Plenty of Positives for Russell and Smollen After Frustrating Weekend of Carrera Cup at Porsche Renn

May 31, 2013 in Porsche Motorsport

The McGrath Motorsport duo of Dave Russell and Shane Smollen had an eventful weekend of racing at the inaugural Porsche Rennsport Australia Motor Racing Festival, finishing just outside of the top ten after spending the weekend battling through the pack.

After a strong practice, the team faced some tough challenges in qualifying. Russell expressed the challenges in producing the perfect setup.

“Shane and I had high hopes for the weekend, which unfortunately didn’t go our way.”

“We didn’t have a great qualifying, but learned a lot because of it. We were so keen to do well and put in a good performance for our supporters that we may have pushed a little too hard in the setup of the car. We should have pulled that back slightly.”

Smollen echoed Russell’s sentiments: “Our setup changes in qualifying didn’t provide us with the times we knew we were capable of, and we were playing catch up out of the gate.”

Inspired by an unfulfilling qualifying, both drivers put in strong drives in race one, reeling in the pack and demonstrating their underlying pace.

Russell put in the first stint, and was able to put his experience and pace to good use before the team suffered a technical knock-back.

“I was happy with my stint in the first race and we got up into a good position, which Shane followed up with a very good drive.”

“Unfortunately we had to come in to resolve a tyre issue, which knocked us out of our top-five position and a front-running starting position for the second race.”

“We started the second race in 14th and fought our way up to 11th. It’s a super-competitive field, however, and the lead pack was out of reach.”

After a challenging weekend, the team was positive about their underlying pace, and their potential in the championship.

Team boss Grant Geelan of Autohaus Hamilton said: “There are plenty of positives to take out of the weekend.”

“The team worked together well, Shane and Dave are a great pairing, the car had plenty of speed and we learned a lot about setup.”

“Every weekend in motorsport is a learning experience, and we’ve got a lot to take forward and apply in the coming rounds. We’re confident, and looking forward to getting back into it!”

Confident in the team, Smollen is positive about what they can take forward in the championship.

“I don’t think the weekend demonstrated our promise as a team.”

“It was a real reminder that to race against the class of competition contesting Carrera Cup you have to be on it 110% of the time. It’s important that we continue to focus to make sure that the entire preparation, team and driving effort all combines and comes together perfectly on the day.”

“There’s no reason that we couldn’t win, but there’s also no room for mistakes at this level!”

He was similarly pleased with new teammate Russell.

“I really enjoyed working with Dave. He has a great attitude and is a true team player.”

“His understanding of the car and racecraft, and his practical input into driving and setup is a huge asset to the team.”

Dave Russell

Russell, too, was happy with the team situation, and inspired by the weekend.

“It was one that got away, but I take many positives from it. I was very happy with my performance and Shane backed it up with some excellent drives.”

“The team, Shane and I worked very well together and we’re keen to continue. I’m going to be helping Shane for the remaining rounds of the championship.”

“The experience has re-ignited my passion for Porsches, and I’d love to look at contesting the Carrera Cup Championship again next year!”

Smollen summed up the team’s mood best; “We’ll be back. Watch out next time!”

Thanks to Porsche for putting together a smoothly-run, massive event, and an excellent addition to the Australian Carrera Cup Championship.