Endurance Battle Continues In The Top End
Author : Daniel Jordan
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia has embarked on the longest road trip of the 2018 season ahead of this weekend’s round four, venturing almost 4,000km from its previous destination, Phillip Island, to the championship’s northern-most round at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway.
Following Phillip Island’s two 45-minute Endurance Cup races, Darwin will host two sprint races before the event concludes with a 100km, 35-lap race three, which will feature as the third race of the six-race 2018 Endurance Cup battle.
A noteworthy change to Carrera Cup in Darwin is the inclusion of Glen Wood, the brother of Endurance Cup points leader Dale Wood. Wood replaces Alex Davison in the #888 Porsche entry as the 2004 Carrera Cup champion contests the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend in the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
Davison’s Darwin absence will provide relief for series leader Jaxon Evans, who claimed an impressive clean sweep in Darwin last season, with Davison finishing second for the round. While unbeaten in Darwin, Evans’ will likely see challenges from Phillip Island podium finishers Dale Wood and Dylan O’Keeffe, the latter entering Darwin after a recent test with Supercars squad Erebus Motorsport.
“Hidden Valley is one of my favourite tracks – as well as being a rewarding driver’s track, it also has a very friendly atmosphere. All the local fans turn out in force and the hairpin section has almost a sports stadium atmosphere,” said O’Keeffe.
“Some of this year’s Carrera Cup rounds have longer races, and I thought the format worked well at Phillip Island. This weekend’s long race will be a tough one – both car setup and driver fitness will be critical due to the high temperature and humidity.”
The TAG Heuer Pro-Am battle will see a new winner for the Darwin round. With the absence of 2017 round winner Sam Shahin who, along with Max Twigg and Indiran Padayachee, is unavailable for round four, all other Pro-Am drivers are yet to taste round success in the Top End. Tim Miles is the only Pro-Am driver attending Darwin to have claimed a class race win at Hidden Valley Raceway.
“My first Carrera Cup round as a sole driver was in Darwin last year and I really enjoyed it; I love the track, I love being up in the north and Stephen Grove and I had a fantastic battle in all three races… and relative to the Pro drivers we were only eight-tenths off,” said Miles.
“It’s also a track where braking is extremely important so with our cars having ABS and the Pros having no ABS, it will be a tight field for sure.”
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia will first hit the track with two 20-minute practice sessions on Friday, followed by qualifying and race one on Saturday and conclude with two races on Sunday.
All sessions from practice two will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 throughout the Darwin event.
Race Schedule (local time)
Friday June 15, 2018
11:20am Practice 1 (25 minutes)
2:30pm Practice 2 (25 minutes)
Saturday June 16, 2018
12:30pm Qualifying (20 minutes)
3:05pm Race 1 (18 laps)
Sunday June 17, 2018
8:45am Race 2 (18 laps)
12:00pm Race 3 (35 laps)
Broadcast Schedule (local time)
Practice 2 – 2:30pm, Friday June 15
Qualifying – 12:30pm, Saturday June 16
Race 1 – 3:05pm, Saturday June 16
Race 2 – 8:45am, Sunday June 17
Race 3 – 12:00pm, Sunday June 17
Entry List: Round 4, Darwin
1. #1 David Wall (Pro) PAYCE/Wilson Security
2. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Grove Group
3. #5 Greg Taylor (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Arris/Strongbuild
4. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Miles Advisory Partners/Garage 1
5. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) Morris Finance
6. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) Porsche Centre Melbourne
7. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Hallmarc
8. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) Garwood Motorsport
9. #14 Peter Major (Pro) Sonic/Totally 4x5
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. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) Bob Jane T Marts/PSA
17. #88 Dylan O'Keeffe (Pro) APB Group
18. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) Sonic/Polyflor
19. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) Southern Star Truck Centre/Anytime Fitness
20. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Harcourts Williams
21. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) Bob Jane T Marts
22. #808 John Steffensen (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) Crown/Timken/Porsche Melbourne
23. #888 Glen Wood (Pro) Porsche Centre Brighton/Porsche Centre Doncaster