Round 5 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship was held at the Sepang International Race Circuit, Malaysia – the first international foray for the series.
A busy Thursday proved it was going to be an action-packed weekend. An invitational kart race kicked things off with a good laugh, teaming up with a Carrera Cup Asia driver was great way to get to know most of the drivers. Following our kart race, we set off on a track walk around the 5.54km circuit – certainly started to feel the heat!
Fridays schedule involved, 2 x 45minute practice sessions, more than enough time to familiarise ourselves with the track. The first practice session went well, posting the 4th fastest time with plenty of room for improvement. The second practice session we chased car balance on new tyres and finished a little further own the order in 7th, nothing we were too concerned about.
Qualifying resulted in a poor result after a red flag came out on our first flying lap – we had lost the edge of the tyre and couple only manage a 2.08.9. Bolting our second set of greens on, we went out and posted the 2nd fastest time – only for it to be taken from us for exceeding track limits. A small error on my behalf cost us a front row start and demoted me to 7th.
Race 1, we got a reasonable start and raced hard with McBride and Kern. We didn’t quite have the set-up of car 7 right – struggling with an overall lack of grip and tyre degradation, really having to fight hard to retain what positions we could – greeting the flag in 7th. After a few post-race penalties, we were elevated to the 5th position.
A strong start from 5th in race two, allowed me to make a move into 4th and then a further move into 3rd by the end of lap one. Unfortunately, another rookie driver error resulted in myself spinning at turn 2 and dropping to the rear of the field. Our speed was good as we were able to fight back to 7th at the end of the race.
Starting 13th for the invitational race between Carrera Cup Australia and Carrera Cup Asia, I was able to move forward to 9th after some aggressive driving in the opening laps. However, that was as far as we would progress.
Soaring temperatures and high tyre degradation made for a challenging weekend, working hard with my engineer – we made some minor improvements each time we went out on track. Too many driving errors on my behalf put us on the back foot, so hopefully, we can rectify this before we get to Sandown for round 6!
I now switch my focus to the second round of the Australian GT Endurance Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, where I will once again be teaming up with Tim Miles in the MPC/Jamec Pem Audi R8.