AUS: Oran Park round five preview

CLASH OF THE PORSCHE TITANS SET FOR ORAN PARK THIS WEEK While Marcos Ambrose maintains a handy lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, a neck-and-neck struggle is developing between Porsche combatants Fabian Coulthard and Jim Richards in...

CLASH OF THE PORSCHE TITANS SET FOR ORAN PARK THIS WEEK

While Marcos Ambrose maintains a handy lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, a neck-and-neck struggle is developing between Porsche combatants Fabian Coulthard and Jim Richards in its premier support category, the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup.

Oran Park hosts round five of the nine-round Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup this week from August 12 to 14 -- the first time the all-Porsche category has visited the south western Sydney circuit.

Coulthard (Glenfords Tool Centres/Makita) currently leads the championship on 537 points following a season that has included three round wins (Adelaide, Barbagallo, Queensland) and six race wins.

Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) sits only six points behind and well within striking distance, after a season more built on consistency than wins. The inaugural series champion from 2003 has accumulated two second-placings, one third-placing and one fourth-placing from the four rounds.

The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup has built its competitiveness on youth versus experience, with the top two drivers fitting this match-up perfectly.

Kiwi Coulthard is 23 years of age and the reigning Rookie of the Year and Driver to Europe champion, while fellow NZ-born and Australian-based Richards is nearing his 58th birthday in a career that has spanned three decades and numerous titles including the Bathurst 1000 seven times.

As the premier one-make series in the world continues to make people sit up and take notice in Australia, its teams are doing all they can to not only develop the series but to almost do the impossible.

The impossible was the thought that Cameron McLean (Sherrin Racing) would be lining up on the grid at Oran Park after his spectacular eight-roll crash three weeks ago at Queensland Raceway which almost destroyed his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.

However an arduous rebuild process led by Team Manager Donald Kington and costing Team Owner Michael Sherrin in excess of $150,000 has been completed with McLean giving the Sherrin Racing Porsche a shakedown at Queensland Raceway today (Monday).

While the Sherrin Racing team has been focused on rebuilding its car, current championship third placesitter Jonathon Webb has been exhibiting his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at the Sydney Boat Show and launching new sponsor Yachting Unlimited.

The now Yachting Unlimited and Tekno Autosports-backed Porsche featured prominently at the Sydney Boat Show, after being craned into position on the floating marina at Darling Harbour.

The Yachting Unlimited display had more than 12,000 visitors over the six days with Webb signing more than 1300 posters over this time.

As part of the launch of Yachting Unlimited's sponsorship of the car, Webb became a yacht racer for a day on Ocean racer DHL with representatives from Pershing Italy and the Ferretti Group.

While this half of Paul Cruickshank Racing's Porsche program was on Darling Harbour in Sydney, the second half of the stable was in the workshop also undergoing major repairs.

James Cressey's Zarraffa's Coffee-backed Porsche was badly damaged in a race three incident at Queensland Raceway. The Paul Cruickshank Racing crew has been busy replacing most of the suspension and 'ironing out' the heavy body damage that the car incurred although it remained structurally sound.

In other Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup news, New Zealand competitor Paul Pedersen returns to the fray at Oran Park in the 42 Below Vodka-backed Porsche of Shane McKillen who will miss this round. Pedersen last drove in the series in the final round at the Lexmark Indy 300 last year, finishing eight in the championship after placing seventh in 2003.

The biggest mover and shaker of the category over the past two rounds has been 20-year-old Formula Ford champion David Reynolds. The Bob Jane T-Marts-backed youngster has rocketed up to sixth in the championship after his first race win at Eastern Creek followed up by a second for the round at Queensland Raceway.

All cars in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup are developed and built by Porsche's 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.

-cupcar.au-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jim Richards , Fabian Coulthard , Cameron McLean , Bob Jane , Jonathon Webb , Paul Cruickshank , Michael Sherrin
Teams Tekno Autosports