Evergreen driver Charlie O'Brien piloted his Porsche GT3 to fifth place in his return race in the Carrera Cup round at Winton Park Raceway in Victoria today. O'Brien, sporting the new livery of Queensland businessman Craig Gore's Wright Patton...
Evergreen driver Charlie O'Brien piloted his Porsche GT3 to fifth place in his return race in the Carrera Cup round at Winton Park Raceway in Victoria today.
O'Brien, sporting the new livery of Queensland businessman Craig Gore's Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, went into the first of the three-race round as a top 10 qualifier despite being excluded from all but 10 minutes of the morning's qualifying session.
He then held that form throughout the 10-lap race in wet and windy conditions.
"It's nice to be competitive despite not having raced for four months," said O'Brien.
The weekend started well for O'Brien, who is having his first Carrera Cup start since the Formula One Grand Prix carnival in Melbourne in early March, when he immediately returned to the top 10 in Friday's free practice session.
However, O'Brien was later fined by race stewards for inadvertently breaking a rule by changing tyres during the practice session.
"During my absence from racing they made a decision to prohibit new tyres on the free test day," said O'Brien.
"I assumed it was still the same as when I last drove at Melbourne but --"
Stewards penalized O'Brien by excluding him from half of the following qualifying session.
"I could have done with more time out there but it wasn't to be," he said.
"Anyway, it's nice to be back behind the wheel and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's races and then moving on to Sandown."
O'Brien's stint on the sidelines followed his management appointment in February to the then newly formed team, WPS Racing.
He was involved in the initial team set up and general operations before considering a move back behind the wheel.
He made the decision to re-enter the Carrera Cup earlier this month and immediately gained the support of team owner Craig Gore, who had also sponsored him in a few races last year.
WPS Racing also sponsors David Besnard and Mark Noske in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, as well as Gold Coast teenager Josh Hunt in the Toyota Atlantic Series in the US.
A successful year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship will see Hunt make his Champ Car debut in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast on October 21-24.