AUS: Surfers Paradise preview

Gold Coast Drivers Aim For Big Carrera Cup Finish Porsche young gun Alex Davison may have secured his first Australian Carrera Cup title, but a legion of local drivers and teams are aiming to take the spotlight away from Davison as the final ...

Gold Coast Drivers Aim For Big Carrera Cup Finish

Porsche young gun Alex Davison may have secured his first Australian Carrera Cup title, but a legion of local drivers and teams are aiming to take the spotlight away from Davison as the final round hits the Gold Coast for the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 21 to 24.

Twenty-year-old Jonathon Webb, whose team Paul Cruickshank Racing is based on the Gold Coast, has been making considerable inroads over the past few rounds.

The Sydney-based driver placed third for the round at the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 and then backed up to finish a career-best second at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in Bathurst.

Webb, who now sits fifth in the championship, will be among a host of young drivers shooting for race wins around the 4.47km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

Gold Coast 22-year-old Klark Quinn posted his best race result at the Lexmark Indy 300 last year, finishing third in front a huge local crowd on the main race day.

This year Quinn has continued his steady climb culminating with a personal best round finish of third at the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 two weeks ago to move him into sixth in the standings.

Quinn's father Tony, also from Team VIP Petfoods, is coming good at the right time of season. Tony recorded a sixth place for the round in Bathurst to consolidate seventh position in the series.

The Quinn duo's team mate, Craig Baird, another Gold Coast-based driver, is one of the most experienced Porsche drivers and will once again double up by driving in the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at the Lexmark Indy 300.

Baird has driven in the past two Carrera Cup rounds, posting a fourth and fifth place round finish respectively to show he is right in the mix in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car category.

Porsche rookie David Thexton, who made the switch from V8 Supercars to Carrera Cup earlier this year, is another Gold Coaster keen to impress in front of a home crowd.

Thexton ( has been making progress with every round, and is hoping for a top-10 finish at the Lexmark Indy 300 to end the season on a high.

One driver who loves the tight and demanding Surfers Paradise street circuit is experienced campaigner Charlie O'Brien from the Wright Patton Shakespeare team.

The Surfers Paradise resident had a season high race finish of second at the Lexmark Indy 300 last year, after qualifying fifth.

Whilst the Gold Coast drivers and teams will be aiming for a big finish to the 2004 season, the series champion Alex Davison will be hoping for a dual celebration -- holding aloft the championship trophy after winning the Gold Coast round.

Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre) has won six of the eight Carrera Cup rounds so far this season, and holds an unassailable lead from last year's champion Jim Richards, the victor of the other two rounds this year.

Richards has history on his side coming into the Lexmark Indy 300, after claiming pole position and then all three race wins in the Carrera Cup on the Gold Coast last year.

There will be plenty of spirit and rivalry in one of the yet-to-be-decided award categories in the Australian Carrera Cup -- the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge which rewards the highest scoring driver who is 35 years of age or older and drives a 2003-spec 911 GT3 Cup car.

Currently Melbourne-based Dean Grant (Becks Racing) holds a 90-point lead over local Tony Quinn, but anything can happen in the race for the victory prize -- a TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph.

The final round at the Lexmark Indy 300 will also feature the 'Celebration of Carrera Cup 2004 Dinner' at the Porsche Centre Gold Coast on Thursday night.

Another initiative in the Carrera Cup will be the Fit2Drive program, where Klark Quinn will be hooked up to monitoring equipment transmitting his heart rate and g-forces live to the Indy FMTV screens on Thursday. The Fit2Drive program aims to showcase the importance of fitness in motor racing.

One of the weekend highlights will certainly be the Friday Night Racing featuring race one of the Carrera Cup in a 50-minute illuminated showpiece.

The final round of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup -- the Lexmark Indy 300 begins with practice and qualifying on Thursday October 21, race one on Friday night October 22, race two on Saturday October 23 and race three on Sunday October 24.

'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast this round of the Carrera Cup on Sunday November 7 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.

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Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Craig Baird , Alex Davison , Bob Jane , David Thexton , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Jonathon Webb , Dean Grant , Paul Cruickshank