Steven Richards and Damien Flack have started their Townsville Carrera Cup campaign in style, posting the quickest time in the Professional Class and Elite Class, respectively.
Richards entered Round 3 of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia as the only driver to have raced at the Townsville track on two occasions (2009, 2010), and showed his experience by posting the fastest outright time after Friday’s two practice sessions, while Flack showed supremacy in the Elite Class.
While Richards was the class of the field, he wasn’t expecting to set the pace at the 2.86km track.
“I’ll admit I’m a bit surprised with my pace today,” said Richards.
“I really wasn’t expecting anything from practice. I said to the boys that they shouldn’t be too worried if we’re fourth or fifth in practice given the condition of our tyres. For tomorrow, all we’re going to do is put on new tyres and go even faster, as will everyone else.
“We’re definitely not struggling, so we’re looking forward to qualifying.”
Richards posted his fastest time in the second practice session for the day (1:14.9008secs), finishing ahead of West Australian Michael Patrizi, Jonny Reid, Daniel Gaunt and reigning champion Craig Baird in fifth.
Behind Baird, Damien Flack secured his best session result for the season with the day’s sixth fastest time, finishing just over a second behind pace-setter Richards and a further second ahead of his nearest Elite Class competitors – James Koundouris, Theo Koundouris, Shane Smollen, Max Twigg and Marc Cini.
Flack, who recently competed in the Nurburgring 24 Hour race in Germany, was pleased to be placed among the more experienced Professional Class competitors.
“Being the quickest Elite driver definitely gives me confidence for the weekend, especially given the gap we have on the other Elite drivers,” said Flack.
“It’s great to have a few of the Professional guys behind me too. The other Professional drivers aren’t that far in front either, so if I get the chance to sit on the back of them then who know what can happen.
“I would hope to be at the front of the Elite Class throughout the weekend. This season is the first time that I’ve sat in a car that is competitive with the entire field, not an older model car. To be sitting in something that is exactly the same as everyone else is good fun for me.”
Meanwhile, Mark Noske will contest the Townsville Carrera Cup round as the category’s Guest driver. The former V8 Supercar driver will race the Bid4Jase.com-liveried Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) car; the same race car that Mark Skaife drove at Albert Park for the series’ opening round.