The AMRC (awesome MR crew) made the long trek to Darwin a month ago, to do a 2-day test to learn more about the sweet spot for our new 992 generation Cup cars. We were fairly confident we would have a strong weekend, but as a team, we never assume we have the fastest cars as we can never underestimate our competition.
Harri qualified 2nd. In race 1 he got a decent start which was good enough to take the lead which he held for the whole 18-lap race. In race 2 he started from pole but lost a spot to Wood at turn 1 on the opening lap and held his position till the end. In race 3 he got a good start but so did Wood from grid 1, so knowing this will be a long and tough championship, he wisely didn't gamble on a high-risk move and took a tidy 2nd.
Christian qualified 7th. In race 1 he had a good start and a great race using patient but forceful race craft to make up two places and break the lap record! In race 2 he started 5th and had a frustrating race stuck behind Wall. In race 3 he had a good start holding position until he pounced on an opportunity to make a position on lap 8, then he captured the fastest lap of the race chasing down the group ahead, but ran out of laps to move further forward.
Jackson qualified a personal best 5th. In race 1 he got a good start and despite dropping a spot, he had a strong race to finish 6th. In race 2 he had a blinder start and got up to 4th, then held position despite huge pressure from Wall. In race 3 he got another good start then ran strongly in the front group until a small mistake running wide at turn 7 cost him 2 places.
Bayley did a terrific job to qualify 6th in only his 5th ever Porsche race weekend. In race 1 he was unlucky to lose a couple of places in the opening couple of corners but did a great job dicing all race with former Bathurst winner, Youlden. On the opening lap of race 2 he was the victim of the car ahead bouncing off a kerb into his path which forced him to the grass to avoid contact which caused his car to make heavy contact with the barriers.
Tim qualified 8th in Pro-Am. In race 1 he drove one of his best races in recent history to take 4 scalps over the 18 laps. In race 2 he was pushed wide at turn 1 and lost some places before valiantly fighting his way back up to 3rd. In race 3 he was racing Cook for the round podium. He lost a spot at the start and despite immense pressure on Cook, he was unable to force a mistake and had to settle for 4th for the round.
Apart from Bayley's misfortune in race 2, it was a terrific weekend for us. We take great pride in getting crashed cars back on track and if we had 8-10 hours available there is no doubt that Bayley would have been back for race 3, but unfortunately with only a 3-hour window, this was an impossibility. Despite the bad luck, Bayley did a sensational job to qualify 6th and take a top-10 in only his 3rd Carrera Cup race weekend.
Huge congrats to Harri for surging from 70 to a 114-point championship lead, and further firming up his 2022 campaign. Pancho was very disappointed to qualify 7th, but like his fastest race lap of the weekend at round 2 at Winton, he broke the Hidden Valley lap record in race 1 and posted the fastest lap race in race 3. Jackson had a personal best 5th qualifying position and 4th place in race 2 but is looking forward to reducing tiny mistakes in race trim to take the next step forward.
Despite a lack-lustre qualifying performance, Tim Miles has returned to form with great battles, clean racing and plenty of passes among the other top Pro-Am drivers.
Many thanks to the awesome MR crew, Lethal Leigh, Hayden, Will and Luffy the supercoach, our drivers, their families and sponsors.
See you at sunny Townsville in 3 weeks for round 4!