Now in its third year, the Endurance Cup will consist of six endurance races across the final six rounds of the season, starting from this weekend’s third round at Phillip Island.
The round also marks a change of race format at the Phillip island venue; this weekend sees a return to the traditional three-race format for the first time since 2012. The 4.445km Victorian circuit was the scene of multiple two-driver Pro-Am events, while last season it played host to the Endurance Cup opener, which consisted of two 45-minute endurance races.
After a sensational start to the season, Dale Wood will look to continue his Phillip Island form, claiming victory in both endurance races at last season’s Phillip Island round. Then, to start the 2019 season, the former Supercars driver has claimed seven top-three race results from as many races, including two race wins, to sit atop of the 2019 standings.
Trailing Wood in the standings is his Sonic Motor Racing Services teammate and Michelin Junior points leader Jordan Love. The Melbourne-based West Australian enters Phillip Island having won the final race at Albert Park, securing Love victory in the Michelin Super Round. The honour will therefore see Love head to Germany to attend the FIA Formula E Berlin E-Prix in late May.
Wood and Love will also look to continue Sonic Motor Racing’s winning streak, with a potential five-straight race wins in the race one Endurance Cup opener to set a new winning record for the Melbourne-based squad.
Besides Wood, only one other driver lining up at Phillip Island has won a Carrera Cup race outright at the venue – Nick McBride during the 2017 Pro-Am event alongside Dylan Thomas.
TAG Heuer Pro-Am racer Stephen Grove experienced one of his Carrera Cup highlights at Phillip Island, claiming outright round victory in the 2014 Pro-Am event when teamed with now-Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin. This event also marks Grove’s last before he commences his 2019 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup campaign at the season opening race in Barcelona, Spain, on May 10-12.
Grove’s departure from the series on a full-time basis will ultimately benefit points leader and round one winner Anthony Gilbertson, who currently leads Grove by 39 points in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am standings.
Meanwhile, Liam Talbot and Roger Lago aim to spoil Grove’s full-time send off, both eager for a strong Phillip Island appearance sitting just 41 points shy of the class lead. Fifth place in class is Sam Shahin, who comes off a strong performance last weekend when taking a TAG Heuer Pro-Am clean sweep at the opening Michelin GT3 Cup challenge Australia round at Tasmania’s Symmons Plains Raceway.
Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia will commence round three with two practice sessions and qualifying on Friday before the first Endurance Cup race of the season on Saturday morning followed by a sprint race on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Friday April 12, 2019
10:25am – Practice 1 (25 minutes)
1:25pm – Practice 2 (25 minutes)
3:55pm – Qualifying (20 minutes)
Saturday April 13, 2019
11:20am – Race 1 (24 laps)
2:40pm – Race 2 (14 laps)
Sunday April 14, 2019
12:45pm – Race 3 (14 laps)
1. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Grove Group
2. #5 Thomas Maxwell (Pro) Sonic/Hosepower
3. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Garage 1
4. #7 Warren Luff (Pro) MEGA/No Second Chance
5. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) Porsche Centre Melbourne
6. #12 Steve Richards (Pro) O’Brien Electrical & Plumbing
7. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) The Bend Motorsport Park/HTFU
8. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) Lory Construction/Volante Rosso
9. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmark Homes
10. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Agas National
11. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) BMF
12. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Lago Racing
13. #27 Liam Talbot (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Wash It
14. #34 Duvashen Padayachee (Pro) Hyundai Forklifts Australia
15. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hyundai Forklifts Australia
16. #36 Cooper Murrary (Pro) Lodge Brothers
17. #38 David Wall (Pro) PAYCE
18. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts/PSA Australia
19. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) Sonic/Polyflor
20. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) Seears Workwear
21. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts/SRG