Luke Youlden will return to the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Championship this weekend at the Gold Coast 500, alongside TekworkX Motorsport teammates Max Vidau and Thomas Maxwell.It marks 12 months since Youlden last raced, when he contested the final round of the 2022 Carrera Cup season on the Surfers Paradise street circuit. The return comes as a one-off appearance with Youlden taking over the #23 campaigned so far this year by Pro-Am Danny Stutterd, who misses the Gold Coast round due to family commitments.
Youlden, a co-owner in TekworkX, has worked closely with the Carrera Cup squad throughout the year in his role as Team Manager.“I’m excited to get back behind the wheel, my last race was the Gold Coast in 2022 and I thought I drove pretty well at that one, even if the results didn’t particularly reflect it,” said Youlden. “It’s hopefully a positive for Max and Thomas as well, having a third pro driver, to help them out a bit. Three heads are better than one, looking at data and trying different things to find the speed. I’ve got a fair amount of experience with lots of co-drives around there, so I don’t expect the year out of the seat will affect me to much. “I expect Danny will still have an integral role within the team on the weekend, and I know full well that I’m going out to do the best I can for myself and for Danny in his car. If we can help out Thomas and Max in their efforts as well, then that’d be perfect for the team,” concluded Youlden. Maxwell has tackled the streets of the Gold Coast on one prior occasion, in his 2019 Carrera Cup season. The Spitwater backed driver currently sits ninth in the points, with two rounds to go. “What an awesome setting for a track, it’s got all the atmosphere, vibes, the entertainment and the track is one of the sketchiest places on the calendar to put a lap together,” said Maxwell. “No tyre bundles are good, hopefully we go through a few less splitters and radiators. I’m interested to see how these cars handle the big kerbs down the back, being a bit stiffer than what I drove in 2019, I think they’ll be a bit of a handful. “The experience from Luke and just having a third Pro car there to try things and provide more data is invaluable. He’s got a year in these cars under his belt, so it’ll be great, I can’t wait to see him in action. Keen to get stuck in, and turn our results around,” concluded Maxwell. Vidau is fourth in the championship leading into the Gold Coast, 145 points off the series lead. The Tyrepower driver has been in top form on the street circuits in 2023, taking a victory at the Australian Grand Prix and two more in Townsville – one of just two drivers to win on multiple circuits so far in 2023. “I’m pretty stoked to be running with Luke again, and to get back to a street circuit,” said Vidau. “Luke and I were as fast as each other pretty much all season in 2022, massively keen to have his support again for this one and have his input. I couldn’t be happier to be without the tyre bundles though, the Porsches do way too much damage if you hit them and they could ruin your weekend pretty quickly. “We were fast in practice here last year, but we didn’t get a chance to see how we faired across the rest of the weekend thanks to a blown tyre in qualifying. We’ve been quick on the street circuits all year, it’s always fun to get it up against the walls and throw it over the kerbs. “Championship wise, we’d need a bit to go our way, but we’ll go out and do our thing. See where we land at the end of the weekend,” concluded Vidau. Round seven of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Championship takes place at the Gold Coast 500 from October 27-29.