Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia has officially kicked off its milestone 15th season at the Adelaide 500 with an eventful day of opening practice.
While the scorching Adelaide heat reached a high of 37 degrees, Thursday morning’s opening practice session lasted only three laps before a three-car accident between Dave Stevens, Steven Richards and Duvashen Padayachee ended the session early. The significant turn eight incident caused event-ending damage to the race cars of Stevens and Richards, while Padayachee will return for Friday qualifying.
In contrast to Richards’ horrid opening day, fellow returning racer Warren Luff posted the best lap time of the day from last year’s Gold Coast finale round winner Nick McBride and local racer Michael Almond in third.
“The car feels really good; obviously we don’t know what tyres everyone was running out there and we were running on a pretty good set of tyres. It’s good to be back in the car and feeling comfortable,” said Luff, who steps into the #7 McElrea Racing entry formerly occupied by eventual Carrera Cup champions Matt Campbell and Jaxon Evans.
“I have some pretty big shoes to fill with Matt Campbell and then Jaxon Evans from last year. I’m just going out there to have some fun and hopefully be at the front of the field. I know I have the right team of guys around me so fingers crossed come Sunday afternoon.”
Queensland-based Adelaide-raised racer Anthony Gilbertson was the best of the TAG Heuer Pro-Am drivers, posting the eighth best outright lap time and beating the next best Pro-Am driver by over three-tenths of a second.
“I didn’t expect to be the fastest Pro-Am driver of the day; I did it on the last lap of the day and I‘m really happy with my pace. It’s bloody warm in the car; I’m sweating pretty hard now that I’m out of the car. I’ll get in the ice bath and recover in time for qualifying tomorrow morning,” said Gilbertson.
Max Twigg was the next best TAG Heuer Pro-Am driver from Thursday’s two practice sessions from Roger Lago, Adrian Flack and Tim Miles.
The Porsche championship will next be on track for Friday morning’s qualifying session at 10:30am, followed by the opening race of the season at 4:20pm. Race two will then be held on Saturday and race three on Sunday.
All remaining Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia sessions from the Adelaide 500 will be broadcast live across both Fox Sports 506 and Kayo, while all races, starting from tomorrow’s Race 1, will be aired live across Network Ten channels 10 Bold and TEN.
Combined Practice times
1. #7 Warren Luff (Pro) 1:22.2624
2. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) 1:22.5784 (-0:00.3160)
3. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) 1:22.5821 (-0:00.3197)
4. #38 David Wall (Pro) 1:22.8996 (-0:00.6372)
5. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) 1:23.1063 (-0:00.8439)
6. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) 1:23.1705 (-0:00.9081)
7. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) 1:23.1868 (-0:00.9244)
8. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:23.3312 (-0:01.0688)
9. #36 Cooper Murray (Pro) 1:23.3717 (-0:01.1093)
10. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) 1:23.5099 (-0:01.2475)
11. #80 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:23.6615 (-0:01.3991)
12. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:23.6763 (-0:01.4139)
13. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:23.8569 (-0:01.5945)
14. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:23.9080 (-0:01.6456)
15. #5 Thomas Maxwell (Pro) 1:24.2443 (-0:01.9819)
16. #27 Liam Talbot (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:24.4194 (-0:02.1570)
17. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:24.7100 (-0:02.4476)
18. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:25.0804 (-0:02.8180)
19. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:25.0857 (-0:02.8233)
20. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:25.3152 (-0:03.0528)
21. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:29.7270
22. #50 David Stevens (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 1:31.6358
23. #12 Steve Richards (Pro) 1:32.6907
24. #34 Duvashen Padayachee (Pro) 1:43.5824