Speedcafe-supported drivers’ Thursday on the Mount

Speedcafe is supporting six drivers in the Bathurst 1000 support categories at Mount Panorama. Here is how Day 1 of their events at Bathurst went.

David Russell – #99 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 992, Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup. Image: InSyde Media

After a practice session that went without any dramas, Dave proved to be very competitive in the qualifying session. For a period, he was the fastest before he readied himself for a second try. However, a fuel pump issue would negate any chance of maintaining the premier position and ultimately, he would land the Earl Bamber Motorsport entry in ninth place for Race 1.

Dave is on double duties this weekend as he is co-driving the Erebus Chev Camaro in the 1000 (his 14th). He had made the transition from rear engine, left-hand drive Porsche to front engine right-hand drive Camaro with apparent ease for he was fastest in the exclusive co-driver session.

“Position the car is something you have to be aware of in relation to margins and where the wall are,” he revealed.

Liam Talbot – #27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Type 992, Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup. Image: InSyde Media

For the second round in a row, Luke King has enlisted the services of Liam to race in the #27 Moutai Porsche. King has a depleted damage budget which left the team exposed to potential insurance costs, but he still must prioritise sponsor and team partner commitments, contracted this season both on and off track.

Luke’s faith in Liam doing the job in qualifying was well rewarded. Liam scored pole in the Pro-Am by over a second on his nearest class rival and was faster than some of the Pro drivers.

“Don’t pinch me in case I’m dreaming,” Talbot shared.

“We had an ordinary practice. Both driver and car tried to get sorted and I knew it wasn’t time to push on a green track.

“During qualifying the car just kept getting better and better, braking later, carrying more speed, everything just felt hooked up and I was really confident to push to find the extra time to snatch pole!

“It’s hard when a wildcard comes in like this, I’ve got nothing to lose from a championship perspective, so I’ll have my head down firmly focused on getting the win.”

Nash Morris – #67 Holden Commodore ZB, Dunlop Super 2 Series. Image: InSyde Media

There were two practice sessions for Dunlop Super 2/3 with Nash back behind the steering wheel of the World Gym Racing/Paul Morris Motorsport Commodore. While he has been a winner in Trans Am aboard a Mustang, and in Porsche Sprint Challenge, the Super 2 program has not gone as well.

Without father Paul on hand, in the first session Nash was 17th of the 20 Super 2 entries before he improved 1.3s and finished 14th in Practice 2. Overall, he was 14th in the very competitive field.

Ashley Jarvis – #44 Monaro/Chev, Precision National Sports Sedan Series. Image: InSyde Media

Currently second in the national series, Ashley’s approach to the fourth round at Mount Panorama is one of survival.

“A finish in every race is a must if you want to be in the series fight,” he said. “We just going to take it very steady and work up the pace over the day.”

The team miscalculated on the fuel run in the first session and were ninth at the end of it. Ash was sixth fastest in Practice 2 before qualifying where he improved to fifth in the qualifying outing.

“I’m pretty stoked to go sub 2.10,” he enthused after the session.

Jimmy Vernon – #50 Mitsubishi Triton, V8 SuperUte Series. Image: InSyde Media

Jimmy has raced previously at Bathurst in a Toyota 86 and a Production Car Mitsubishi EVO, but not in a V8 SuperUte. Yet in the only practice session, he was second fastest behind the reigning champion.

“Every track we have been to this year in the Triton has been new. So far, I am still trying to find which gear I should be in and where,” he said.

Qualifying did not quite go to plan. He was fast in the first and second sectors but messed up the third.

“I simply overcooked it and then preserved in the hope I could somehow redeem a lap. But the edge went off the tyres,” he said after he qualified eighth for the first of four races.

“We seemed to always race better than we qualify and remain positive for the races ahead.”

Ryan Casha – #37 Toyota 86, Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series. Image: InSyde Media

Currently second in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series, Ryan was the first practice session fastest of the 32 entries for the fifth and final round.

He had a scary moment early when following Campbell Logan across the top of the mountain. Logan the series leader and the one Ryan must beat, put a foot off the road and the resultant tank-slapper put him into the wall.

“I didn’t know which way he was going to go,” Ryan said. “It all worked out okay and he was back for Session 2.”

Ironically, he began the latter outing right behind Logan. Ryan ended the day fifth, eight places ahead of his major rival.

“The second session produced the quicker times, and the fastest guys had the benefit of a tow which is very important.”

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