Courtney Prince excels on Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia debut
Courtney Prince excelled on debut for Sonic Motor Racing Services in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia at Phillip Island.
Racing as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships, Prince took part in her first weekend in the one-make series which kicked off its 2021 season at the Victorian circuit.
Prince qualified in fourth position on a 1:32.628s, only 0.7s off the pole position time, and with a top-five starting position, she had a good foundation to work from in the races.
The 19-year old set about moving up the field in Race 1 and managed to climb to third position in Saturday’s 13-lap affair, but she still had more potential to show.
Race 2 took place in wet conditions with heavy rain lashing the circuit and presenting a new challenge.
Having never driven the car in the wet before, Prince did a phenomenal job to get into the lead and hold her own, however, an unlucky off-track excursion in the tricky conditions saw the Melbourne-based driver take the chequered flag fifth.
Race 3 was set to be a thrilling conclusion to the weekend with the Jim Richards Endurance Championship encounter scheduled to take place over 26-laps.
A heavy crash for other competitors on the opening lap saw the red flag thrown before the race was cancelled as a result of the lengthy clean-up process, denying Prince a chance to fight back to the podium.
Sonic Motor Racing team-mate Graham Williams made improvements finishing 17th in Race 1 after starting 20th.
Williams drove brilliantly in Race 2 in the wet conditions to bring the car home 12th, an outstanding result in the circumstances.
He too did not get a chance to move further up the field with Race 3 cancelled.
The next round of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge series takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park from May 1-2.
Courtney Prince: “I just finished my first weekend at Phillip Island in Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia and it’s been such a great weekend and a great start to the series. The first race was dry and I ended up getting third, but the second was my first-ever time driving this car in the wet. I managed to lead for a few laps and was in second until the last laps I made a mistake and ended up P5, but that’s alright, we all learn. Unfortunately, the last race, the Jim Richards Endurance Cup got called off because of the red flag; I hope all of the drivers are safe but I cannot wait to be on-track at Sydney Motorsport Park soon.”
Graham Williams: “Practice 1 was pretty decent, went out with a flat tyre but that was okay and Practice 2 was good too. Qualifying was just a complete mess, for me anyway. Race 1 was great, moved forward a few spots, and Race 2 in the wet was pretty great. Today I jumped the start and stopped the car which probably saved me a bunch of money after what happened down the road. Really feeling for the guys involved in that, hope they’re all okay.”