Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps, Fuji Speedway, Sepang International Circuit … Monaco: Porsche driver Stephen Grove continues to use international Porsche one-make series to race at motorsport’s most iconic and exclusive events, including this month’s Formula 1 2018 Monaco Grand Prix.
Using an identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car which is raced in Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia, Grove will compete in the second round of the 2018 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the Monaco Grand Prix with French team, Pro GT by Alméras, on May 24-27, 2018.
Grove has capitalised on Porsche’s global one-make formula to compete in Carrera Cup championships around the world. The Victorian started his international one-make campaign in 2014 when he travelled to France’s Circuit de la Sarthe for a joint Carrera Cup Great Britain & France event as a curtain raiser to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Then, in 2017, Grove competed at Japan’s Fuji Speedway (Carrera Cup Asia & Japan), Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps (Carrera Cup France) and at Sepang International Circuit on two separate occasions, once with Carrera Cup Australia at its maiden international round, and again later in the season with Carrera Cup Asia.
As the sole tip-top series at the exclusive Monaco event, Grove is thankful for the rare opportunity for a Pro-Am driver to compete on the streets of Monte Carlo.
“For me, just to be at the Formula 1 event in Monaco is an amazing thing, so to actually get into a current 911 GT3 Cup car and race around that track is a real bucket list thing for me,” said Grove. “It’s really hard to get the opportunity to race at the Monaco Grand Prix and I’ve been lucky through Porsche to get that opportunity.
“The only tin-tops that race around there on the Monaco Grand Prix weekend is the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, so it’s great to have the opportunity to go and do something so special and rare.”
Grove is no stranger to street circuits; the Carrera Cup Australia series traditionally book-ends its season with the Adelaide 500 and Gold Coast 600 circuits, though the reigning TAG Heuer Pro-Am champion believes the 3.3km Monaco circuit will present its own unique challenges.
“Because it’s such a unique circuit, the only way to prepare for it really is on the simulator, so I’ve been doing a couple of hours on the sim each week to get acquainted with it all.
“It’s a pretty technical track and a pretty rough track from what I’ve found on the sim so far – there’s no run off and no room for error. The entire layout is so iconic and, given the characteristic of the track, the way you approach and take a corner and some of the key corners there are different to anywhere else.
“Monaco has a little bit of Gold Coast mixed in it. The concrete walls, small track, not very wide, you need to be precise and there’s a lot of stop and go where you need to stop, pitch the car in and go. There’s also quite a bit of free-flowing, especially in the back part of the circuit after the tunnel where you’ve got to carry momentum, so it’s got a good mixture.”
The last Australian to race in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix was now-Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell, who placed fifth in the sole 16-lap race in 2017.
Grove will enter the event on a high, having recently claimed the TAG Heuer Pro-Am round win at the latest Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia event at Phillip Island.