Six current V8 Supercar stars, three Bathurst 1000 champions and one triple World Superbike champion: This weekend’s Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round at Phillip Island is the best field the championship has seen.
The third round of the Porsche series sees regular Carrera Cup drivers joined by non-regular racers, with some of the top names in Australian motorsport joining the one-make championship.
Following three Friday practice sessions, V8 ace Tim Slade posted the quickest lap time of the day in the final session.
Slade, teaming with regular Elite Class driver Adrian Mastronardo, was seven-tenths-of-a-second quicker than the second fastest pairing of series leader Warren Luff and Geoff Emery, with Tony Walls and David Reynolds in third.
Slade, who marked his second appearance in the category by setting the practice pace, was pleased with his times and is impressed with the Porsche field this weekend.
“This is a great format that allows some top drivers, especially the guys from V8 Supercars, to enter the championship. In terms of a category outside of V8 Supercars, this is certainly one of the best driver line ups I’ve seen,” said Slade.
“I’m pleased with our pace today but I think we can certainly improve from what we achieved today.”
The Mastronardo/Slade entry occupied the top of the timesheets into the final stages of the final session when the latter hit the barrier.
The accident ended the third practice session and put the duo’s weekend in doubt with significant damage to the rear of the Porsche, though Mastronardo was pleased with their initial pace and his Pro-Am co-driver.
“It has been inspiring having Tim on board this weekend,” said Mastronardo.
“He has certainly been a great help with my driving so far and we were doing well towards the end of the day. I’m a little bit disappointed with the end result but hopefully we can get it back on track for the weekend.”
The duo of Stephen Grove and Scott McLaughlin was the fourth fastest duo with Nick Foster and Ryan Simpson rounding out the top five.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will begin tomorrow’s on-track activity with two 15 minute qualifying sessions, followed by the opening race at 12:50pm.
To watch Saturday’s on-track action, visit the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals website at www.thenationals.com.au for the live stream.