We had tested at the brand new South Australian racing complex, 'The Bend', Tailem Bend Motorsport Park last month. And after our mediocre results at round 5 at Sydney Motorsport Park, we had a successful impromptu test at QR last week in an effort to improve the front-end grip of our cars.
There was a lot of hype from within the motorsport community regarding the first V8 Supercar event at this circuit and we were excited that the Porsche Carrera Cup was going to be a part of it. After our recent testing, we were also confident of some strong results.
After a red flag interrupted the qualifying session, Jaxon missed getting across the line for his 'hot lap' and qualified a frustrated 6th.
In the 20 lap opening race, he started from the third row and had a great start getting to 4th. He raced hard with Almond and Wood until Wall elbowed him off the road dropping him from 3rd to 5th. He was able to take 4th place with a couple of laps remaining.
In race 2 Jaxon had a good start and held position in 4th, he then passed Wood after a small mistake then put a terrific move on Wall for 2nd then pressured Almond for the win, but settled for a very well deserved 2nd.
In race 3 Jaxon got a ripper start and lead for 4 laps until he strategically allowed a fired-up Dale Wood up the inside into turn 1. Knowing he had a decent gain in points from championship rival O'Keeffe, he reduced the risk and sat behind Wood till the end of the race, culminating in a sensational 2nd for race 3, and the round.
Adam started race 1 from grid 13 and got a decent start. He was too polite and lost a couple of places in the first couple of laps dropping to 14th. After a few laps, he got into a good rhythm and passed three cars to finish 11th.
In race 2 Adam got an average start and was passed by a few Pro Am drivers. He was very happy with the balance of his car and was putting a move on Grove when Grove decided to put Adam on the grass which damaged Adam's steering and punctured his LF tyre. After pitting for a new tyre he finished a lap down in 11th in Pro class.
In race 3 Adam started 21st and by lap 2 he was up to 18th. He wasn't assertive enough when passing some of the backmarkers, so his progress wasn't as swift as possible, but despite a little over-caution, he was able to climb back to 15th outright and 11th Pro.
After his first podium finish at SMP with a conservative strategy, Anthony was keen to collect more silverware at 'The Bend'. He qualified 7th in Pro-Am and started from grid 19. In race 1 got a good start and given it was a 20 lapper, he paced himself well, settling into a rhythm for the first half, then patiently passing 4 Pro-Am cars to finish a strong 3rd in class
In race 2 Anthony had a decent start but dropped a couple of places to some more aggressive drivers. Like race 1 he settled into a good rhythm, took care of his tyres and watched the carnage ahead. Over the remaining laps he took advantage of the tangles between Tim and Shahin, and Grove running Adam off the road, to take another podium finish in 3rd.
In race 3 Anthony got a good start but was a tad too conservative into turn 1 and dropped a couple of spots. He knew he was in contention for a round podium with his constant finish rate amongst all the Pro-Am carnage, so he chased Twigg from lap 3 to the finish, collecting another 3rd place and his first Carrera cup round win.
Tim qualified 4th in Pro-Am and started race 1 from grid 16. Tim had another of his renowned demon starts and jumped up to 11th outright and 2nd in Pro-Am. He had a great dice with Lago eventually prevailing to lead, until catching some marbles on track, allowing circuit owner Shahin through for the win, but he was satisfied with a great race and 2nd in Pro-Am.
In race 2 Tim was in the wars. After running 3rd at the end of lap 1 he came together with Lago damaging his LR bodywork which was rubbing against the tyre, fortunately not destroying the tyre. On lap 4 Tim was in the process of passing Shahin for 2nd but Shahin had other plans, turning into Tim damaging both cars. Tim did a good job to nurse his damaged car home in 7th.
In race 3 Tim was in the thick of the action again. He was slightly distracted by a water alarm from a replacement radiator after race 2, plus some ABS adjustment issues and an engine cover which hadn't been clipped shut. He finished 7th in Pro-Am and after an enjoyable race 1 and rugged races 2 and 3, he left the circuit in a fairly dejected state.
Naturally, we were absolutely rapt with Gilbo's first Carrera Cup round win. After a rough mid-season Gilbo has bounced back in the best possible way. We are equally as happy for Jaxon getting another podium finish, with some blinding pace and managing to increase his lead in the championship after some erosion over the last couple of rounds. Tim's weekend started very well but started coming apart in race 2 with a lot of unnecessary contact and damage. Adam had a lacklustre weekend, especially considering his data reveals he is much closer to being consistently in the top 6 than the results show. We will be working with him on his self-belief before the next round.
We are also very proud of the AMRC (awesome MR crew) for tuning-up our cars at the recent tests to be back at championship winning pace. Can't wait for Bathurst to continue our domination of the daunting Mt Panorama circuit.