The return of three-time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss completes a star-studded entry for this weekend’s Pro-Am Carrera Cup races at Phillip Island.
Bayliss will drive alongside Michael Patrizi, continuing the pair’s partnership from last year’s Rennsport event.
Having performed solidly last year, the 45-year-old expects that the new generation Type 991 Cup cars introduced to the class for 2014 will result in a tighter field this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to racing this new car,” Bayliss told Speedcafe.com, having recently tested the Onsite-backed entry.
“I think guys like me who are not in the cars week in and week out, the way that the car works and with the paddles and auto-blip, it’s going to help us get closer to the front.
“I don’t expect to be the fastest guy down there, because that just can’t happen with the level of competition there is, but I feel that I can get reasonably close.”
Bayliss is also looking forward to the co-driver event’s shift this year from Sydney Motorsport Park to Phillip Island, where he has a long history from his days in Superbikes and MotoGP.
“It’s so similar, it’s not funny,” he said of the adjustment between racing bikes and cars at the Victorian venue.
“Honestly, even the lines and the braking markers are so similar and the way that you’ve got to do things.
“Coming onto the straight, the really fast left hander, on the motorbike when you’re rolling into there fast you can never really close the gas because the rear just wants to come around.
“It’s basically the same in the Porsche. You’ve just got to lift your foot, wait until the front of it is settled and then get back on the gas.
“There are a lot of things that feel quite similar around there.”
The full line-up of co-drivers features six full-time V8 Supercars Championship drivers and adds six former Carrera Cup Australia race winners to the field.
Championship leader Warren Luff will be paired with Dunlop Series stalwart Geoff Emery, making for a formidable combination.
Fellow front-runners have Steven Richards and Craig Baird have opted for experienced amateur-level Porsche drivers Damien Flack and Max Twigg respectively.
A 21-car field will face the starter, with Maurie Pickering absent on business commitments and Dean Koutsoumidis having recently sold his entry, which will return under the Wall Racing banner later this year.
See below for the full Phillip Island entry
Bonaire / Wilson Security
|Craig Baird||Max Twigg|
No Second Chance/Phase 8
Royal Purple Oil/Garth Walden Racing
Laser Plumbing & Electrical
Porsche Centre Brighton
AFS/All Star Equipment Sales
Childhood Cancer Foundation
McGrath Estate Agents
Bob Jane T-Marts
Bob Jane T-Marts
See below for Porsche’s event preview video