After a cold weekend down at Phillip Island last weekend for round 3 of the GT3 Cup Challenge championship, we were keen to get to Darwin for some warmth and round 4 of the 2019 Carrera Cup championship.
The Darwin race format was a 36-lap mini Enduro on Saturday and two sprint races on Sunday.
We were also pleased to welcome up-and-coming Pro driver Cooper Murray to our Carrera Cup team. We raced against Cooper last season in GT3CC, so we are very keen to help develop his career. We welcomed him with a legendary MR "Fine Dining" experience!
Luffy qualified 5th. He lost a spot at the start of the first race but went on to enjoy battles with some of the young guns including his new teammate Cooper and Love, which saw him drop as low as 8th then make his way forward to 5th which improved to 4th after Love was penalised for running him wide earlier in the race.
Race 2 was a quieter affair where he held his position at the start and had a steady race to start and finish in 4th place.
Race 3 was very similar to race 2 in that he got off the line well and spent the whole race challenging Hill while fending off David Wall, to take another solid 4th place finish.
Cooper qualified 7th. He had a good start and held his grid position on the first lap until he took 6th off Luffy in a bold move into turn 5 on lap 5. He ended up off the road after another daring move on McBride on lap 17 into turn 1, which didn’t quite come off. He recovered to take 11th in Pro class.
He started race 2 from grid 17 and although the race was cut short he put in a storming drive through the field to 9th place and took the fastest lap along the way.
In race 3 he got a good start but had to take to the grass to miss a multi-car incident on the opening lap which cost him 2 positions. He then set the second fastest lap of the race charging back through the field to finish 6th.
Gilbo did a great job in qualifying to take his second consecutive 2nd in Pro-Am. In race 1 he started from row 7 and had a challenging race after contact with Lago and Cook. Despite dropping to 18th, he battled back to make up 5 spots by the end of the race taking 4th in Pro-Am.
In race 2, after a glitch with the gear display on the dash the car stalled at the start, but again, he fought back through the pack to 3rd then he copped a 2 place penalty for overtaking on the safety car restart.
In race 3 he got a decent start and was keen to make more places but got caught up in the lap 1 incident at turn 5 and with nowhere to go, broke a steering arm after minor contact with Maxwell.
Tim qualified 5th in Pro-Am. He had a good start but found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time at turn 1 and was run off the road. Unfortunately, he dropped a wheel at the exit of turn 1 on lap 10 and found the wall causing significant damage which gave the boys a late night bolting some new parts on to #6.
In race 2 he started from the rear of the grid and had a solid race dicing with Shahin toward the end, taking 5th which improved to 4th after Anthony's penalty.
In race 3 Tim got a good start but was delayed slightly in the lap 1 melee. He put his head down to chase down and pass Shahin and post a lap time less than 5/10ths of a second off his Pro teammates on his way to 2nd in Pro-Am.
What a crazy weekend! This was the first time since April 2018 that we haven’t had one of our Porsche drivers on the podium - but certainly not from a lack of effort!
Despite a tough weekend for Gilbo, he still leads the Pro-Am championship and is looking forward to another strong weekend at Townsville. Luffy’s consistently strong results see him currently 5th in the championship but only 36 points off 2nd place. Tim’s comeback from a crash and a DNF in race 1 to take 2nd place in race 3 was impressive and a great reward to the guys. Coopers fastest lap in race 2 and second fastest in race 3 proved he will win races this season in an MR prepared car.
We have had great results at Townsville over the years so we're looking forward to taking some trophies home in 3 weeks!