AUS: Perth preview

Porsches Set to Light up the West Western Australia will witness Australia's fastest growing motor racing category, the Carrera Cup, for the first time at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth next weekend from June 11 to 13. Team transporters for the...

Porsches Set to Light up the West

Western Australia will witness Australia's fastest growing motor racing category, the Carrera Cup, for the first time at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth next weekend from June 11 to 13.

Team transporters for the close to 20 entrants are about to embark on their first journey across the Nullabor Plain to prepare for round four of the all-Porsche Carrera Cup.

The Australian Carrera Cup is the principal support category to the V8 Supercars, and WA motorsport fans will see three races featuring the 400-horsepower, six speed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars piloted by some of Australia's most experienced drivers and rising talent.

Another first for the Australian Carrera Cup at Barbagallo Raceway will be the 30-lap showdown in race three on the Sunday. This will be the longest Carrera Cup race staged so far in 2004.

It will be a battle of driving attrition, as well as a showcase of Porsche technology and innovation.

After three rounds of the Australian Carrera Cup, the leading Porsche drivers are coming to the fore and many mini-battles are developing further into the field, producing an exciting 2004 package for the world's premier 'one make' championship.

A number of questions will be answered in Perth by the conclusion of round four.

Can series leader Alex Davison make it five consecutive round wins?

Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre) has reigned supreme at the first three rounds this year -- Clipsal 500, Eastern Creek and Hidden Valley, adding to his final round victory at the VIP Petfoods Main Event last year.

No driver in the Australian Carrera Cup has ever won five rounds in a row, with the record standing at four held jointly by Davison and close rival Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers). Richards won four consecutive rounds from round five to eight last year, on the way to securing the inaugural Australian Carrera Cup title.

Will rookie star Fabian Coulthard continue his rise and feature in the top two?

With their Porsche driving experience and skill, Davison and Richards have had a strangehold on the top two positions this year. However 21-year-old Melbourne-based Kiwi Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) has been closing the gap, and his improvement curve suggests that 'Davo' and 'Richo' better prepare for another challenger.

Coulthard has finished third in eight of the nine Carrera Cup races this year, and took on Richards for second in a daring passing manoeuvre at Hidden Valley at the previous round, which did not come off. He managed to regroup to place third for the race, third for the round, consolidate third for the series, and lead the Michelin Porsche Driver to Europe and Michelin Rookie of the Year stakes.

Can the Kiwi charge continue led by Pedersen?

The leading New Zealand-based driver so far this season is Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ / Lakesawn Lumber) who lies in sixth position in the series despite missing round one in Adelaide.

The experienced Kiwi racer has finished between fourth and seventh in his past six races over two rounds at Eastern Creek and Hidden Valley, to accumulate enough championship points for sixth.

Pedersen is sure to take the challenge up to current series fourth placegetter Peter Fitzgerald (Fitzgerald Racing / Abcor, Acer) and young gun James Cressey (Team VIP Petfoods) who sits in fifth.

He has become one of the 'quiet achievers' on the track, making his way up the standings while a lot of the attention has been focused on the Davison, Richards and Coulthard trifectas.

Who will be the Fuchs Hard Charger of Perth?

It is a series award category and has become a great incentive for drivers who start from a low position on each race grid. It is the Fuchs Hard Charger for the driver who passes the most number of cars.

After three rounds, four drivers have certainly made an impression in the 'hard charging' stakes. The current leader is Stephen Borness (Celerity Racing / Logiadd) from NSW who has passed 22 cars this season, one more than last year's champion Fuchs Hard Charger Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods). Quinn's team mate James Cressey is another one further back, while Peter Bradbury (Team MPS Security) is the same amount behind in fourth.

Who will rise to the Carrera Cup Challenge -- the Publican, the Petfood King or the IT Guru?

Another intriguing award category in 2004 is the Carrera Cup Challenge, which rewards the leading driver 35 years or older in a 2003-spec 911 GT3 Cup car.

Melbourne publican Dean Grant (Becks Racing) has shot to an early lead in this race, with business IT specialist Borness and petfood producer Quinn within striking distance. Intense rivalry is building among these drivers for the acclaim of being the inaugural Carrera Cup Challenge champion.

