Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by TAG Heuer began its 2017 season with opening practice at the Clipsal 500 where David Wall overcame stifling conditions to set the pace early.
As the temperate soared into the mid-30s, Alex Davison was the quickest in opening practice before Wall topped the second session on a cleaner, faster surface.
Wall finished the day with a best time of 1:22.7133 from Nick McBride, Alex Davison and returning racer Andre Heimgartner in fourth.
“I was happy with the car in the second session and my pace at this stage of the weekend. We probably have some pace up our sleeve, but I’m sure others aren’t 100 per cent satisfied with what they did either,” said Wall.
“It will be cooler for qualifying tomorrow morning so the times will be quicker. The kerb striking is something that will play a part in the story of the weekend; the tolerance of being a strike or not is very minute and if you are too cautious you can lose a lot of time. It will be a great opening round.”
Fifth fastest on Thursday was Adelaide based racer Michael Almond, who was thrilled to return to his home event a year after his maiden Carrera Cup win at the same venue.
“I love coming to the Clipsal 500, and I’d be saying that even if I wasn’t racing. So to be racing here is a privilege and I love doing it in a Porsche with such a good team,” said Almond.
“We had far more grip in the second practice session. We had good pace but it’s hard to gauge everyone’s true speed because you never know who had what set up in practice. I followed David Wall in practice one and he was really quick, so he’ll be a favourite in qualifying. Alex Davison and Cam McConville are always quick and will also be ones to watch.”
Cam McConville was sixth fastest from Dylan O’Keeffe, debutants Lars Kern and Jaxon Evans and James Abela in 10th.
Stephen Grove was the best of the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge competitors in 11th from Marc Cini and Simon Ellingham.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by TAG Heuer returns to the track tomorrow for qualifying and the opening race, with race two and race three to be held on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Friday March 03, 2017
8:30am Qualifying (20 minutes)
3:05pm Race 1 (20 laps)
Saturday March 04, 2017
2:05pm Race 2 (20 laps)
Sunday March 05, 2017
1:30pm Race 3 (20 laps)
Race 1 – 3:09pm, Friday March 03 (local time)
Race 2 – 2:11pm, Saturday March 04 (local time)
Race 3 – 1:50pm, Sunday March 05 (local time)
Channel: Fox Sports 5
Qualifying – 8:30am, Friday March 03 (local time)
Race 1 – 3:05pm, Friday March 03 (local time)
Race 2 – 2:05pm, Saturday March 04 (local time)
Race 3 – 1:30pm, Sunday March 05 (local time)
Practice – Combined times
1. #38 David Wall (Outright) PAYCE/Wilson Security – 1:22.7133
2. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts – 1:22.8746
3. #888 Alex Davison (Outright) President Limo Australia – 1:23.0663
4. #777 Andre Heimgartner (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Sonic – 1:23.1053
5. #6 Michael Almond (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 1:23.1150
6. #5 Cameron McConville (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 1:23.1693
7. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) APB Group/President Limo Australia – 1:23.2413
8. #8 Lars Kern (Outright) Porsche Centre Melbourne – 1:23.3322
9. #7 Jaxon Evans (Outright) Hungry Jacks – 1:23.3787
10. #54 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop – 1:23.7872
11. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Group –:24.9016
12. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 1:24.9586
13. #33 Simon Ellingham (Outright) Peak Marketing – 1:25.785