Porsche Carrera Cup Australia was met with variable weather conditions as the series kicked off its sixth round at Sandown Raceway, with Nick McBride and Tim Miles the best performers in the early dry conditions.
Friday practice marked the series’ return to home soil following its maiden international round at July’s Sepang event; conditions at the hot and humid Malaysian visit were vastly different to that experienced at the Melbourne venue for practice.
McBride was the pacesetter in the opening session, making the most of the dry conditions to post a time a mere 0.0475secs ahead of his teammate Andre Heimgartner. In his 50th Carrera Cup Australia round, Alex Davison was the third quickest on Friday with Dylan O’Keeffe, following his impressive second outright in Sepang, the fourth fastest driver in Sandown practice.
“It was a really good day as we got to experience both wet and dry conditions and the forecast for this weekend is pretty similar,” said McBride. “It was the first time I’ve ran the new Michelin wet tyre, which performed really well in those conditions. I’m really looking forward to qualifying, whether it be a wet or dry session.”
Debutant Jordan Love had a strong first showing in the Porsche championship. The 18-year-old last weekend won the second-tier Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge title and had an impressive transition to Carrera Cup, claiming the fifth best time in the dry opening session before posting the second best time in the wet second session, which was topped by Jaxon Evans.
Tim Miles was the standout TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge driver of the day. The Sydneysider was the eighth fastest driver of the 19-strong field in opening practice, placing him atop of the class practice result following the slower second session in which Sam Shahin was the fastest Challenge ranked driver.
“I’m really happy with my pace today. I haven’t been here since GT3 Cup Challenge in April last year so I was really looking forward to this round. The car felt great and the pace was excellent.”
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its qualifying session Saturday morning followed by two sprint races ahead of the series’ first Endurance Cup race of the season on Sunday.
Saturday September 16, 2017
9:45am Qualifying (25 minutes)
12:55pm Race 1 (14 laps)
2:45pm Race 2 (14 laps)
Sunday September 17, 2017
11:55am Race 3 (25 laps)
Practice times – Combined Practice 1 & 2
1. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts – 1:11.4541*
2. #777 Andre Heimgartner (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Money Now – 1:11.5016s
3. #888 Alex Davison (Outright) President Limo Australia – 1:11.5945s
4. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) APB Group/President Limo Australia – 1:11.6637s
5. #79 Jordan Love (Outright) Sonic Motor Racing/Quintis – 1:11.6793s
6. #38 David Wall (Outright) PAYCE/Wilson Security – 1:11.7543s
7. #7 Jaxon Evans (Outright) Hungry Jacks – 1:11.8658s
8. #70 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Miles Advisory Partners – 1:11.9227s
9. #136 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop – 1:11.9548s
10. #5 Cameron McConville (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 1:11.9665s
11. #23 Brenton Grove (Outright) Porsche Centre Melbourne – 1:12.0551s
12. #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Copyworld – 1:12.5474s
13. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Group – 1:12.6871s
14. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) HTFU – 1:12.7553s
15. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Zonzo Racing – 1:13.5735s
16. #33 Simon Ellingham (Outright) Peak Marketing – 1:14.0115s
17. #34 John Morriss (Guest) Motorsport Leasing/Race Ramps – 1:14.0431s
18. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 1:14.1599s
19. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) WRA – 1:15.5633s