Reigning TAG Heuer Pro-Am champion Stephen Grove will this weekend race in one of international motorsport’s most exclusive motor racing events – the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
Here is what you need to know ahead of the Pro-Am racer’s Monaco mission.
The Supercup race weekend in Monaco begins with a sole practice session on Thursday ahead of Qualifying on Friday and finally, a 16-lap race on Sunday.
“I’m excited to get over there and really take the challenge on,” said Grove.
“There’s only 40 minutes of practice, so I’ve got to be on it pretty quick to get up to speed.
“Most of the guys on the Supercup grid have been there before and I haven’t, but that’s a part of learning, a part of racing in a different country, a different series and with a different team.
“For me I just like the evolution of continually challenging myself and trying to get better in a cup car.”
Race Schedule (local time)
Round 2, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup – Monaco
Thursday May 24, 2018
5:15pm – Practice
Friday May 25, 2018
10:00am – Qualifying
Sunday May 27, 2018
10:30am – Race (16 laps)
Grove will race an identical race car with which he contests the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia championship – the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (991.II).
“I’ve been in a GT3 Cup car for so long now because I just don’t think that I’ve quite mastered it yet – I want to keep going in a Cup car and the best way to do that is to keep challenging myself on tracks overseas in different environments.
“Heading into the weekend now, my mindset is just on doing the best job I can and trying to learn as fast as I can and to be there or thereabouts.
“So, we’ll try and get a balance between both. We only have really a limited time to set the car up; it’s really going to be more about learning the track.”
The weekend marks Grove’s second outing with the Pro GT by Alméras squad after he took part in a Carrera Cup France event at Spa-Francorchamps in 2017 with the French outfit.
“I ran with the Pro GT by Alméras crew at Spa, when I raced there in 2017,” explained Grove.
“The language barrier is pretty difficult – even though they speak English, it’s not fluent English, so it’s pretty difficult when trying to get the set-up right.
“We’ve got a couple good pro-drivers in the team; take Julien Andlauer for example, who won the French Carrera Cup championship last year.
“I’ll be following their direction pretty closely and just trying to have the set-up of the car the way I like it to react.”
A jewel in the crown of international motor racing: the Monaco Grand Prix circuit is 3.33 kilometres of beloved tarmac. The harbour-side clockwise-run Monaco track will by home to the second round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and, for Grove, one of the biggest challenges of his motor racing career.
“It’s a massive challenge and I’m just really looking forward to getting over there,” said Grove.
“We’ve got no on-board video to look at, but we’ve been lucky enough to acquire heaps of valuable car data and also my simulator work has been pretty extensive over the last month and a half.”
How to watch it
Eurosport (Channel 511) is set to broadcast the full race live in Australia at 6:15pm AEST on Sunday May 27, which takes place before the prestigious Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.