A variety of drivers will grace Mount Panorama this weekend when Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia lines up at the iconic Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event.
Among the 18-strong Carrera Cup Australia field, five drivers will perform double duty: Craig Baird, Alex Davison, Daniel Gaunt, Jonny Reid and Steven Richards will all compete in the all-Porsche championship along with their respective co-driver duties in V8 Supercars’ 1000 km race on Sunday.
Dutch driver Jeroen Bleekemolen is another driver performing a unique form of double duty – both racing in Carrera Cup Australia in the TYREPLUS Porsche Guest Car in addition to driving the iconic Porsche RS Spyder around the 6.213 km circuit for demonstration laps on Saturday and Sunday.
Bleekemolen, a dual Porsche Supercup champion, is among three drivers making their Carrera Cup Australia debut along with former AFL West Coast Eagles player Troy Wilson and Kiwi young gun Ant Pedersen, who raced in the 2010 Bathurst 1000, finishing 26th.
Pedersen, who races full-time in the New Zealand V8 SuperTourers in the same team as Jonny Reid, will coincidently join his Kiwi countryman in the same Carrera Cup Australia outfit at Mount Panorama.
“Jonny and I race in the same team in the New Zealand V8 SuperTourers; we bounce ideas off each other and work well together to get the most out of our cars,” said Pedersen.
“I raced in two GT3 Cup Challenge New Zealand seasons in the previous generation GT3 Cup car, which had a sequential box and drove like a Porsche, so hopefully it doesn’t take long to get used to the current model car. I’ll try to draw from Jonny’s and the team’s experience to get some decent results. I’m just massively excited.”
One driver who doesn’t lack recent experience is Elite Class stalwart Marc Cini, who recently competed in two Porsche Carrera Cup Asia rounds in Malaysia and Singapore; competing in the latter alongside fellow Carrera Cup Australia driver and eventual victor, Baird.
“It’s great to have a drive in the Porsche race car and compete in a couple of Carrera Cup Asia rounds before Bathurst; it gets me in tune with the car,” said Cini.
“Bathurst is one of those circuits where if you can get into a rhythm and feel confident from day one, it does you a lot of good in the races. I love the track; though it’s the track that doesn’t particularly love me. It’s a love-hate relationship.”
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia drivers will first lap the iconic Mount Panorama circuit on Thursday October 04, with the Porsche category featuring two races broadcast live on Seven, including the curtain raiser to Sunday’s 1000 km V8 Supercars event.