MOTORSPORT'S GENERATION NEXT ON SHOW IN QUEENSLAND Several of Australia's 'Generation Next' of motorsport will be vying for victory at round four of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at Queensland Raceway this weekend, July 22 to ...
MOTORSPORT'S GENERATION NEXT ON SHOW IN QUEENSLAND
Several of Australia's 'Generation Next' of motorsport will be vying for victory at round four of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at Queensland Raceway this weekend, July 22 to 24.
Seven of the top 10 drivers in the all-Porsche category are aged under 30 years proving the category's value as not only a talent identifier but as a stepping stone into the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is the primary support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Australia.
Last year's champion Alex Davison is now a full-time V8 Supercar driver, while current Porsche drivers Fabian Coulthard, Luke Youlden and Alan Gurr have secured V8 Supercar endurance drives later in the year at Sandown and Bathurst.
While 22-year-old Coulthard (Glenfords Tool Centres/Makita) has already been touted as a 'star-in-waiting' and Youlden (Team VIP Petfoods), 27, has stood on the podium at Bathurst after a third in the 2003 'Great Race', three other guys have showcased the talent this year to reach the top echelon of Australian and international motorsport.
Sydney 21-year-old Jonathon Webb stole the show at the last round at Eastern Creek by claiming his first-ever race and round wins in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup.
Webb (Tekno Autosports/Yachting Unlimited) is a foundation driver in the elite Porsche series, debuting in 2003 when the Carrera Cup was introduced into Australian motorsport. After finishing 10th in the championship that year and rising to sixth last year, Webb has gone from strength to strength in 2005.
Now sitting third in the standings and within striking distance of the leaders, Webb believes anything is possible and acknowledges his new team Paul Cruickshank Racing (PCR) for providing the guidance he needed.
"I really want to win the series before I move into anything else," said Webb. "It's a great category with plenty of depth in driver talent, and a fantastic car coming in next year.
"We've been pretty happy with this season so far, and I'm trying to maintain consistency. It has all come down to putting plenty of miles in, both testing and racing, and having PCR behind me with the knowledge and experience that Paul (Cruickshank) and Andy (McElrea) bring."
Round three at Eastern Creek may be recognised as a watershed period for the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup. Not only did Webb register his first round win, but an even younger David Reynolds surprised many by winning the final race of the weekend.
The then 19-year-old (now 20) took advantage of a blistering start and actually pulled away from the field in scoring his debut race win in his first season in the all-Porsche category.
Last year's Formula Ford champion from Albury, Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) showed plenty of pace early in the season but inexperience caused his premature end to a few races.
Then at Eastern Creek, Reynolds showcased his talent and rose from seventh in race one to fourth in race two and then a win in race three. Now Reynolds sits 10th in the standings but ready to make a jump at the Queensland 300.
"The win at Eastern Creek was a massive boost to the team," said Reynolds. "Sonic has shown in the past that it has been a great team for getting Formula Fords to the top, and now has taken the next step with the Porsches.
"I'm just trying to take it race by race at the moment and try to finish in the top three -- I know that is achievable. I'm a bit far down the standings than what I would have liked but now it's up to me to make it up."
Another driver to have made his mark so far this season is 23-year-old Alan Gurr from the Gold Coast.
Already possessing experience in a number of Australian racing categories including the V8 Supercars and an ability to adapt to new cars quickly, Gurr has been a model of consistency through the first three rounds.
A fifth in round one at the Clipsal 500 was followed up by an eighth for the round at Barbagallo before a seventh at Eastern Creek. These results have Gurr (Glenfords Tool Centres/Hitachi) sitting comfortably in fifth position in the standings.
Coming up to round four of the nine-round Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, 2003 series champion Jim Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) has a slight lead in the overall standings from Coulthard with Webb close behind in third.
All cars in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup are developed and built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany. With a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour, the lightweight, high performance vehicles have a 400 horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM, producing a sound that is distinctly Porsche.