Aaron Love has emerged as a surprise contender for the 2020 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia title, finishing the opening round in third place overall.
Love, the younger brother of reigning Carrera Cup champion Jordan, qualified an impressive third before finishing fourth, third and third, giving him a place on the overall podium.
While his results were impressive, his weekend didn’t come hassle free. The West Aussie was involved in an incident after Race 2 had been declared (despite no chequered flag being waved). It left the #78 Porsche damaged, but repaired by the Sonic crew for Sunday’s race.
Dale Wood showed his experience, fighting back after a qualifying penalty saw him start Race 1 from seventh. It what is inherently a hard circuit to pass on, the Timken-backed driver finished seventh, fourth and fourth, ensure a strong haul of points as he looks to challenge for the title.
Young Carrera Cup debutant Max Vidau played a cool hand in the three races, finishing eighth, sixth and fifth to leave him seventh in the championship standings.
He enjoyed a consistent, trouble-free run in the Bob Jane T-Marts Porsche, despite this being the first-ever street race that he has ever competed at.
Experienced racer Michael Almond was made to work for all of his series points after an incident in Race 2 ruled him out of the fight for a top five place.
Almond qualified ninth but raced his way to sixth in Friday’s opening race, but unfortunately, an error at Turn 11 half way through Race 2 saw him nudge a concrete wall, breaking the front right upright and dropping him out of the race.
From the rear in what turned out to be a race with only one lap of green flag competition, he fought from last to 13th place, leaving him 12th in the standings.
The next round of the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia will again be on a famous street circuit – this time at the Albert Park venue, supporting the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix on March 12-15.
“It’s definitely a good start to the year,” said Love.
“I had a little contact with the wall yesterday, which was not quite what we wanted but it was just cosmetic damage, and thankfully, it didn’t hurt our points.
“We have the Grand Prix next, and I’ve never been there, so you just have to approach each race track like any other. In the first session, get your eye in, second session push harder and then really have a go at qualifying, which is super important in this class.
“So we’ll regroup, look at what worked, get stronger and come out to the GP and have another go.”
“We walked away with some good positives from a mixed weekend,” said Wood.
“I got penalised in qualifying which I’m not sure I agree with. I had my time taken off me, then reinstated, and then taken away again, all before I could do anything about it. That was very frustrating.
“But there’s lots of positives, and a heap of points to take home, come out again and have another swing at it.”
“It was great to get this first race meeting under my belt with some strong results and a straight car,” said Max Vidau.
“I just eased my way into it. I didn’t want to rush and try and get up to speed faster than I should.
“The Adelaide circuit is such an awesome place and to finish with a top five result in the last race, puts me in a really good position heading into Albert Park.
“That is a track that I’ve never been to in the Porsche either, so my aim will be to just keep progressing and see where we end up.”
“Any time you get to the chance to race a Porsche around the Adelaide streets, you know you are in for a good weekend,” said Almond.
“We had a really strong start on Friday with a sixth place, but I just got too wide and hit the wall at the exit of Turn 12 which took out the front right. It was a shame because we were in the mix for a top five.
“The last race was a shame because we didn’t really get the chance to do any real running, but for the lap that we had, I was able to make up some spots.
“All focus is now on Albert Park, and I can’t wait to get back to another awesome street track.”