Melbourne teenager Dylan O’Keeffe will take the biggest leap of his motor racing career next month when making his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
The 18-year-old is touted as one of the country’s best up-and-coming sports car drivers, proving his worth after placing second in last season’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia championship in his rookie season.
O’Keeffe has joined Melbourne team Ash Seward Motorsport for his Carrera Cup debut and hopes his speed in Porsche’s feeder series will translate into strong results in the country’s most competitive one-make sports car championship.
“I’m excited to make the transition from GT3 Cup Challenge to Carrera Cup, which is one of the strongest categories in the country. I look forward to seeing how I go and to also improve and progress up the order throughout the season,” said O’Keeffe.
“For me, the biggest challenge will be learning new circuits. Last week’s Sydney Motorsport Park test was great as we’ll be racing there twice this year, but that’s the only circuit from the 2016 Carrera Cup calendar that I’ve raced on before. I’m looking forward to the challenge and racing at the biggest motorsport events in the country.”
O’Keeffe, like many other drivers transitioning from GT3 Cup Challenge to Carrera Cup, will benefit from the similarities between the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup models, making the switch from the second generation 997 series race car to the current 991 model – two race car models that share similar on track traits.
“The transition to the new car has been really good. It’s still a GT3 Cup car, so many of its characteristics remain the same; you will sit on the left-hand side and it feels very similar. There are some differences to get used to though; the handling and balance vary slightly from the 997, and the paddle shift makes a big difference. It’s still a Porsche but I’ve got to adapt to get the most out of the car. We’ve seen drivers like Matt Campbell and Fraser Ross successfully make the transition and I’m looking forward to making the switch myself.
“I have to thank my supporters – my family, Dexion Supply Centre, All Star Equipment Sales, Lowbake Spray Booths and Moore & Associates – who have made this all possible.”
O’Keeffe’s debut GT3 Cup Challenge season consisted of 12 top-three finishes from 18 races, concluding the season with his maiden race win.
The 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season will kick off at the season opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 03-06, 2016.