Michael Patrizi and Shane Smollen have launched into the second half of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season in style by setting the pace in opening practice at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Entering the fifth round of the eight-round championship, Patrizi snared the outright top time late in the second practice session, eclipsing the best laps of Warren Luff, Nick McBride, Nick Foster, Craig Baird and Steven Richards.
The Porsche championship will hold is qualifying and opening race on Saturday, with Patrizi hoping to improve on his already impressive pace.
“I’m happy to be fastest today but we’re not fast enough yet. It’s positive but the reality is that we made a change that I’m not happy with and we’re not fast enough. For tomorrow we’ll go back to the same set up as the first session and hopefully that will work on new tyres. I think we should improve for tomorrow, though so will the whole field,” said Patrizi.
Shae Davies was the seventh quickest driver from Michael Almond, Duvashen Padayachee and Sam Power in 10th.
Smollen was the 11th quickest driver and the Elite Class pace setter from Roger Lago, Stephen Grove, Tony Bates, Tony Walls, James Bergmuller and Renee Gracie.
Smollen maintained his strong opening day pace though hopes to convert this speed into race results.
“We were having the same grip issues that everybody had; the track was fresh so we just tried to be patient with the lack of grip. That paid off and now we’re looking forward to building on a strong first day,” said Smollen.
“It has been an up-and-down season. We’re at the halfway mark now so there’s no excuse not to consolidate on the pace that we’ve shown and have that showing on the Sunday afternoon.”
The opening Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network (details below), while Sunday’s Race 2 will also be televised on the 7mate coverage.
Saturday August 23, 2014
9:55am – 10:15am – Qualifying (20 minutes)
3:35pm – 4:05pm – Race 1 (14 laps)
Sunday August 24, 2014
9:00am – 9:30am – Race 2 (14 laps)
2:35pm – 3:05pm – Race 3 (14 laps)
Carrera Cup – Race 1
Date: Saturday August 23
Time: 3:35pm (live) Sydney local time
Channel: Seven (Sydney/Brisbane), 7mate (Melbourne/Adelaide/Perth)
Carrera Cup – Race 2
Date: Sunday August 24, 2014
Time: 1:30pm (delayed) Sydney local time
Carrera Cup – Post-round Episode
Date: Saturday August 30, 2014
Time: 11:00am Sydney local time