THE PORSCHE Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship returns to Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway for the 10th time at this weekend’s Betr Darwin Triple Crown.
It’s the second round of the 2023 championship, with a long break between the season opener at the Australian Grand Prix in March and this weekend’s event in the top end.
Currently Objective Racing / McElrea Racing driver Jackson Walls and Tyrepower TekworkX star Max Vidau share the lead in the outright and Equity One Pro title races after scoring the same points at Albert Park, though Walls’ claimed his maiden round win on countback by virtue of winning the final race.
Kiwi Callum Hedge sits third in the standings aboard his Team Porsche NZ / Earl Bamber Motorsport entry with Dale Wood and Nick McBride completing the top five.
Meanwhile, Adrian Flack leads the SP Tools Pro-Am class after sweeping the two races contested in Melbourne, with Rodney Jane – fresh from a trip to race at Le Mans last week – and Dean Cook next.
The 28-strong Darwin field includes the return of 2005 champion, Fabian Coulthard, who joins BWT Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport’s Courtney Prince in a revised attack from the Melbourne-based team.
Coulthard joins fellow former champion David Wall (2017) and Alex Davison (2004) on the grid in one of the most packed fields of proven Porsche talent the series has ever seen.
The Darwin field accounts for 103 race victories – almost one quarter of every race the series has contested – and 38 round victories.
Davison is the only driver to have claimed multiple Darwin round victories, winning in 2004 and again in 2016.
While Coulthard links with Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport, the returning Melbourne Performance Centre squad will make a comeback to the championship this weekend following a more than decade-long absence.
The multiple GT World Challenge Australia title-winning outfit will field three cars, for Equity One Pro driver Nick McBride, and SP Tools Pro-Am contenders Marc Cini and Matt Belford.
Meanwhile, Dale Wood will become the 26th driver to reach the ‘100 club’ of drivers to have started a century of Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Races.
Wood will reach the milestone in the third of three races this weekend.
The Victorian made his Carrera Cup debut in 2013 and has raced full-time in the series since 2018. The runner-up in the 2019 championship, Wood has won 3 rounds and 12 races in his career – his last race and round wins coming in Darwin.
Wood also has four pole positions – his most recent in Darwin last year as well.
Territorian driver Thomas Maxwell will also make his Hidden Valley return this weekend as he embarks on his second full season in Carrera Cup – the only local driver on the Porsche grid this weekend.
2023 marks the second year the current Type-992 Porsche GT3 Cup car will have tackled Hidden Valley’s 2.87km, the latest example of Porsche’s one-make racer establishing new qualifying and race lap records on its debut there in 2022.
Dale Wood (1m06.5556s) owns the qualifying record, while Christian Pancione (1m07.5065s) the race record.
Wood claimed the 2022 round at the venue, his most recent round and race wins in Carrera Cup.
The series will contest three races this weekend at the Betr Darwin Triple Crown.
All three days of racing will be broadcast, with action commencing on Friday with a pair of two practice sessions.
Qualifying will be held in two parts – for Pro and Pro Am runners – on Saturday morning before Race 1 on Saturday afternoon.
Races 2 & 3 will be held on Sunday, with the first and third races of the weekend to be shown live on the Seven Network around Australia.
All other sessions will be broadcast on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports this weekend.
ENTRY LIST – ROUND 2
|No.||Class||Car #||Sponsor Name||Driver
|1||Pro||2||Wall Racing / MOUTAI||Luke||King|
|2||Pro||3||Porsche Centre Melbourne||Fabian||Coulthard|
|4||Pro-Am||7||Miles Advisory Partners||Tim||Miles|
|8||Pro-Am||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Sam||Shahin|
|10||Pro||17||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Callum||Hedge|
|12||Pro-Am||22||Dexion / RAM Motorsport||Dean||Cook|
|14||Pro||28||Hall Finance / Insurance Solutions||Bayley||Hall|
|15||Pro||32||Porsche Centre Melbourne / BWT||Courtney||Prince|
|17||Pro||42||Coca-Cola Racing powered by EMA||Chris||Pither|
|18||Pro||72||TekworkX Motorsport / Tyrepower||Max||Vidau|
|20||Pro||76||VCM Performance / HP Tuners||Christian||Pancione|
|21||Pro-Am||77||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts||Rodney||Jane|
|22||Pro||88||Dexion / RAM Motorsport||Dylan||O’Keeffe|
|23||Pro||99||Earl Bamber Motorsport||David||Russell|
|25||Pro||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Alex||Davison|
|26||Pro||777||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts / Bremtech||Simon||Fallon|
|27||Pro||992||Porsche Centre Brighton Motorsport / EBM||Dale||Wood|
|28||Pro||999||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts / Pitbox||Angelo||Mouzouris|
HIDDEN VALLEY ROUND WINNERS
2003 Tim Leahey
2004 Alex Davison
2006 Craig Baird
2007 David Reynolds
2016 Alex Davison
2017 Jaxon Evans
2018 Dylan O’Keeffe
2019 Michael Almond
2022 Dale Wood
HIDDEN VALLEY POLE POSITIONS
2003 Jim Richards 1m10.4116s
2004 Jim Richards 1m10.4029s
2006 Alex Davison 1m09.5227s
2007 Alex Davison 1m09.4004s
2016 Matt Campbell 1m07.5609s
2017 David Wall 1m08.0158s
2018 David Wall 1m07.2438s
2019 Cameron Hill 1m07.4406s
2022 Dale Wood 1m06.5566s
HIDDEN VALLEY TAG HEUER PRO-AM ROUND WINNERS
2004 Stephen Borness
2006 Tony Quinn
2007 Rodney Jane
2016 Shane Smollen
2017 Sam Shahin
2018 Stephen Grove
2019 Adrian Flack
2022 Liam Talbot