Championship leader Warren Luff’s bid for the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia title has suffered a setback after sustaining extensive damage to his Porsche at Mount Panorama in Thursday practice.
Luff topped the times in the opening practice session, which was cut short after Nick Foster hit the barrier at the Esses, bringing an early end to the session.
Early pace-setter Luff then hit the wall at Reid Park in the second practice session, resulting in a red flag and extensive damage to the rear end of the #7 911 GT3 Cup.
Luff’s team will work into the night to fix the rear-end damage and are set to have the car ready for Friday morning’s qualifying session. Luff, Steven Richards and Craig Baird sit only 26 points apart with six races remaining for the season.
After two interrupted practice sessions, newcomer David Russell and experienced Elite Class racer Shane Smollen set the pace – both setting their fastest times in the second session.
“To be honest I didn’t expect to be up the front and, in fairness, our practice sessions haven’t really gone the full distance. I’m sure the usual suspects are going to have very good pace in qualifying. I’ll just try to do the best job possible in qualifying and hopefully we can translate that into some good race pace,” said Russell, who is replacing Roger Lago for the Bathurst event.
“The Porsche and the V8 Supercar are completely different in the way you drive them. It’s all coming back to me a bit. I’ve certainly enjoyed the small amount of laps I’ve done around Mount Panorama today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Richards was the second fastest driver for the day from Luff, Michael Patrizi and Craig Baird.
Elite Class pace-setter Smollen was pleased with his initial practice pace, though suggests the interrupted sessions didn’t demonstrate drivers’ true pace.
“I’m happy with sectors of pace but I don’t think I stitched a good lap together, but that was the nature of today; there was an accident in both sessions and plenty of traffic. It gives me a good guide for what I need to do tomorrow,” said Smollen.
“Bathurst is always a place to be respected. I’ve done plenty of laps here over the years so there’s no reason why I can’t end up in the same position after tomorrow.”
Tony Bates was the second fastest Elite Class driver from the two practice sessions from Stephen Grove, Ash Samadi and Marc Cini.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its qualifying session on Friday morning followed by its opening race of the event at 2:25pm, which will be broadcast on Seven.
Visit the following link to see what Russell and Smollen had to say on their Thursday performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMprerocUuE
Friday October 10, 2014
9:00am Qualifying – 20 minutes
2:25pm Race 1 – 10 laps
Saturday October 11, 2014
3:25pm Race 2 – 10 laps
Sunday October 12, 2014
8:50am Race 3 – 10 laps
Race 1 (live)
Date: Friday October 10, 2014
Race 2 (live)
Date: Saturday October 11, 2014
Race 3 (live)
Date: Sunday October 12, 2014