Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia welcomes a new driver, car and half-century milestone to Mount Panorama this weekend, where the series continues the 2018 Endurance Cup with its second largest Bathurst field.
Twenty-four entries will line-up for the penultimate 2018 round for the championship’s 14th appearance at Bathurst – in its 14th season. Following practice and qualifying, race one of the Bathurst round will feature as the second-to-last Endurance Cup race of the season, with Dale Wood and Stephen Grove currently holding the respective Pro and TAG Heuer Pro-Am Endurance Cup leads.
Grove already has a reason to celebrate; the round will mark a special occasion for the TAG Heuer Pro-Am pace-setter, who will contest his 50th Carrera Cup Australia round this weekend. Since his Carrera Cup debut at Townsville in 2012, Grove has secured two Pro-Am titles (2014, 2017) and one outright round victory when teamed with Scott McLaughlin at the 2014 Phillip Island two-driver Pro-Am event.
“Fifty round starts is a source of pride for me,” said Grove, who sits 24 points behind Roger Lago in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am points. “Over all the years, I have raced at some really cool places with some great competitors, so to get to round number 50 in a single championship is something quite special. Bathurst is a track that I have done a lot of racing at, so it’s somewhat fitting to chalk up the 50th round there. I’m really looking forward to getting back there.”
In contrast, Wall Racing driver Dave Stevens has taken advantage of Porsche’s recent importation of six new 911 GT3 Cup cars by campaigning one of the new arrivals at the upcoming Bathurst and Gold Coast rounds before a full 2019 Carrera Cup season.
Championship leader Jaxon Evans enters Bathurst following his recent confirmation as the Carrera Cup Australia nominee for the Porsche Motorsport Junior Programme Shootout, taking a 62-point lead in the outright standings to Bathurst from Dylan O’Keeffe in second and David Wall in third.
The duo who sits fourth and fifth in the championship – Dale Wood and James Moffat – will be busy at Bathurst and Gold Coast. Wood will couple his Carrera Cup duties with racing in the Supercars Championship alongside Tim Blanchard while Moffat will partner Chaz Mostert in the headline touring car category.
“There’s no better place in the country to go to than Bathurst,” said Moffat. “I’m really excited about the prospect of taking the Porsche around ‘The Mountain’. We didn’t have the benefit of doing double duty at Sandown this year so we’ll jump in the deep end this year at Bathurst and see how we go. We’ll be juggling priorities, but I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
McElrea Racing will look to continue its Bathurst dominance, winning four of the last five Carrera Cup rounds at Mount Panorama. Meanwhile, Evans remains the only dual round winner this season, with five different drivers winning the past five rounds: Evans (Albert Park), Wood (Phillip Island), O’Keeffe (Hidden Valley Raceway), Moffat (Sydney Motorsport Park) and Michael Almond (The Bend Motorsport Park).
Reigning champion David Wall will look to continue this streak at Bathurst. Wall, who won the Endurance Cup race at Bathurst last season, is the only driver in the field to have previously won a Carrera Cup race at Mount Panorama outright. Meanwhile, Tim Miles is the only TAG Heuer Pro-Am driver to have a class race win at Mount Panorama following his impressive clean sweep last season.
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia hold practice and qualifying on Thursday, followed by one race each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Each session from Bathurst will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506, while each race will be broadcast free-to-air, live on Channel Ten.
Race Schedule (local time)
Thursday October 4
10:45am Practice (50 minutes)
4:45pm Qualifying (30 minutes)
Friday October 5
2:05pm Race 1 (16 laps)
Saturday October 6
1:55pm Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday October 7
9:30am Race 3 (9 laps)
1. #1 David Wall (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security
2. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Grove Group
3. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Miles Advisory Partners/Garage 1
4. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) Morris Finance
5. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) Porsche Centre Melbourne
6. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmarc
7. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) Garwood Motorsport
8. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) The Bend/htfu
9. #14 Peter Major (Pro) Sonic/Totally 4×4
10. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) LORY Construction
11. #18 James Moffat (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security/JBL
12. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmark Homes
13. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Agas National
14. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) BMF/Pitman Racing
15. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) JBS Australia
16. #50 Dave Stevens (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Wall Racing/Brennan IT
17. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hyundai Forklifts Australia
18. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) Bob Jane T-Marts/PSA
19. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) APB Group
20. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) Sonic/Polyflor
21. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) Lifeline Canberra/Seears Workwear
22. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Harcourts Williams
23. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) Bob Jane T-Marts
24. #888 Glen Wood (Pro) Porsche Centre Brighton/Porsche Centre Doncaster