class leader than the prior round. Still, the remarkable title battle will see Morris Pro-Am go down to the wire once again with Geoff Emery leading Dean Cook by a mere 22 points – the second largest margin of the entire season.
Cook (-22 points), Liam Talbot (-32 points), Sam Shahin (-78 points) remain the most obvious title rivals to Emery, however Rodney Jane (-138 points) remains an outside chance. Three-time class champion Stephen Grove is mathematically in contention, though at 180 points from the lead, he would need to score pole, win all three races and ensure the five drivers in front all scored zero should he hope to win title number four.
Following two practice sessions on Friday 28 October, Saturday plays host to a split qualifying (Pro / Morris Pro-Am) session with the first Sprint race scheduled in the mid-afternoon. A 28 lap Endurance race kicks off on Sunday morning, before the final Sprint race at midday. All three races will be broadcast live on both Fox Sports and Kayo Sports throughout the weekend, with free-to-air coverage across Channel 7.
For more Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia news and content follow the Porsche Motorsport Australia social pages: Instagram – @PorscheMotorsportAU / Twitter – @PorscheMspAU / Facebook.com/ PorscheMotorsportAU
Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia, Round 8, Gold Coast
Friday 28th October 2022
11:55 12:20 – Practice 1
14:35 15:00 – Practice 2
Saturday 29th October 2022
09:55 10:05 – Qualifying 1
10:10 10:20 – Qualifying 2
14:25 14:50 – Race 1 (16 laps)
Sunday 30th October 2022
08:35 09:15 – Race 2 (28 laps)
12:50 13:15 – Race 3 (16 laps)
|5||Ryan||Suhle||SP Tools / EBM||Pro|
|6||Angelo||Mouzouris||Sonic / PitBox||Pro|
|7||Tim||Miles||Miles Advisory Partners / N2C||Pro-Am|
|8||Nick||McBride||Porsche Centre Melbourne||Pro|
|12||Harri||Jones||Hastings Deering / Mackellar Group||Pro|
|13||Sam||Shahin||The Bend Motorsport Park||Pro-Am|
|14||Matthew||Belford||ID Land / Porsche Centre Melbourne||Pro-Am|
|17||Callum||Hedge||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Pro|
|27||Liam||Talbot||Wash It / Paynter Dixon||Pro-Am|
|28||Bayley||Hall||Hall Finance & Insurance||Pro|
|38||David||Wall||Monochrome / Paynter Dixon||Pro|
|45||Duvashen||Padayachee||Rentcorp Hyundai Forklifts||Pro|
|48||Geoff||Emery||Force Accessories / MJR||Pro-Am|
|53||Luke||Youlden||TekworkX Motorsport / Hire A Hubby||Pro|
|72||Max||Vidau||TekworkX Motorsport / Tyrepower||Pro|
|74||David||Russell||EMA Motorsport / FRS||Pro|
|76||Christian||Pancione||VCM Performance / HP Tuners||Pro|
|77||Rodney||Jane||Sonic / Bob Jane T Marts||Pro-Am|
|88||Dylan||O’Keeffe||Dexion / RAM Motorsport||Pro|
|222||Scott||Taylor||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Pro-Am|
|777||Simon||Fallon||Sonic / Bob Jane T Marts / Bremtech||Pro|
|999||Aaron||Love||Sonic / Bob Jane T Marts||Pro|