Kiwi ace Daniel Gaunt will this weekend look to reassert his dominance in Townsville as the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia championship enters the second half of its 2012 season.
The New Zealand driver was the standout racer at the 2011 Carrera Cup round in Townsville, claiming three wins from three races at last year’s event.
Gaunt enters Round 5 of the eight-round championship third in the standings and will aim to launch a mid-season resurgence toward the title leaders Craig Baird and Alex Davison at the 2.85 km Reid Park circuit.
“I feel confident heading into Townsville. The round was pretty kind to me last year so hopefully we can head back there this year and get the same results. I love the place and we’ve got some great set-up data for there which is obviously a good starting point. There’s no reason why we can’t repeat what we did there last year,” said Gaunt.
“Townsville is a great event. The weather is always spot on and the track produces great racing. Everybody loves the Australian Grand Prix and the Clipsal 500 – Townsville is a combination of the two.”
The Elite Class will see a newcomer to its ranks, with Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge Australia regular Stephen Grove making the move into the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia; set to compete in both categories for the remainder of the season and into 2013.
Grove, who becomes the 113th different driver to compete in Carrera Cup Australia since its inaugural 2003 season, is looking forward to the challenge of Carrera Cup competition this weekend when debuting his new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
“The level of competition and professionalism in Carrera Cup is extremely high and it’s a great environment for me to further develop as a driver,” said Grove.
While Grove will contest his maiden Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia round, the Townsville event marks a milestone for seasoned racers Craig Baird and James Koundouris, who will complete their 40th Carrera Cup Australia championship round.
Baird currently holds a strong 90-point lead in the Outright standings over Davison and Gaunt; while Jonny Reid, who missed the opening round of the 2012 Porsche season, is fourth in the standings.
In the Elite Class, Max Twigg holds an 81-point lead from Koundouris, Tony Bates, Shane Smollen and Paul Kelly, while fellow Elite Class driver Ray Angus returns to the championship after having raced at the Formula 1™ Qantas Australian Grand Prix earlier in the season.