Sydney Motorsport Park will this weekend host the largest Porsche Carrera Cup event to be staged in Australia, with 44 911 GT3 Cup cars set to start the nation’s first Carrera Cup joint round.
As Porsche Carrera Cup Australia enters the second half of its 2016 season, the championship will be joined at the Sydney SuperSprint by its closest one-make neighbour, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, for the Asian series’ first ever event Down Under.
With 44 identical cars competing across the two series, the event marks the largest gathering of current generation Carrera Cup cars in the Southern Hemisphere.
The two championships will contest their weekends separately (practice, qualifying and two races) before the series combine for two class based races to conclude the weekend. An all TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge and Class B race will provide these drivers their best chance to claim an outright victory for a single driver Carrera Cup race, which will precede a race with both series’ outright ranked drivers, including the likes of reigning Porsche Carrera Cup France champion Maxime Jousse, Porsche China Junior Programme driver Andrew Tang and German young gun, Nico Menzel.
While joint Carrera Cup rounds have been a common fixture in Europe, this weekend marks the first joint round to be held in Australia and the first to involve the Australian one-make championship.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Porsche Carrera Cup Asia this weekend to Sydney Motorsport Park for what will be a truly unique and incredible experience for both championships,” said Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager, Kurt Sakzewski.
“As all Carrera Cup championships have uniform regulations, we are able to hold such events and pit the best professional and semi-professional drivers against each other. It’s not only a great experience for our teams and drivers, but also a tremendous representation of our brand and its global motorsport program.”
Drivers from both series are eager to get the joint round underway and ultimately compete against those racing in the sister series.
“Versing Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in Sydney will be pretty exciting. I know the Carrera Cup Asia drivers race pretty hard so we should expect to see some exciting combined races at the end of the weekend,” said series rookie Dylan O’Keeffe. “I’m certainly looking forward to seeing how the best of Carrera Cup Australia fares against the best from the Carrera Cup Asia series.”
“We are all looking forward to racing in Australia,” added young German ace, Nico Menzel. “Besides the Singapore Grand Prix, I would say that the Sydney round is the highlight of the season. The track looks great and racing against the Carrera Cup Australia drivers will be good. Last year I was at the Porsche Junior Scholarship shootout and Nick Foster was there; he was quite fast and was a great represention of the quality of the championship in Australia. The Australian drivers have a small advantage having the track knowledge, but let’s see.”
As the second half of the season kicks off, the focus for the opening two races will be on the title fight in both outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge classifications.
Matt Campbell enjoyed a strong start to the 2016 season; however Alex Davison’s recent resurgence has seen the former champion move to within 4.5 points of the young series leader.
Meanwhile Tony Bates continues at the top of the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge standings with a 28.5 point lead over Shane Smollen leading into the latter’s home event.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will start the weekend with two Friday practice sessions, followed by qualifying and race one on Saturday and, on Sunday, race two and the combined invitational races.
Race Schedule – Porsche Carrera Cup Australia
Friday August 26, 2016
9:55am Practice 1 (30 minutes)
12:15pm Practice 2 (30 minutes)
Saturday August 27, 2016
12:15pm Qualifying (30 minutes)
2:45pm Race 1 (16 laps)
Sunday August 28, 2016
10:55am Race 2 (16 laps)
12:55pm Invitational Race – TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge/Class B (10 laps)
4:05pm Invitational Race – Overall (10 laps)
Broadcast Schedule – Porsche Carrera Cup Australia
Practice 2 – 12:15pm, Friday August 26 (Fox Sports 5)
Qualifying – 12:15pm, Saturday August 27 (Fox Sports 5)
Race 1 – 2:45pm, Saturday August 27 (Fox Sports 5)
Race 2 – 10:55am, Sunday August 28 (Fox Sports 5)
Invitational Race – Challenge/Class B – 12:55pm, Sunday August 28 (Fox Sports 5)
Invitational Race – Overall – 4:05pm, Sunday August 28 (Fox Sports 5)
Round 5 Entry List
1. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire
2. #7 Matt Campbell (Outright) Nuveau Constructions/Phase 8
3. #8 Dean Fiore (Outright) Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne
4. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc
5. #12 Steven Richards (Outright) Laser Plumbing and Electrical
6. #13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) pricepressure.com.au
7. #21 Garth Walden (Outright) Commercial Interior Projects
8. #24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Moveitnet/A.F.S
9. #25 Alex Davison (Outright) Wilson Parking
10. #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Stone’s Original
11. #38 David Wall (Outright) Wilson Security/PAYCE
12. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) TOGA/Veritas Porperty Group
13. #45 Duvashen Padayachee (Outright) Darrell Lea STIX
14. #54 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop
15. #56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents
16. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts
17. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) All Star Equipment Sales/Dexion Supply Centre
18. #222 Scott Taylor (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Scott Taylor Motorsport
19. #360 Fraser Ross (Outright) Preston Hire
20. #777 Ash Walsh (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend