O'Brien to join Carrera Cup Australia

Experienced touring car driver Charlie O'Brien is the latest driver to announce plans to join the Carrera Cup this season. The Gold Coaster will make his debut in round five of the series at Queensland Raceway on July 18-20, having finalised a...

Experienced touring car driver Charlie O'Brien is the latest driver to announce plans to join the Carrera Cup this season.

The Gold Coaster will make his debut in round five of the series at Queensland Raceway on July 18-20, having finalised a deal to purchase the Porsche GT3 Cup machine owned by Rick Armstrong.

The car will continue to be run by Lyall Williamson's International Motorsport NZ banner, which also runs cars for Darwin racer winner Kevin Bell, Paul Pedersen and Andrew Bagnall.

The deal is also a re-unification between O'Brien and Williamson. O'Brien raced a BMW Super Tourer for Williamson's team in the 1995 Australian Super Touring Championship as well as for the Williamson-run Diet-Coke BMW team in 1996.

O'Brien has been out of full-time racing for the past few years, though sees the all-Porsche series as the perfect category to use as the basis for his return.

"Racing has always been in the back of my mind, but I've been busy for the last five years with business projects and the like," said O'Brien this week.

"I've always liked the one formula series. There's one type of car, brakes and tyres, so it really does come down to the driver."

O'Brien will have his first proper hit-out in the official Carrera Cup test day at Queensland Raceway on Monday (July 7) and will run the remaining rounds of the championship at Queensland Raceway, Sandown, Bathurst, Surfer's Paradise and Eastern Creek.

The 48-year-old also intends to race in the Trans-Tasman Series, which is slated to be run in New Zealand in December and early January 2004.

He will drive the #15 machine among a full field of Carrera Cup cars at Queensland Raceway, with Cup Car Australia expecting up to 30 of the identical Porsches to be on the grid for the fifth round of the series.

O'Brien has driven for some of Australia's top racing outfits, including the Holden Dealer Team in the 1970s and Mobil 1 Racing and Dick Johnson Racing in the 1990s. His last Bathurst appearance came in 1997 in partnership with Tony Longhurst. He was also a three-time race winner in Australian NASCAR racing in the 1990s.

-Carrera Cup Australia

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Andrew Bagnall , Tony Longhurst , Dick Johnson
Teams Williams