A Porsche Carrera Cup Australia field of 23 cars at the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix this weekend will be the largest Carrera Cup field at the showcase event since 2004.
A favourite circuit among Porsche Carrera Cup Australia drivers, Albert Park will host the second round of Australia’s premier one-make sports car championship of the 2013 season.
Bolstering the field from an impressive 21 entrants at the opening Adelaide round is the addition of two New Zealanders, Paul Kelly and Richie Stanaway.
Jet Travel Insurance has joined Porsche Carrera Cup Australia as an Event Partner for the Albert Park round, with the travel insurance specialist featuring on the windscreens of every Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, along with additional branding and the appearance of the brand’s gopher mascot in the Carrera Cup paddock.
Leading the outright standings is Craig Baird, who claimed two wins from three races at the opening 2013 event at the Clipsal 500, beaten only by Steven Richards in the final race after Baird received a five-second penalty due to a jump start.
Richards now hopes to continue his form at the front, however he will have to beat Baird, who has won eight of the last 10 Carrera Cup races at Albert Park along with outright victory in the last three rounds at the Formula 1® event.
“Albert Park is a fantastic circuit in these cars; you can drive hard the whole race and you get rewarded for having a go,” said Richards.
“We'll see what happens this weekend, but 20-odd Porsches racing around Albert Park is sure to make a great spectacle.”
In the Elite Class, Max Twigg will be looking to continue his strong form after securing class victory at the Clipsal 500, and enters the Albert Park round having dominated the round in his class last year.
Elite Class driver Marc Cini will line up for his 60th round in the one-make championship, while 2012 class runner-up James Koundouris, who finished second in the Elite Class at the Clipsal 500, is hoping he can go one better in Melbourne.
“My aim this weekend is to win in the Elite Class and get into the top 10 outright. I’ve traditionally been good at the Albert Park circuit so hopefully I can perform well there this weekend,” said Koundouris, who hopes the addition of a throttle blipper (a mechanical device that automatically revs the engine on down-changes) will improve his performance at the Melbourne circuit.
“I think I’ve put myself at a disadvantage previously by not using the throttle blipper, especially at a circuit like Albert Park. I’m going to try it this weekend and see if it will push me closer to the Professional Class drivers.”
All three Porsche Carrera Cup Australia races from Albert Park will be broadcast live on Network Ten.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its practice and qualifying sessions this Thursday, with one race on each of the following days of the Albert Park event.