In just three days 26 brand new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars will roll out for opening practice to kick-start what will be Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia’s largest on-track presence at the Adelaide 500.
This year’s 26 Carrera Cup entries will surpass the championship’s previous record field in Adelaide, which saw 23 cars line up for the 2014 season opener. The record field will feature 13 Pro and 13 TAG Heuer Pro-Am drivers on the grid for Carrera Cup’s 315th, 316th and 317th race at its 12th visit to the iconic Adelaide street circuit.
One late change to the driver line-up has seen Alex Davison vacate his #888 entry for the opening round due to his soon-to-be-announced driving commitments, making way for a newcomer and former Formula Ford champion, Leanne Tander.
Tander will make a one-off appearance in the Porsche championship before Davison returns for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, getting her first taste of the new 911 GT3 Cup last weekend at a Sandown test session.
“Carrera Cup is a series in which I’ve never driven, but I’ve always wanted to. So when I got the call-up to race in Adelaide, I was absolutely all for it,” said Tander.
“The test went really well. It had been a while since I’ve driven anything that fast; the car has amazing speed and power but is also really enjoyable to drive. I’m really looking forward to Adelaide.”
Tander will be among six newcomers to Carrera Cup in Adelaide, joined on the Adelaide grid by fellow debutants Josh Hunt, John Steffensen, Cameron Hill, Peter Major and Adam Garwood.
A significant milestone on the other end of the spectrum is Max Twigg, who will this weekend reach his 50th round start in the one-make championship, becoming just the fifth driver to achieve the feat (behind Marc Cini, Craig Baird, Rodney Jane and Alex Davison).
From the drivers who have previously contested the championship, only one enters round one as a former Adelaide round winner – Nick McBride. Formerly with Sonic Motor Racing Services, McBride has switched to Porsche Centre Melbourne for the 2018 season. Sonic, however, will look to remain as the dominant force in Adelaide after claiming pole position in the past three Adelaide rounds (Ash Walsh, 2015; McBride, 2016; Andre Heimgartner, 2017) and have claimed outright victory in the past two Adelaide events (McBride, 2016; Heimgartner, 2017).
While only one driver enters Adelaide as a former Outright round winner, the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class features two drivers with past Adelaide success – Twigg (2013) and Stephen Grove (2017). This battle will be far from a two-driver race, however, as the 13-strong TAG Heuer Pro-Am features six former class round winners (Twigg, Grove, Tim Miles, Sam Shahin, Dean Cook and Roger Lago).
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia will hold two practice sessions on Thursday, qualifying and race one on Friday, and race two and race three on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. All sessions will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, while free-to-air coverage will be confirmed in the coming days.
Race Schedule (local time)
Thursday March 01, 2018
11:35am Practice 1 (20 minutes)
1:55pm Practice 2 (20 minutes)
Friday March 02, 2018
8:35am Qualifying (20 minutes)
12:45pm Race 1 (15 laps)
Saturday March 03, 2018
11:10am Race 2 (18 laps)
Sunday March 04, 2018
9:05am Race 3 (15 laps)
Entry List: Round 1, Adelaide 500
#1 David Wall (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security
#4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Grove Motorsport
#5 Greg Taylor (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Arris/Strongbuild
#6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Miles Advisory Partners
#7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) Morris Finance
#8 Nick McBride (Pro) Porsche Centre Melbourne
#9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmarc
#12 Adam Garwood (Pro) Garwood Motorsport
#13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) The Bend/htfu
#14 Peter Major (Pro) Sonic/Totally 4×4
#15 Josh Hunt (Pro) Volante Rosso Motorsport
#18 James Moffat (Pro) Payce/Wilson Security/JBL
#19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmark Homes
#20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Agas National
#22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) BMF/Pitman Racing
#23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) JBS Australia
#35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hyundai Forklifts Australia
#77 Michael Almond (Pro) Sonic/Bob Jane T Marts
#80 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) WM Waste Management
#88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) Allstar Equipment Sales
#100 Dale Wood (Pro) Sonic/Polyflor
#111 Cameron Hill (Pro) Southern Star Truck Centre/Anytime Fitness
#131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Sonic
#777 Jordan Love (Pro) Sonic/Bob Jane T Marts
#808 John Steffensen (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Crown
#888 Leanne Tander (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Porsche Doncaster Motorsport/Porsche Brighton Motorsport