Tuesday Wrap 7 March

Porsche Carrera Cup Season Opener

One of the main support to the Supercars at the Clipsal 500 is the Porsche Carrera Cup presented TAG Heuer , which also kicked its season off on the streets of Adelaide.

This year the field has no defending Champion, with Matt Campbell has headed overseas to contest the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

His absence however was covered with the return of some notable drivers to the series and the pointy end of the field from last season also lining up again.

Drivers such as Cam McConville and Andre Heimgartner were welcomed back to the paddock after a few seasons away.

Whilst Alex Davison took to the track looking to go one better than his runner up placing in the Championship last season.

Meanwhile David Wall and Stephen Grove both celebrated their 100
th Carrera Cup starts over the weekend.

The opening race on Friday saw Heimgartner claim the win building on his earlier pole position, in hard fought battle with Wall that saw the gap at just 0.16s at the chequered flag.

“It was pretty hot out there but I was able to get out in front at the start and managed the race from there. I had no idea what the car was going to be like over a race distance, so I just looked after the tyres and eventually came home with the win,” said Heimgartner, who competed in the Porsche one-make series throughout the 2012 season.

“I wasn’t expecting to have this pace so early in the season. It’s pretty good to go straight out there and get pole position and the race one win. That was a learning experience as I hadn’t done more than three laps in one of these cars so it got a bit messy towards the end there. It was great to get the win and I look forward to the rest of the weekend.”

The shock of the race however was the third place getter series Rookie Jaxon Evans.

“I can’t ask for much more; I’m pretty stoked to come away with a third place in my first race both in Adelaide and in Carrera Cup. I’m really happy,” said Evans, who replaced reigning champion Matt Campbell in the #7 911 GT3 Cup.

“To run with those guys at the front was a very special feeling. I knew I had the one lap speed, but knowing that I could run with them for the entire race was quite exciting.”

In the Tag Heurer Carrera Challenge the opening win went to Stephen Grove, who as ninth outright.

Saturday saw Wall improve on his Friday result grabbing the race win. Behind him was McConville who had a tough battle with race 1 winner Heimgartner who rounded out the podium.

“I was very happy with my start in race two. The car was okay during the race; the track definitely changed compared to yesterday, as it normally does here, so we’ll tune up the car a little bit again for tomorrow’s race. It’s a great way to start the championship and I can’t wait for tomorrow and hopefully remain at the front,” said Wall.

The Saturday race also saw Grove again claim the Challenge victory as he went one better overall to claim eight outright.

Sunday saw the final race of the weekend and it was Heimgartner returning to the top step from Wall and Dylan O’Keefe.

The result saw Heimgartner and Wall leave the event with the joint championship lead on 168 points.

“It was a pretty interesting weekend. It was nice to enjoy my racing again and go out there and be competitive,” said Heimgartner.

“The competition hasn’t dropped at all in the championship with guys like Davison and Wall, and even Evans, in the series. And it was good clean racing as well, which made for a great return to Carrera Cup.

“The 911 GT3 Cup is a very pure race car and driving them feels very natural so I didn’t find it too hard to be on the pace straight away. It was great to get the win and I can’t wait to return at Albert Park.”

Claiming third spot in the Championship, and a place on the podium, was the debutant Evans who claimed fifth in the final race.

“I’m stoked to get a podium on debut here in Adelaide. I’m down a little bit on my training as I broke my back just before Christmas, so I spent a lot of my Summer in a back brace. Therefore I struggled a bit with the heat this weekend so it was great to get such promising results.”

Sunday once again saw Grove claim the challenge victory and a clean sweep of the round.

“One of the goals this year is to learn from the professional guys. This weekend there were a few starting from the back in each race and you try to tag onto the back of them in order to learn as much as you can,” said Grove, who started his 100th race in race one.

“It was also great to get my 100th race start as well. I've had a great time in the category so far and 100 races certainly came up quickly.”

The series will next hit the ground in Melbourne as a support category to the Rolex Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Canberra to host FIA ASIA-Pacific Rally Championship Round
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has confirmed that The Brindabella Motorsport Club has agreed to terms that will result in Canberra’s National Capital Rally stepping up to become the new round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) from the 26th to the 28th May 2017.

This follows the earlier news that the International Rally of Queensland, the former host the APRC, would not be run this year.

CAMS General Manager of Motor Sport - Events Michael Smith said “Full credit goes to Martin Holberton and the Brindabella Motorsport Club. It’s simply outstanding that they’ve been able to pull this opportunity together and we think that the National Capital Rally will be greatly enhanced with the addition of the APRC.”

On behalf of the Brindabella Motorsport Club president Holberton was delighted at the events return “The event returning to Canberra is the culmination of several years of work with the community to grow the event with increased competitor numbers and spectators. This year we will see international cars come to the capital with multi-million global viewership.”

“The event is already shaping up to be an excellent one, with increased spectating opportunities demonstrating the best parts of Canberra dirt roads in the Cotter and Kowen forests.”

“It is important to pay tribute to Mike Bell, who provided great leadership and development to the club which brought us a round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Championship round in the first place.”

Sir Jack Brabham gets his own coin

To mark 50 years since Sir Jack Brabham AO, OBE claimed his first Formula 1 title, the Royal Australian mint has marked the occasion with the release of a special commemorative 50c coin.

The coin features the car in which he won the title, becoming the first and still only driver to win a title in his own manufactured car.

The Chief executive of the Royal Australian Mint Mr Ross MacDiarmid said it was fascinating to think about the ingenuity Brabham applied.

“Sir Jack Brabham was not only a superb racing car driver but he was also an innovative engineer and pioneer, paving the way forward for motorsports,” said Mr MacDiarmid.

“As we enter the 2017 Formula 1 season, this coin celebrates one of the world’s motor racing greats and his remarkable achievements, on and off the track.”

David Brabham said it was very rewarding to see his father life and influence on motor racing being recognised in the coin.

“To have our father recognised through a commemorative coin by an iconic national institution, the Royal Australian Mint, is really special and very important in carrying the Brabham legacy as my father’s achievements are likely to never be repeated with today’s technology replacing hands-on experience,” said Mr Brabham.

“This coin encourages us all to share the Brabham legacy and recognise what is possible if you put your heart, soul and mind into it just like Jack, a pioneer of his time.”