What a way to kick off our 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup campaign. One of the biggest events of the year – the Adelaide 500 always provides plenty of action and a great atmosphere.
After the release of our Morris Finance Porsche at the Huntingdale Golf Course on Monday I jetted down to Adelaide on Wednesday morning to meet up with the team. With the birth of the new Gen2 991 cup cars in Australia – it was very cool to see 26 cars unloaded and prepped in the paddock on that afternoon.
Thursday was our first day of on-track action, we had two x 20-minute practice sessions. With limited track time, it was important to maximise the two sessions to fine tune the car and get back into rhythm before qualifying the following morning.
Practice one got off to a good start, at the half way mark we were sitting atop of the time sheets – however that didn’t last long. Shortly after, a red flag ended the session and I was unable to improve, dropping down the order… nothing we were too worried about.
Practice two was much better – with everyone running new Michelin tyres late in the session, it almost felt like a simulated qualifying run. We went about our business and posted the fastest time of the day! This result gave me a confidence boost ahead of qualifying.
With cooler conditions on Friday morning, the qualifying session took longer than expected to produce the fast lap times. After a small error on my first set of tyres and struggling to find some clear track, our fastest time didn’t come until the dying moments of the session. As the checkered flag dropped, I crossed the line with a time quick enough for my first Carrera Cup Pole Position and a new Adelaide Lap record for the category!
Race one was held later Friday afternoon, unfortunately, an even start alongside Dale Wood wasn’t good enough to retain the lead – slotting into second after the first chicane, we were able to apply some pressure only for the race to be called short! However, this still rewarded us with another front row start for race two.
Race two went perfectly for us, after looking at my data overnight I was able to identify what went wrong in yesterday’s start and rectify the problem. Leading the field into turn one, it was all about keeping my eyes forward and head down – crossing the line in the lead and claiming my first race win of the season.
Race three was another shortened encounter. Starting from pole position, I was able to repeat my race two start and lead the field into turn one. Managing the gap back to second and greeting the flag for another race win, ultimately giving us the round victory!
All in all, it was a great weekend and near perfect way to start the season. We leave the streets of Adelaide as the championship leaders (a first for me)! Our focus now shifts to Round two, held at the Australian Grand Prix (Melbourne) in two week’s time. None of this is possible without my loyal and great group of sponsors, McElrea Racing and my Family!