A CRITICAL fourth round of the 2023 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship will play out this weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park’s OTR SuperSprint.
The championship reaches the half-way point with both the Equity-One Pro and SP Tools Pro-Am classes finely poised with new contenders presenting themselves at every round.
Three different drivers have claimed the three rounds held so far, while four drivers have claimed the eight full races contested.
The 30-strong field for The Bend’s annual round includes the Carrera Cup return of Garth Tander, who will drive an SP Tools-backed car for Grove Racing and Earl Bamber Motorsport.
Tander has a single Carrera Cup round start to his credit – in a two-driver Pro-Am event at Sydney Motorsport Park back in 2016 – however is expected to take little time to get up to speed this weekend.
Also returning to the championship is Ryder Quinn, who missed the most recent round in Townsville following accident damage sustained in Darwin earlier this year.
The Queensland-based driver returns with a new livery and sponsor, Game Over now backing his McElrea Racing-prepared 992 GT3 Cup Car.
The remainder of the 30-strong field remains vastly as per the most recent round as Jackson Walls holds a narrow 20-point lead in the outright championship.
The Objective Racing / McElrea driver holds the narrow lead over fellow Michelin Junior, Team Porsche New Zealand’s Callum Hedge.
A strong weekend in Townsville has TekworkX Motorsport’s Max Vidau third in the championship as he heads into the first of two home events this year.
Speaking of home events, The Bend Motorsport Park will see a milestone for one of the circuit’s founders, Sam Shahin.
The South Australian driver will record his 100th Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race start in the first of three races this weekend, becoming just the 27th driver to reach the century milestone.
Shahin has won 18 SP Tools Pro-Am class races in his career, including a pair at The Bend last year that allowed him to claim the round victory at his own circuit.
Another addition to The Bend’s grid will be Indiran Padayachee, who will make a welcome return to the championship following a hefty crash at Albert Park during the season opener.
Padayachee recently contested a round of Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia in Sydney prior to his Carrera Cup return this weekend.
This year marks the fifth time that Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia will have raced at The Bend Motorsport Park, the series having made its debut there in 2018.
The circuit has been the happy hunting ground of Sonic Motor Racing, who have dominated proceedings on the fast and flowing 4.9km layout.
Sonic have won three of the four rounds contested at the venue, including last year that saw Aaron Love score pole, win all three races and claim the weekend overall.
Michael Almond (2018) and Jordan Love (2019) are other Sonic winners at the venue, while the team has claimed nine of the 12 races held there.
Jordan and Aaron Love also hold the circuit lap records, too: Aaron the qualifying benchmark (1m50.1212s, 2022) and Jordan in racing conditions (1m50.7966s, set in 2019).
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship will contest three races this weekend, with all three and Saturday’s all-important qualifying session to be broadcast live, ad-break free on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports, and Sky Sports NZ.
ENTRY LIST – Round 4, Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship
The Bend Motorsport Park
|No.||Class||Car #||Sponsor Name||Driver
|1||Pro||2||Wall Racing / MOUTAI||Luke||King||NSW||Silver|
|2||Pro||3||Porsche Centre Melbourne / BWT||Fabian||Coulthard||QLD||Pink/White|
|4||Pro-Am||7||Miles Advisory Partners||Tim||Miles||NSW||Red/White|
|5||Pro||8||Hallmarc/ Team MPC||Nick||McBride||VIC||Pink/White|
|6||Pro-Am||9||Hallmarc/ Team MPC||Marc||Cini||VIC||Red|
|8||Pro-Am||13||The Bend Motorsport Park||Sam||Shahin||SA||White/Blue/Red|
|9||Pro-Am||14||ID Land / Team MPC||Matthew||Belford||VIC||Black / Orange|
|10||Pro||17||Team Porsche New Zealand / EBM||Callum||Hedge||QLD||White / Black / Red|
|12||Pro-Am||22||Dexion / RAM Motorsport||Dean||Cook||VIC||Grey / Red|
|13||Pro-Am||23||TekworkX Motorsport||Daniel||Stutterd||VIC||Black / Yellow|
|14||Pro||28||Hall Finance / Insurance Solutions||Bayley||Hall||QLD||Silver / Green|
|15||Pro||32||Porsche Centre Melbourne / BWT||Courtney||Prince||VIC||Pink/White|
|17||Pro||38||Wall Racing||David||Wall||NSW||Black / Red|
|18||Pro||42||Coca-Cola Racing powered by EMA||Chris||Pither||VIC||Red|
|19||Pro||72||TekworkX Motorsport / Tyrepower||Max||Vidau||SA||Blue / Red / White|
|20||Pro||76||VCM Performance / HP Tuners||Christian||Pancione||VIC||Red|
|21||Pro-Am||77||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts||Rodney||Jane||VIC||Yellow / Blue|
|23||Pro||87||SP Tools Racing||Garth||Tander||VIC||White/ Blue/ Orange|
|24||Pro||88||Dexion / RAM Motorsport||Dylan||O’Keeffe||VIC||Grey / Red|
|25||Pro||99||Earl Bamber Motorsport||David||Russell||QLD||Yellow|
|27||Pro||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Alex||Davison||QLD||Black/Green/Red|
|28||Pro||777||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts / Bremtech||Simon||Fallon||VIC||Yellow / Blue|
|29||Pro||992||Ranbuild||Dale||Wood||VIC||Blue / White|
|30||Pro||999||Sonic Motor Racing Services / Bob Jane T Marts / Pitbox||Angelo||Mouzouris||VIC||Yellow / Blue|