The most recent event for the O’Brien Racing team saw ‘Brien’ compete in Darwin for the 4th round of the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Championship.
With two practice sessions on Friday, qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday, followed by the final 2 races on Sunday, the weekend format didn’t provide any rest for the wicked.
After the big road trip with Ange in the DAF XF105 from the cool temps of Melbourne up to Sunny and warm Darwin, we were ready to don the shorts and t-shirts and enjoy some great weather.
There’s one thing to be sure at this time of the year in the Northern Territory is that we won’t have to be too worried about fitting up the wet weather tyres! It’s a spectacular event for the Supercars and the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship holds primary support category status.
Practice went well with ‘Brien’ sitting well within the top ten and the majority of changes we were making to the car were making forward progress.
Qualifying wasn’t quite the result that we were looking to achieve finishing in 12th position only 4/10ths of a second away from position 2. We seem to be lacking the ability to unlock the single lap speed we require for the new tyres at the moment. What was encouraging was that the car was feeling like it had some good potential for the race.
We made good ground in race 1 avoiding some carnage… just, to finish in 7th position. This was the longer of the 3 races lasting 45 minutes. A safety car period for an accident in the middle closed things up, but we were very competitive.
Races 2 and 3 on Sunday worked out quite well. Race 2 was not much of a race after another accident brought out the safety car for a while. We only really had 6 of the 18 laps of actual racing, so 7th was again our finishing position.
The last race of the day produced another big moment, when there was a significant accident that happened around us. While ensuring we avoided damage, I had to drive off the road losing valuable track position. There were quite a number of cars caught up and we eventually finished up in 8th position.
Our race pace is definitely up there with the leading competitors, we just have to unlock a little more setup information for qualifying to start closer to the front of the field.
The next round we head off to is Townsville in Far North Queensland in July. Onwards and upwards.