Wrapping Up 2013’s Carrera Cup Season and Looking to 2014
2013 has been an eventful year in motorsport for Autohaus Hamilton, with no shortage of thrills and spills in every Porsche category we contest. Which is all of them!
“I went into the season with one goal - win Elite class.” - Grant Geelan
At the pinnacle of Porsche motorsport in Australia sits Carrera Cup, and 2013 was the third season we contested with Shane Smollen.
“We got off to a slow start, and results weren’t quite up to the bar I’d set. Shane’s confidence grew throughout the year and towards the back end of the season we started producing some truly impressive results.” - Grant Geelan
“We closed the year with some really reassuring performances and a definite increase in speed. A very solid (and fast) Bathurst and a clean sweep at the Gold Coast was a fitting reward for the team after some earlier ups and downs.” - Shane Smollen
“Townsville was going really well - we qualified on Elite pole and won the class in the first race, but then ended up in the wall. We put the car back together in time for the last race, but ended up in another shunt on our way through the field.” - Grant Geelan
“At Winton we qualified third in Elite, lined up on the grid and had the clutch fail at the start. We installed a new clutch and Shane had a huge race in the final run, cutting through the field to a great finish.” - Grant Geelan
“Rennsport was the biggest weekend that Autohaus Hamilton has ever had and was a great experience. We put in some good performances, but overall had a troubled weekend that didn’t produce the results we were hoping for.” - Grant Geelan
“Things started to really kick into gear by Bathurst and we came away with Shane on the podium with a third place in Elite.” - Grant Geelan
“And then came the highlight of the season - The Gold Coast. Pole position in Elite class through to three class wins in the races and the round win in Elite.”
“The car was good all round long. There was no stress. In a way, it was actually easy! Nothing went wrong! We really finished the year on a high.” - Grant Geelan
Porsche Australia Carrera Cup is going to have a very different look in 2014, with a brand new car, longer races and some new events. It’ll present new challenges, and the team’s looking forward to it.
“With a few years experience under our belts by the time we arrived at the 2013 season, our work on the car was focused on maintaining it and keeping it in top order, and then putting the setup knowledge we’ve developed into action and fine tuning for each race.”
“Everything’s new for the 991 GT3 Cup; new data acquisition system; paddle shift; different braking system; new tyres, so 2014 will hinge around who can find a good balance and some confidence in the car. Who can make their car work for their driver the best, the soonest.”
“The challenge of taming and understanding a car like this is why we are involved in motorsport. It makes us better at what we do, and provides us with knowledge that we can then provide to everyone who brings their Porsche along to our business.”
“We aim to be on top of the car and off to a good start for 2014. The key is going to be some early testing and getting our heads around the car to enable us to be off to a great start early on in the season. We can’t wait!” - Grant Geelan
“Whilst the learning curve starts again with the arrival of the 991 what we will be taking is the confidence that we can achieve consistent winning performances. A new car is always an equalizer and for us that should translate into an edge if we make the most of our testing and research.
We’ve learned that a season is built one race at a time and to state the obvious, it’s vital to qualify well and finish every race. We have to work hard to build speed on the Victorian tracks and take full advantage of our existing pace further north. The pro am will be a feature again of an extended 8 round calendar which includes longer races throughout. We are in talks to secure a leading driver and look forward to an announcement early new year.
The launch of our Club Carrera sponsorship and experience program is also an exciting new innovation and I’m really looking forward to helping enthusiasts get up close to the action. It’s a unique combination of adrenalin, involvement, exposure and financial benefits.
Who knows…..we may even inspire a budding race driver to take the same steps towards Carrera Cup as we have over the last few years.” - Shane Smollen
Images thanks to Porsche Carrera Cup Australia