Porsche Carrera Cup Australia series leader David Wall has set the early pace at Mount Panorama for the penultimate round of the 2017 season, while a ‘risky’ practice session launched Stephen Grove to the top of the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge times.
Wall, who is racing in both Carrera Cup and the Supercars Championship at Bathurst, was four-tenths quicker than his nearest rival Andre Heimgartner in the 50-minute practice session, with Jaxon Evans posting the third fastest time on Thursday.
With no further practice sessions, Wall was content with his pace entering Friday morning’s qualifying session despite an early practice spin, which brought the only red flag to the session.
“The turn one spin was just a mistake and proved that we’re all pushing pretty hard. I’ve been pumping myself up all day to get back in the Porsche as I really enjoy it. We tuned the car during the session; I wasn’t really happy with it at the start of the session and, bit by bit, it came to us and I eventually got a clean lap to top the session. We’ll go to bed happy tonight,” said Wall.
Alex Davison was the fourth fastest from Thursday practice from Michael Almond, Cam McConville, Nick McBride, James Abela and returning racer Dan Gaunt in ninth. Young guns Jordan Love and Dylan O’Keeffe were 10th and 11th, respectively.
Grove was the clear pace-setter in the Challenge class. Having plenty of experience at the iconic New South Wales venue, Grove suggested he found the limit early and is expecting his rivals to do the same on Friday.
“The practice session was good but this is a tough track and you’ve just got to keep building. I wasn’t too quick at the start of the session but we just kept chipping away at it and finished pretty well,” said Grove.
“The other Challenge drivers will be quick tomorrow; I think I just took a bit more risk. I know this track pretty well and there’s no question that I was on the limit in some parts. I just took a little more risk – calculated risk – but they’ll catch up, they always do.”
Max Twigg was the second quickest in class in his return to the series from Marc Cini, Tim Miles and Sam Shahin fifth for his first time driving the Bathurst circuit. Simon Ellingham was the next quickest from Graham Williams.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia returns to the circuit Friday morning at 10:00am for qualifying followed by the opening 16-lap race, which is set to be the longest single driver race in Carrera Cup Australia history, scheduled for 2:05pm.
Friday October 06, 2017
10:00am Qualifying (30 minutes)
2:05pm Race 1 (16 laps)
Saturday October 07, 2017
4:30pm Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday October 08, 2017
9:30am Race 3 (9 laps)
Results – Practice
1. #38 David Wall (Outright) PAYCE/Wilson Security – 2:09.0563*
2. #777 Andre Heimgartner (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts / Money Now – 2:09.4478s
3. #7 Jaxon Evans (Outright) Hungry Jacks – 2:09.5269s
4. #888 Alex Davison (Outright) President Limo Australia – 2:09.8906s
5. #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Copyworld – 2:10.3639s
6. #5 Cameron McConville (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 2:10.4524s
7. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Sonic / Bob Jane T-Marts – 2:10.5218s
8. #136 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop – 2:10.5952s
9. #8 Dan Gaunt (Outright) Porsche Centre Melbourne – 2:10.8709s
10. #79 Jordan Love (Outright) Sonic Motor Racing / Quintis – 2:11.0963s
11. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) APB Group/President Limo Australia – 2:11.1544s
12. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Group – 2:11.9252s
13. #18 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 2:13.5028s
14. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 2:14.6973s
15. #70 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Miles Advisory Partners – 2:14.8257s
16. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) HTFU – 2:15.1320s
17. #33 Simon Ellingham (Outright) Peak Marketing – 2:17.4781s
18. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) WRA – 2:31.8830s