Round four of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup at Barbagallo Raceway begins with two practice sessions on Friday June 11, qualifying and race one over 15 laps on Saturday June 12, race two over 15 laps and race three over 30 laps on Sunday June 13.

'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast round three of the Carrera Cup on Sunday June 27 at 2pm (check local guides).

The Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world with close-to-identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany set for racing in 2004. All cars have a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour with a 400-horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM.

BARBAGALLO STATS & INFO
Circuit -- 2.415km Clockwise
Practice I -- 11.10am Friday
Practice II -- 1.10pm Friday
Qualifying -- 10.35am Saturday
Race 1 -- 3.15pm Saturday (15 laps)
Race 2 -- 8.40am Sunday (15 laps)
Race 3 -- 2.15pm Sunday (30 laps)

2004 ROUND RESULTS
Round 1 (Clipsal 500) -- 1. Alex Davison 2. Jim Richards 3. Fabian Coulthard
Round 2 (Eastern Creek) -- 1. Alex Davison 2. Jim Richards 3. Peter Fitzgerald
Round 3 (Hidden Valley) -- 1. Alex Davison 2. Jim Richards 3. Fabian Coulthard

<pre> CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (AFTER ROUND 3) 1. Alex Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre) 510 2. Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers) 459 3. Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 384 4. Peter Fitzgerald (Fitzgerald Racing / Abcor, Acer) 282 5. James Cressey (Team VIP Petfoods) 213 6. Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ / Lakesawn Lumber) 195 7. Rodney Jane (Rodney Jane Racing / Bob Jane T-Marts) 192 8. Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) 177 9. Peter Bradbury (Team MPS Security) 174 10. Dean Grant (Becks Racing) 165 11. Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 162 12. Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 141 13. Stephen Borness (Celerity Racing / Logiadd) 138 14. Kevin Bell (International Motorsport NZ / G-Tech NZ) 108 15. Peter Hill (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 93 16. Ross Rutherford (International Motorsport NZ / Woodstock Bourbon) 84 17. Roger Oakeshott (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 69 18. Troy Hunt (MOG Sport / Talent 2) 57 19. Ash Samadi (Globe Racing) 30 20. Marc Cini (Adamco) 27 21. Tony Pugliese (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 21 22. David Thexton (Thexton Racing / thexton.com.au) 9

MICHELIN PORSCHE DRIVER TO EUROPE (For Drivers under 30 who haven't driven in a European Porsche series) 1. Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 480 2. James Cressey (Team VIP Petfoods) 438 3. Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 330 4. Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) 312 5. Troy Hunt (MOG Sport / Talent 2) 102

MICHELIN ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (For Drivers in their first Porsche racing series) =1. James Cressey (Team VIP Petfoods) 480 =1. Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 480 3. Ash Samadi (Globe Racing) 234 4. David Thexton (Thexton Motor Racing) 126 5. Troy Hunt (MOG Sport / Talent 2) 114

FUCHS HARD CHARGER (For the Driver who passes the most cars in Carrera Cup races) 1. Stephen Borness (Celerity Racing / Logiadd) 22 2. Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 21 3. James Cressey (Team VIP Petfoods) 20 4. Peter Bradbury (Team MPS Security) 19 =5. Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) 14 =5. Kla! rk Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 14

CHALLENGE (For Drivers 35 years or over in a 2003 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car) 1. Dean Grant (Becks Racing) 480 2. Stephen Borness (Celerity Racing / Logiadd) 429 3. Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) 426 4. Roger Oakeshott (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 360 5. Peter Hill (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) 276

HIGHEST PLACED NEW ZEALAND DRIVER 1. Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ / Lakesawn Lumber) 195 2. Kevin Bell (International Motorsport NZ / G-Tech NZ) 108 3. Ross Rutherford (International Motorsport NZ / Woodstock Bourbon) 84

-cupcar.au-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Fabian Coulthard , Alex Davison , Bob Jane , David Thexton , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , Stephen Borness , Ash Samadi , Jonathon Webb , Peter Hill , Kevin Bell , Marc Cini , Dean Grant
Teams Tekno Autosports