Former V8 Supercar driver David Thexton has made a quick transition from BA Falcon to Porsche GT3 911 after officially entering the remainder of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup season. This week the 46-year-old Gold Coast-based Kiwi purchased...
Former V8 Supercar driver David Thexton has made a quick transition from BA Falcon to Porsche GT3 911 after officially entering the remainder of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup season.
This week the 46-year-old Gold Coast-based Kiwi purchased the 2003 GT3 911 that was campaigned by Jack Crocker in last year's series.
It has been a big week for Thexton Motor Racing after handing over its V8 Supercar Class Two license to WPS Racing, purchasing a Porsche GT3 911, entering the Carrera Cup and planning test sessions next week at Queensland Raceway.
Thexton joins another New Zealander Kevin Bell and Australian Formula Ford graduate Tony Pugliese as new entries in round three of the Australian Carrera Cup to be held at Hidden Valley Raceway near Darwin from May 21 to 23.
"The Carrera Cup is a fantastic class, and is only second in status to the V8 Supercars in Australia," said Thexton.
"I have been doing a lot of talking with my Team Manager about our options post-V8 Supercars. I believe I am a good driver. I believe, in time, I can win races and do well in a championship. And everything we spoke about kept coming back to Porsche.
"From being a rally driver to a competitive V8 driver was too much and we had a lot of bad luck. But when one door shuts, another one opens.
"I'm really excited about our prospects in the Porsche. Unlike V8 Supercars, there is no limit to testing and no qualifying threshold, so we can race and learn at the same time."
Thexton will base his Thexton Motor Racing operation out his four-month-old workshop at Yatala on the Gold Coast. In the future, he would like to expand the operation to maintain and transport three cars in the series with the facilities and technology he has acquired.
After a rallying career that spanned 16 years, Thexton moved into V8 Supercars and drove an AU Falcon through the 2003 season with a best result of 16th in his first Bob Jane T-Marts 1000.
Hidden Valley will be the first racing appearance of 2004 for Kevin Bell, after he agreed to pilot Andrew Bagnall's number 82 Porsche at the circuit where he achieved his best result in 2003. Bell won race three at Hidden Valley last year, and finished third overall for the round. He finished the season as the highest placed New Zealand driver in the Australian Carrera Cup in fifth position.
While youngster Tony Pugliese will step into Peter Hill's number 66 Team Braun car at Hidden Valley. Earlier this year Pugliese agreed on an option to join the team for testing duties and race experience in the event that a substitute driver be required. Like Thexton, Hidden Valley will be Pugliese's first crack at racing a Porsche after taking the step up from Formula Fords.
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.
Round three of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup at Hidden Valley begins with practice on Friday May 21, qualifying and race one on Saturday May 22, and race two and three on Sunday May 23. All races will be contested over 15 laps of the 2.9km anti-clockwise racing circuit.
'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast round three of the Carrera Cup on Sunday May 30 at 2pm (check local guides).