The Reid Park Circuit on the streets of Townsville will host round 3 of the 2021 Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia series this weekend. The decision to contest the NTI Townsville 500 event followed an anxious wait for many teams, due to the recent travel restrictions – brought about by outbreaks of the Coronavirus pandemic in many states. As a result of the restrictions still in place for parts of Sydney, Tim Miles, Jackson Walls, Drew Hall and Indiran Padayachee will miss out this round, reducing the field size to 22 cars.
The 127th round in series history sees Cameron Hill enter as the hot favourite in the Mobil Pro class after his Squadra Bespoke liveried 911 GT3 Cup car set the pace at The Bend Motorsport Park last time out. In the process Hill became just the seventh driver in series history to win three consecutive rounds and should the Canberra resident take the round win again in Queensland this weekend, he would join an illustrious group of drivers including Craig Baird (2008), Jim Richards (2003) and Alex Davison (six-straight across 2003/2004) to ever achieve the feat.
Hill as a result, currently enjoys a healthy lead in the championship from Harri Jones (Helimods) and David Wall (Paynter Dixon / Shannons Insurance). Cooper Murray (Phase 8 / McElrea Racing) currently lies fourth overall and will be hoping to repeat his 2019 clean sweep, which saw him become Carrera Cup Australia’s youngest ever race and round winner.
Others to watch among the 15-strong Mobil Pro field include the likes of Dale Wood, Aaron Love, Nick McBride and Michael Almond – the latter pairing celebrating their 150th Carrera Cup race starts over the course of the weekend. It will also be interesting to witness how series newcomers Matthew Payne and Kyle Gurton fare among their highly experienced competition which includes the likes of Supercar stars such as Luke Youlden, Craig Lowndes and David Russell.
Stephen Grove will be looking to regain some lost ground on his Morris Finance Pro-Am rivals after not contesting Round 2. Sam Shahin as a result, leads the class for the first time in his career and the South Australian will resume his battle with Geoff Emery, Adrian Flack, Scott Taylor and Marc Cini.
After two practice sessions on the Friday, teams contest a 25-minute qualifying on Saturday morning followed by the first Sprint race that afternoon. A 40-minute Endurance race follows early on Sunday morning before the final race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon.
ENTRY LIST: Round 3, NTI Townsville 500
# Name Surname CLASS
4 Stephen Grove Morris Finance Pro-Am Grove Group
8 Nick McBride Mobil Pro Porsche Centre Melbourne
9 Marc Cini Morris Finance Pro-Am Hallmarc
12 Harri Jones Mobil Pro Helimods
13 Sam Shahin Morris Finance Pro-Am The Bend Motorsport Park/HTFU
20 Adrian Flack Morris Finance Pro-Am AGAS National
21 Matthew Payne Mobil Pro Team Porsche NZ / EBM
22 Dean Cook Morris Finance Pro-Am Zonzo Estate Yarra Valley
23 David Russell Mobil Pro Lago Racing
28 Luke Youlden Mobil Pro TekworkX Motorsport
36 Cooper Murray Mobil Pro Phase 8
38 David Wall Mobil Pro Paynter Dixon / Shannons
48 Geoff Emery Morris Finance Pro-Am Force Accessories
74 Kyle Gurton Mobil Pro Dutton EMA Motorsport
76 Christian Pancione Mobil Pro VCM Performance
77 Michael Almond Mobil Pro Bob Jane T-Marts / PSA
78 Aaron Love Mobil Pro Sonic
100 Dale Wood Mobil Pro Timken / ASM
111 Cameron Hill Mobil Pro Squadra Bespoke
222 Scott Taylor Morris Finance Pro-Am Scott Taylor Motorsport
338 Craig Lowndes Mobil Pro Paynter Dixon / Shannons
777 Simon Fallon Mobil Pro Bob Jane T-Marts / Sonic