Turning 50 is a milestone worth marking for anyone, but Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Elite Class driver Shane Smollen had a special gift in mind for himself: a brand new 991-series Cup car for the expanded 2014 series.
Shane has been a Carrera Cup regular since 2011, when he joined the one-make Porsche series after driving an earlier 996 Cup car is State-level racing, followed by a year in the Australian GT Championship.
He’d considered purchasing a new Cup car for 2014, but when he saw that the projected handover date of the 25 new cars to their teams and drivers was scheduled to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park on his actual 50th birthday – January 15 – the decision was made.
“It certainly helped me over the line,” said Shane, a Sydney Real Estate Agent. “I couldn’t think of any better present!”
The new Cup car which he is now preparing for the opening round of the 2014 series at the Clipsal 500 meeting on the streets of Adelaide from 27 February – 2 March, is his fourth since he joined the Porsche Cup Australia ranks.
“It’s a real evolution, rather than a revolution of the 997 Cup car,” he said. “From the testing we’ve done so far it’s better and quicker in almost every area.
“The new paddle-shift gear-change smoothes out the driving, particularly for part-time racing drivers like me who do this for a serious hobby, not a living.”
Shane’s McGrath Real Estate Cup car will be amongst 25 identical 991-series Cup cars expected to make their Australian racing debut in Adelaide, with the field split approximately 50/50 between professional and serious amateur ‘Elite’ drivers.
They are guaranteed to be even more spectacular to watch than their 997-series Cup car predecessors, with testing so far indicating they will be up to 1.5 seconds a lap faster.