Carrera Cup contenders reveal Pro-Am co-drivers

Steven Richards will team with Dean Grant

Steven Richards will team with Dean Grant

The field for Carrera Cup Australia’s Phillip Island Pro-Am continues to take shape with the category’s front-runners confirming their co-drivers.

Experienced amateur Porsche racers Dean Grant and Max Twigg will line-up alongside Steven Richards and Craig Baird respectively.

Reigning champion Richards sits atop the points standings following the opening two rounds, 76 points ahead of Baird.

Third-placed Cameron McConville has enlisted GT3 Cup Challenge front-runner John Goodacre for his Island assault, while fellow fast starter Nick McBride is set to team with Neale Muston.

The selections follow a review of the co-driver system since last year’s event, resulting in the introduction of a set of guidelines aimed at ensuring only true amateur drivers fill the slots.

While previously under the sole discretion of Porsche, Am rated co-drivers must now be 36 or older and not have finished in the top three of a CAMS national championship or selected series.

Previous years had seen the likes of Kumho V8 Touring Cars front-runner Ryan Simpson and Aussie Racing Car ace Adam Gowans slip in as Am drivers.

The changes are designed to ensure a level playing field for the full-time Amateurs, who each select a Pro to team with for Phillip Island.

As previously reported, V8 Supercars stars Tim Slade, Nick Percat and Scott McLaughlin are all set to return to the event as invited Pros, while German GT ace Christopher Mies will take part for the first time.

Richards, who drove with Damien Flack last year, says Phillip Island can play a big role in deciding the overall champion.

“This round usually throws a curve ball at the championship standings so I’ll plan to stay out of trouble and focus on retaining the vital championship lead by the end of the weekend,” he said.

“I’ve known Dean since he first started racing cars and he’s always dedicated a vast amount of time and energy to being successful.

“We’ll be out to have a good time driving together and finish both races; simple as that.”

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