Consistency the key for Sonic quartet at The Bend
Sonic Motor Racing Services quartet of Porsche Carrera Cup drivers have logged a consistent suite of results in what proved to be a trying, hard-fought affair at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia.
Team returnee Max Vidau scored a podium at his home race, taking a fine third in Sunday’s longer 20 lap race in what was his first Porsche race in over a year.
Vidau qualified 12th, but used his speed and skill to record a fifth, third and seventh place across the three races.
It was an impressive performance, given that it has been over a year since he has raced at Porsche in anger.
Aaron Love was in the thick of the action at The Bend, running with the top drivers in the opening race, only to get caught up in an incident with Matthew Payne. It was a small bump, but it cost him a potential podium finish.
In Race 2, Love made an error that saw him spin into the gravel trap and out of the race, before undertaking a solid recovery from the back of the field to finish 12th.
The pair of Bob Jane T-Marts Porches of Michael Almond and Simon Fallon were also having mixed races.
Almond was the best of the team’s qualifiers, taking fifth on the grid, only for it to all came undone within a few hundred metres of the wet first race. Almond was involved in a three-way squeeze heading down the main straight that saw his car loop around in front of the big pack of Porsches.
Thankfully, his #77 entry survived with relatively minimal damage, but the team elected to park his car.
In the longer 20 lap Race 2, Almond climbed his way from the back of the field up to 13th, and again improved three more spots in the final race, finishing a solid 10th amongst the competitive field.
For Carrera Cup rookie Fallon, the young gun continued to chip away at his speed and race craft as the weekend progressed.
The former Porsche GT3 Sprint Challenge champion qualified 15th before finishing 10th, 12th and 13th across the three races.
Fallon’s weekend highlight came in Race 2 when he stormed from 10th to fifth before the first corner, but ultimately slipped back down the order.
The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia event will be held at the Townsville street track in July.
“The weekend started a bit slow for us,” said Vidau.
“It was my first race weekend back in a Carrera Cup car in 59 weeks, so it’s been a while, but I got through all the carnage in Race 1 though which was good, and that put us in a good spot for Race 2.
“I finished third in that race which we’re all pretty happy with. The last Safety Car lap I managed to pass three cars and get the P3 so I was stoked.
“I didn’t quite execute the last race as well as I could have, and just missed the podium, but obviously first round back for a long time, everyone’s happy, I’m happy. Hopefully I’ll be back for some more.”
“It was a bit of a tough weekend, certainly a couple mistakes on my behalf which we’ll learn from and move forward,”said Love.
“A made a few really costly mistakes in Race 2 which definitely ruined our weekend but I think we’ve got a lot to take forward and a lot to talk about, so I’m really looking forward to the next round in a few weeks time to try and get things back into gear and see if we can get some more results.”
“It was a very wet start, it was a standing start and by the time we were in fourth gear, we found ourselves backwards on the straight,” said Almond.
“That was a hairy ride, a 720 degree rotation in front of the pack, but we kept it away from the wall but got damage to the front left so we had a DNF.
“The boys worked really hard overnight to fix the car, and we had a bit of a tune up after Race 2 this morning and Race 3 was amazing.
“The incident in Race 1 was a shame, but we salvaged points and we’ll move onto the next round.”
“It was a mixed weekend for us, up and down, but we made a lot of progress and a lot of learning so that’s the biggest thing for me right now, just constantly getting quicker and adapting,” said Fallon.
“The coolest part of the weekend would have to be that race start in Race 2 from 10th to fifth, I’d love to do that again. Got a few areas to work on for the next one and I’m sure we’ll chip away at it and be right for the next round.”