2018 Australian GP Meeting – Melbourne - Preview with Brian Boyd - Locals Looking to Impress International Audience
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said that as is the case each year at the Australian GP, this weekend's rounds of Supercars and Porsche Wilson Racing Carrera Cup present a great opportunity for Australian drivers to showcase their talents to an international audience.
"Adding to the spectacle of the F1 Grand Prix will be the fresh field in both local championship series that debuted a couple of weeks ago in Adelaide," Mr. Boyd said.
"Team PAYCE drivers in Garth Tander, James Golding, David Wall and James Moffat will battle it out in their respective categories in arguably the strongest fields for many years.
Brian explained that both Supercars and the Porsche Wilson Carrera Cup rounds will be over four races, albeit with different formats and distances.
"Supercars will have four separate qualifying sessions – one for each race, while the Porsche Carrera Cup drivers will have one qualifying session to set the field for race 1, then the grid positions for the following three races will be determined where they finished in the previous race," Brian Boyd offered with regard to the race schedule.
"Either way, qualifying well up the timesheets will be critical as the sprint races will leave little time to move through the field if starting down the order," Mr. Boyd commented.
Supercars – Championship Points now a Staple of the Albert Park Weekend – Brian Boyd
Brian said the Albert Park circuit has different characteristics to Adelaide and the fast flowing track will likely reveal more about the capabilities of the new ZB Commodore.
"They were certainly impressive at Adelaide and it will be interesting to see how they compare with the Fords and Nissans under these different conditions," Boyd said.
"For the first time at this meeting, the Supercars will race for championship points, although this will be their 22nd appearance at Albert Park.
"Rather than being treated as a test day by some as was the case in the past, points are up for grabs and as last year proved by the end of the championship those points may make the difference of winning the championship," Brian Boyd pointed out.
"The Wilson Security Racing GRM team have said they were reasonably pleased with the performance of their new Commodores with more to come out of the cars and the drivers.
Garth Executes a Solid Weekend to Take 3rd Spot – Brian Boyd
"For Garth to make it into one of the Top Ten Shootouts in the #33 car was a big boost of confidence and then the icing on the cake was a podium finish in third spot.
"James Golding in the #34 car did not fare as well, but he still put in some quick times and showed that he can mix it with the best in the big league," Brian Boyd enthused.
Brian said Garth Tander is just one race short of the most wins at the track by a Supercar driver, having collected seven over the years.
"He is one of nine drivers in the field that have won at Albert Park, so most of the front runners are very familiar with the circuit," Boyd said.
"As an added incentive to do well, this year Supercar drivers will not only collect points for the 2018 championship, the driver with the most points over the weekend will take home the inaugural Larry Perkins Trophy.
"Larry had a chequered career in F1 and later competed successfully in Supercars as a driver and running a team," Brian Boyd said.
Supercars have one race on Friday, two on Saturday and the fourth on Sunday as a curtain-raiser to the Australian GP. Each race is over 13 laps.
Porsche Wilson Racing Carrera Cup – Defending Champion David Wall Set to Impress – Brian Boyd
Brian said Team PAYCE will be on the grid in force with David Wall #1 and James Moffat #18 in the new 991 GT3 Cup Porsches as debuted in Adelaide.
"The field of 26 cars will again be split evenly between Pro and Pro-Am classes as was the case in Adelaide," he said.
"Defending champion, David Wall came away from Adelaide with a podium finish and second on the leaderboard. James also performed well to finish the first round well inside the top ten in 7th place on the leaderboard.
"Both drivers have settled quickly into the new cars and will be out to impress the international audience," offered Brian Boyd.
Brian said the leading cars are expected to be at least a second faster than the current lap record if weather conditions are favourable.
"Last year at this meeting, David got away to a strong start on day one and was quickest in practice so hopefully he can replicate that performance this year and carry that through to the races.
"This field is super-competitive again this year as Adelaide demonstrated, so a good qualifying time for race 1 is a must as each grid thereafter is set by where a driver finishes in the previous race," Brian Boyd concluded.
The Porsches will have one 10 lap race on each of the four days of the meeting.