2019 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Series at Hidden Valley in Darwin - Round Four Wrap Up With Brian Boyd
- PAYCE Head Office, Sydney NSW.
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd says the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup teams love visiting Darwin and always put on a great show.
"This year was no exception and fans were treated to some of the tightest and exciting racing to date as the championship reached its halfway point," Brian said.
"The field was down slightly in number, with 19 cars lining up after the long cross-country trek to the Territory, but there was action aplenty in all three races.
"The highlights included one young driver chalking up his first series win, while three different drivers enjoyed a win each over the weekend. The meeting also marked the fourth different driver to win a round this year," Brian continued.
Wood and Love Continue with Good Form – Brian Boyd
"The practice sessions saw the two drivers leading the series on points continue their good form with Dale Wood on top and Jordon Love close behind."
Brian said Team PAYCE driver, David Wall was hoping to replicate his great result last year at the track, when he started on pole and took a win in the first race.
"He topped the first practice and slipped a couple of positions to fifth in the second session to finish third fastest on combined times, showing he was not far off the pace of the frontrunners," Brian continued.
"Most teams and drivers these days treat practice sessions as if they are qualifying and the fast times came courtesy of fresh green tyres and cooler conditions.
"As evidence of the closeness of the field, 14 cars were within one second of Wood's fastest time across the two practice sessions," Brian added.
Qualifying Critical to Avoid the Mid-Field Battle – Brian Boyd
"The first race of the round on Saturday was over 35 laps, which also counts towards the Enduro Cup Championship."
Brian said qualifying in a good position up front is critical in order the stay away from the midfield pack and competition for pole during the session was intense and resulted in some surprises.
Cameron Hill bags First Pole and the Race Win in Darwin – Brian Boyd
"Up-and-coming star, Cameron Hill pulled out all stops on his last lap of the 20 minute session to bag his first-ever Carrera Cup pole position, beating equally determined Michael Almond and David Wall," Brian Boyd said.
"Series leader Dale Wood was close behind with Warren Luff improving over his practice times to take fifth position on the grid.
"Proving that his qualifying time was no fluke, Cameron Hill drove a superb race to take out race one, but not before he had to fight to regain his position up front.
"Cameron was slow off the mark and Mike Almond capitalised by leading into the first corner and holding that position up till a safety car intervention brought the field back in formation.
"Cameron made his move soon after the restart with a great inside pass that put him back in front and never to be headed. His popular maiden win was a great reward for the small team from Canberra who worked hard to get the result they hoped for.
"Michael Almond battled David Wall for second place until David dropped back with an overheating car, leaving Almond to complete the race with no further challenges," Brian finished.
Battle Shifts for Third Spot Finish – Brian Boyd
Brian said the main battle then shifted to Dale Wood and Jordon Love for third spot on the podium.
"A coming together on the final lap drew the attention of the officials but was deemed a racing incident," he said.
"Warren Luff came home in fifth and David Wall brought the #38 PAYCE Porsche across the line in sixth as he shut down the engine to minimise damage.
Incident Prone Race Two Brings Safety Car – Brian Boyd
"Race two saw series leader, Dale Wood return to the winner's circle, with Michael Almond making it a one-two for the Sonic Motor Racing team. Cameron Hill recovered from an off-track excursion to take third place.
"The race was full of incidents right from the start involving Love, Talbot and Cook on lap one. That brought out the safety car and on the restart Hill led as the field approached turn one, only to go wide and hand the lead to Wood," added Brian Boyd.
"A second incident had Cook again involved, this time with Sam Shahin on the main straight. Cook came off second-best and left the track at turn one.
"Warren Luff managed to stay out of trouble and finish fourth and David Wall in his hastily-repaired car improved one position to finish fifth."
Fierce Attrition Rate Lowers the Field – Brian Boyd
Brian said there was no letup in the attrition rate in race three that saw just 13 cars from the 16 starters finish the race. Three other cars were already missing from the grid as a result of mishaps in race 2.
"Dale Wood got the best of the start but Michael Almond executed a clean pass on lap 5 to take the lead.
"The race was marred by a multiple tangle on the opening lap that brought out the safety car and resulted in several retirements."
Brian said Michael Almond went on to take the chequered flag from Dale Wood with race one winner, Cameron Hill completing the podium. Warren Luff and David Wall made up the top five finishers.
Series Set to be Close for 2019 with Four Winners Across Four Rounds – Brian Boyd
"Michael Almond became the fourth driver in as many rounds to take the round win and shared the weekend wins with Cameron Hill and Dale Wood," Brian said.
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