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Carrera Cup set for Winton returnPorsche Carrera Cup Australia: 2013 Winton Preview

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will this weekend return to Winton Motor Raceway for the first time since 2007 with the championship’s local drivers eager to compete on the technical Victorian track.

The regional circuit is the preferred testing location for many of the Porsche drivers, with one local ace, Steven Richards, keen to make the most of his home track advantage entering the fifth round of the season.

Richards boasts wins at the circuit in both the Formula Ford and Super Touring categories, while he also claimed multiple Winton round podiums in the top-flight V8 Supercars Championship.

Richards now hopes that early pace can help him succeed among the ultra-competitive Porsche field.

“Every driver at the top end of the field has done a lot of laps at Winton over the years, so it’s going to be tough,” said Richards.

“The track is the slowest we visit and it’s quite technical, so you need to have a good set-up and be very precise. The plan will be to qualify on the front row, as it tends to become a bit of a one-line race track, and hopefully we can get back onto the podium.”

Another local driver looking to impress is Stephen Grove, who enters the Winton round off the back of his maiden Elite Class round victory in the Carrera Cup feeder series, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, at Queensland Raceway.

Local experience has Grove pinpointing the sole 20-minute qualifying session as the weekend’s most crucial on-track session for a successful round.

“The great thing about the Winton round is that it’s going to be hard to pass; there’s going to be a lot of action and qualifying will be super important. You’ve got to qualify well to get ahead because there aren’t that many passing opportunities,” said Grove.

Richard Muscat will be one to watch this weekend upon his competitive return to Winton Motor Raceway.

Muscat made his Carrera Cup debut in May’s Rennsport round, however a more notable performance leading into the Winton Carrera Cup round was his clean sweep of race wins at the Victorian circuit in the GT3 Cup Challenge series in June.

“The plan is to go into this weekend with an open mind,” said Muscat.

“I’d like to be competitive and be able to gauge myself against the guys at the front of the field like Craig Baird and Steven Richards, but it’s all about gaining more experience”

Joining Muscat in his championship return is fellow Rennsport competitor Adam Gowans and former Carrera Cup regular Rusty French.