There is no better feeling in the world, than the one you get when 16, Porsche Carrera Cup cars are sitting on the limiter waiting for the green flag. Try stand there without grinning, and it gets even more satisfying when they all pull off and scream down to turn one.
Race one of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship at Phillip Island saw the Pro/AM format put to its test once again. It produced a fantastic race as always and two names very familiar to the Carrera Cup paddock stood on the top step of the podium. Nick McBride and Dylan Thomas combined to take the dramatic race one win.
McBride started the one-hour race from third position with a solid opening stint, Andre Heimgartner led the way in the first part of the race in the sister Sonic Motorsport car after taking the lead from Stephen Grove on the opening lap.
Further back, Alex Davision was one of the biggest movers starting his #888 Porsche from fifth and moving in to the top three before the pit stops.
McBride brought the #77 car into the pits for the compulsory pit stops from third position, handing the Bob Jane T-Mart sponsored machine over to Thomas.
After taking over the Davison car on lap 22, Geoff Emery battled with Aaron Ireland for the lead and was in front two laps later.
That all meant nothing when the stewards handed the #888 car a 3min penalty for a pit lane infringement, promoting Ireland back up into first
Thomas persisted with a strong pace, passing Ireland a few laps later.
The Northern Beaches based driver has made his name in production car racing over the years, this being his third outing in a Carrera Cup car. Production cars and Cup cars are two completely different disciplines but Dylan continues to prove his value with another race win in the Pro/AM format.
For McBride, this is a big boost for his title chances as he charges through the season with a commendable finishing average so far this year.
“It was a great race and a huge effort from Dylan to bring the car home at the end,” said McBride, who recorded his fourth career Carrera Cup race victory.
“It was an interesting start and we had to get past the Grove car at the Southern Loop on the opening lap – but my teammate, Andre also got past. He did a great job to build a big lead but it was up to the Sonic Motor Racing guys in the stops, and Dylan drove a great race to bring it home.
“Overall it was a real team effort to get us over the line first.” Thomas said his focus was bringing the car home in one piece to ensure a good points haul for his title-contending co-driver
“I’m always going to take a conservative approach because I’m not in the cars all the time,” he said.
“I’m not going to be going for glory, we’re here to go for it as a team but my job is to bring the car home safe, be consistent and traditionally I’ve been able to do that.” Thomas concluded.
From Phillip Island, Carrera Cup heads north to the only place in Australia that sizzles all year round. Darwin and Hidden Valley Raceway. The weekend taking place from 16 June to the 18 June.