Sonic Motor Racing Services’ three-car assault on the 2014 Carrera Cup Australia Championship began on a positive note over the weekend at the opening round held at The Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide.
Pro category Drivers Nick Foster, Nick Bride and Elite rookie Adrian Mastronardo came away from the weekend on the demanding street circuit with encouraging results and significant data to take with them to the next round at The F1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in just two weeks time.
“To be honest I’m very pleased with all our guys,” explains Sonic boss Michael Ritter, “Nick Foster is a championship contender right off the bat anyway and for Nick McBride to kick things off like he did with no previous Porsche experience is very satisfying. Considering we lack test time with these cars compared to the other teams our results for the weekend are very encouraging. We need to work on our cold tyre pace but other than that I think we did very well.”
The two Nicks, Foster and McBride, showed that they will be serious championship contenders in rounds ahead.
Foster’s highlight was a fighting second place in Race One in the Bob Jane T-Marts #777 whilst McBride’s best finish for the weekend was third place in the same race in the Bob Jane T-Marts / Marshalls & Dent Lawyers #77.
Nick Foster: Qualifying – 4th. Race 1 – 2nd. Race 2 – 3rd. Race 3 – 3rd.
Nick McBride: Qualifying – 6th. Race 1 – 3rd. Race 2 – 4th. Race 3 – 4th
“All in all I think it was a solid start,” recalls Foster, “we built on our speed most of the weekend and consolidated what was a pretty good opening round. I think we can make some improvements in certain areas and go into the Grand Prix weekend with confidence.”
“Even though I scored a top three in my first race the last race was more satisfying,” explains McBride, “I’m more interested in pace than place right now and in our last race I had the second fastest lap time and was quicker than all three cars in front of me (he eventually finished fourth). For me that was probably the high point of the weekend. It’s great to get that first championship weekend out of the way so now I have some idea of what to expect with Porsche racing. I just want to keep improving every time I go out there.”
Adrian Mastronardo achieved what he set out to do, garnering important laps and experience in his immaculate Veritas #39 911 GT3.
Mastronardo qualified 21st, unfortunately suffered a DNF due to a spin in Race One, finished 22nd in Race Two and placed 21st in Race Three.
Mastronardo, making his return after two decades focusing on business commitments, enters Albert Park 12th in the standings amongst a field that boast significantly more Porsche experience than he.
“Considering he hasn’t done any racing in 23 years he did a very good job,” admits Ritter, “it won’t be long before he starts challenging some of these elite guys once he gets a bit more confidence.”
“Mick had me on a bit of a program,” concedes Mastronardo, “and we stuck to it. I’m extremely happy. The car was excellent, the team was excellent and I really enjoyed the experience. I can’t wait for the next round and to get some more seat time. It’s both thumbs up for me.”
As the team now prepares for the Championship’s second consecutive street course (held at the iconic F1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park) and home town round Foster and McBride sit third and fourth respectively in the Pro standings.
For more information please visit www.teamsonic.com.au.