The 2014 Porsche Australia Carrera Cup season kicked off in earnest over the first and second of March, and the Autohaus Hamilton Team was knee-deep in it as always, supporting Shane Smollen in the opening round of Carrera Cup.
??b>There was a lot of hype and interest around the new cars going into the first round of the season, and they very were well-received and supported, which produced a good buzz and a fun atmosphere.??/p>
??b>They certainly didn???t disappoint when they hit the track either, producing some blisteringly fast and very exciting racing. Absolutely fantastic!????? Grant Geelan
It was a big weekend for Carrera Cup; not only the first round of the year but the first Australian Carrera Cup round for the new type 991 GT3 Cup.
And it was a great one for Shane Smollen and Autohaus Hamilton, demonstrating class-leading pace throughout the weekend and converting that into a very healthy points haul for the season???s coffers.
??b>I was thrilled with the weekend???s results. We showed a lot of speed in qualifying by out pacing every other Elite competitor by just under half a second, and we were able to convert that into good points for the weekend???s efforts.????? Grant Geelan
A strong setup and good qualifying result put us in a commanding position for the race, but inconsistency in the starts introduced some challenges.
??b>I didn???t get off the line as well as I???d hoped in race one, and tucked in behind Tony Bates. I felt that we had a speed advantage, and I pushed a pass out of turn eight into turn nine which resulted in an off.??/p>
??b>I should have been more patient considering our speed advantage, but we had enough of a margin back to third that I could get back out and hold second position. I had flat-spotted all four tyres, however, so we had to do the remainder of the round on one set of tyres.????? Shane Smollen
From that early incident Shane and the team put together a very smooth and consistent weekend, with everyone putting in professional and talented performances. We claimed another second in race two, and a third in race three to give us second for the round in Elite class and tenth overall.
??b>We always knew that we had to try that much harder in these early rounds, which traditionally haven???t been our strongest, so this performance gives us a lot of confidence going in to the Grand Prix round, especially as race three marked our eleventh in a row on the podium.??/p>
??b>The cars will be very well suited to the Albert Park Grand Prix track. They stop very well and their mid-corner speed is extremely impressive. Testing their limits around Albert Park is going to be a brilliant experience!????? Shane Smollen
A highlight of the weekend was the increased level of interest which Carrera Cup is enjoying. With the new cars, a range of very fast and exciting drivers, including more than a few Australian motorsport legends, longer races, bigger schedule and a lot more PR and press, there???s a great deal of excitement in the paddock and the category is making its way out to its biggest and most involved audience yet.
Our Club Carrera program has a few places remaining, and with the increased involvement and interest we???re experiencing, and the many benefits and bonuses associated with being involved in a top-level Porsche motorsport team, it represents better value than ever. Get in contact with Shane Smollen directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
??b>We lost a few positions in the starts, but were able to recover well and consolidated with second place in Elite class and a good haul of points for the round, which is exactly what we wanted to do.??/p>
??b>We???re really very happy with our current position going in to the Australian Grand Prix race and we feel that with a good result there we???ll have set ourselves up in a strong position for the season.????? Grant Geelan
The second round of Carrera Cup will take place this weekend, over the 14-16th of March, at the opening round of the Formula 1 World Championship in Melbourne.
We???re pumped, and we can???t wait to put on a good show and keep adding to that championship tally!
And speaking of pumped, we???re very excited to announce that Shane Smollen will be joined by one of the hottest V8 Supercar drivers around, who???ll be lending a hand (and a few feet) in steering duties for the weekend. Can you guess who?