Star inclusions lift Carrera Cup to season-high field at Bathurst

carrera-cup-ausThe largest and strongest Porsche Carrera Cup Australia field of the 2016 season will gather at the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit this weekend, joining what is an intense fight for the Outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge titles.

Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Tony Longhurst will make his Porsche Carrera Cup Australia debut this weekend, while three-time TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge champion Max Twigg will make a triumphant return to the championship for the first time this season.

Longhurst won ‘The Great Race’ in 1988 with Tomas Mezera and again in 2001 with Mark Skaife and, after several years out of the driver’s seat, made a return to racing this year.

Bathurst will mark the Queenslander’s debut in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and will see him race a car prepared by Steve Richards Motorsport.

Twigg, who joins the DNA Racing stable this weekend, won the 2011 TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge round at Mount Panorama and has three class race wins to his credit on ‘The Mountain’.

Also joining the field for the first time this weekend will be Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia graduate, Danny Stutterd, who finished second in Class B of the GT3 Cup Challenge this season.

Scott Taylor will also return for his third round of the 2016 season to take the grid to a season-high 22 cars this weekend.

Challenge class stalwart Marc Cini will also notch up a milestone this weekend, set to become the first driver in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia to reach 250 race starts in the second race of the weekend.

With two rounds remaining in 2016, the hunt for both the outright and TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge titles have heated up after an eventful Bathurst round.

Shane Smollen, who has won four of the last five Bathurst races in the Challenge class, has reduced the margin to class leader Tony Bates to just 49.5 points with six races remaining for the season. Meanwhile, just 4.5 points separate third placed Stephen Grove from fourth placed James Bergmuller in the class standings.

Meanwhile, the battle for the outright Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship is set to intensify as Alex Davison continues his pursuit of series leader Matt Campbell.

The Queenslander had looked to comfortably extend his lead thanks to a pair of victories in the opening two races at Sandown last month, however a DNF in the third race due to a mechanical issue cost him valuable championship points as Davison soared to victory. Campbell, however, remains the form driver in the championship and is also the defending Bathurst round winner.

The McElrea Racing ace has now scored five consecutive TAG Heuer Pole Positions and sits just one behind the all-time series record of six, held by Jim Richards.

He will also draw confidence from his team’s remarkable record on The Mountain – McElrea Racing having won four of the last five Bathurst rounds, including the last three in a row.

Key title challenger Davison is the only driver to have scored more than one Carrera Cup round victory at Mount Panorama, having taken the top spot on the podium in 2004 and 2007.

Davison currently sits just 37.5 points behind Campbell – and just 18 ahead of Nick McBride as the championship pressure intensifies. At 109.5 points behind the leader, David Wall also comfortably remains in championship contention and sits in fourth place ahead of the final two rounds.

Title contenders Campbell and Wall are amongst five drivers who will tackle both the seventh round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 this weekend.

Campbell will team with Todd Kelly, while Wall reunites with Scott McLaughlin. Ash Walsh and Dean Fiore will driver with Tim Slade and Michael Caruso, respectively, while Steven Richards will attempt to defend his 2015 victory in the Bathurst enduro, driving with Craig Lowndes.

The seventh round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship will be contested over three races this October 06-09, including the curtain raiser to Sunday’s Bathurst 1000.

Double Duty: Porsche Carrera Cup Australia/Supercars Championship
#7 carsales Racing – Todd Kelly/Matt Campbell
#14 Freightliner Racing – Tim Slade/Ash Walsh
#23 Nissan Motorsport – Michael Caruso/Dean Fiore
#33 Wilson Security Racing GRM – Scott McLaughlin/David Wall
#888 TeamVortex – Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards

Race Schedule
Thursday October 06, 2016

8:55am Practice 1 (20 minutes)
4:25pm Practice 2 (20 minutes)
Friday October 07, 2016
10:10am Qualifying (20minutes)
2:25pm Race 1 (9 laps)
Saturday October 08, 2016
4:30pm Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday October 09, 2016
9:30am Race 3 (9 laps)

Broadcast Schedule
Channel: TEN

Race 1 – 2:25pm, Friday October 07
Race 2 – 4:30pm, Saturday October 08
Race 3 – 9:45am (delayed), Sunday October 09
Channel: Fox Sports
Practice 1 – 8:55am, Thursday October 06
Practice 2 – 4:25pm, Thursday October 06
Qualifying – 10:10am, Friday October 07
Race 1 – 2:25pm, Friday October 07
Race 2 – 4:30pm, Saturday October 08
Race 3 – 9:30am, Sunday October 09

Entry List: Round 7
1. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire
2. #7 Matt Campbell (Outright) Nuveau Constructions/Phase 8
3. #8 Dean Fiore (Outright) Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne
4. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc
5. #11 Tony Longhurst (Guest) The Boatworks
6. #12 Steven Richards (Outright) Laser Plumbing and Electrical
7. #13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) pricepressure.com.au/MotorOne
8. #18 Max Twigg (Guest)
9. #21 Garth Walden (Outright) Commercial Interior Projects
10. #24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Moveitnet/C Tech Laser
11. #25 Alex Davison (Outright) Wilson Parking
12. #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Copyworld/Toshiba
13. #32 Danny Stutterd (Guest) DJS Racing
14. #38 David Wall (Outright) Wilson Security/PAYCE
15. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) TOGA/Veritas Property Group
16. #45 Duvashen Padayachee (Outright) Darrell Lea STIX
17. #54 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop
18. #56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents
19. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts
20. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) All Star Equipment Sales/APB Group
21. #222 Scott Taylor (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Scott Taylor Motorsport
22. #777 Ash Walsh (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend

Source. Porsche

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