Breakthrough round win for O’Keeffe in Darwin
- 20-year-old Porsche racer cements victory with trio of top three finishes
20-year-old Porsche racer Dylan O’Keeffe has broken through for his first round win in the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup at Darwin’s Hidden Valley circuit, delivering beautifully measured performances in the heat of battle during all three of the weekend’s races.
O’Keeffe qualified his APB Group Porsche fifth-fastest, but was elevated to fourth on the grid after another driver was penalised.
“To be honest, qualifying didn’t go according to plan – we had the pace to be on the front row, but a red flag ruined our best lap at the end of the session,” O’Keeffe said.
O’Keeffe immediately rose to third at the start of Race 1, only to lose a couple of spots when another driver made an aggressive move into the hairpin.
Unperturbed, O’Keeffe set about recovering the lost positions and clawed his way back to third at the finish.
“Our car took a couple of laps to reach its peak level of performance, but after that it was really strong,” he said.
Race 2 was a chaotic affair, with O’Keeffe reacting quickly to avoid collecting the stalled car of pole-sitter David Wall on the start line.
“I made one of my best-ever starts, but unfortunately the car in front didn’t move!” O’Keeffe said.
“I had to weave sharply to the right to avoid a crash, and fortunately didn’t lose any spots.”
All but one of the remaining laps were spent behind the Safety Car due to several incidents, and O’Keeffe finished in second position.
A spectacular move around the outside of Jaxon Evans elevated O’Keeffe into the lead at the start of the longer, 35-lap final race. He established a handy margin before a Safety Car was deployed with just a couple of laps remaining.
At the restart, O’Keeffe saw off an aggressive challenge from Evans before being overtaken by James Moffat with two laps to go.
“The car was excellent and I was able to manage the gap to the cars behind,” O’Keeffe said.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t quite switch the tyres on after the Safety Car, and James was able to overtake me.
“However, it’s been a sensational weekend overall. We’ve been threatening to win a round for a while, so it’s satisfying to finally get the job done.”
The result has elevated O’Keeffe to second in the championship, just 59 points away from leader Evans ahead of the next round at Sydney Motorsport Park, 3-4 August.
Round Results Summary
Race 1: 3rd
Race 2: 2nd
Race 3: 2nd
Top 10 Points – After Round 4
1. Jaxon Evans – 592
2. Dylan O’Keeffe – 533
3. Dale Wood – 519
4. David Wall – 461
5. James Moffat – 415
6. Michael Almond – 370
7. Jordan Love – 343
8. Alex Davison – 233
9. Nick McBride – 221
10. Pete Major – 221