Porsche Carrera Cup Australia formally introduced its new fleet of Porsche 911 race cars to Australian motorsport at the opening day of the Clipsal 500, with Warren Luff and Shane Smollen setting the pace.
A field of 23 brand new race cars graced the Adelaide street circuit for Thursday’s two practice sessions with 2013 front-runner Luff posting the best lap time of the day.
Steven Richards was the second quickest driver ahead of Shae Davies, rookie Nick McBride, Nick Foster, Michael Patrizi, newcomer Sam Power, reigning champion Craig Baird and Duvashen Padayachee.
Pace-setter Luff was pleased with his pace, though he believes there is the potential for vast improvement in lap times as the event progresses.
“I’m really happy with today’s pace. The 2014 GT3 Cup car really suits this circuit; it’s a fair bit faster and the times showed that today. I think it will be interesting to see how much faster we all go in qualifying,” said Luff.
“Everyone is still trying to get their head around what they’ve got to do to get the most out of the car. It is an on-going learning process but the good thing with these
cars is that it’s not what you can do with them, it’s more up to the driver. That’s what makes the category so good.”
Smollen, who was impressed with his new machinery, was the quickest Elite Class driver on Thursday and tenth fastest outright from local Michael Almond, Tony Bates, James Bergmuller, Roger Lago, Tony Walls and Stephen Grove.
“The new car is an evolution in every aspect to the previous Carrera Cup car. A lot of people say that it’s more like a GT car; to me it just works a little bit better in every way. I think we’re all still looking for a set up that’s ideal for the characteristics of the car,” said Smollen.
“I think we made good progress. We’ve really only had the shakedown and a half-day test so I’m really happy to go out there a post some good times.”
Ash Samadi was the 17th fastest from today’s practice sessions from Brenton Ramsay, Renee Gracie, Marc Cini, Dean Koutsoumidis, Adrian Mastronardo and Maurie Pickering.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, which welcomes Michelin as Event Partner for the Clipsal 500, will hold Qualifying and Race 1 on Friday, Race 2 on Saturday and Race 3 on Sunday.
Friday February 28, 2014
1:05pm Qualifying 20 minutes
7:10pm Race 1 15 laps
Saturday March 01, 2014
1:35pm Race 2 15 laps
Sunday March 02, 2014
1:55pm Race 3 10 laps
Race 2 (delayed)
Date: Saturday March 01, 2014
Time: 2:30pm AEST
Race 3 (live)
Date: Sunday March 02, 2014
Time: 2:25pm AEST