Sandown success for Sonic drivers

Team Sonic drivers Aaron Love and Michael Almond each shared race wins while Courtney Prince enjoyed a strong Porsche debut as racing returned for the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup and Michelin Sprint Challenge at the Shannons Motorsport Australia Festival at Sandown Raceway.

Aaron Love, the younger brother to Sonic’s reigning Carrera Cup champion Jordan Love, narrowly missed out on pole position by 0.03 of a second before taking a strong second place in Race 1 after battling with Jones through lapped traffic.

Love lost ground to Jones early before clawing back from a two-second gap to close in and duel with Jones through traffic. In his speedy comeback, Love lowered the Sandown Carrera Cup lap record to a 1:09.86s.

Almond, driving the #78 Bob Jane T-Marts Porsche, started third and dropped behind McBride off the start, but quickly got back to third and closed the gap to the leaders by the end of the race.

In Race 2, Love returned serve and scored his maiden Carrera Cup victory by eight-tenths of a second. The leading pair rubbed panels and scrapped for the lead in the early stages, before Love put his head down and built a solid gap up front.

Almond made a move around the outside at the final complex of corners on Jones with five laps to go to secure a strong 1-2 result for Team Sonic.

Love retained the lead off the start in Race 3 until Lap 2 when he ran wide at Dandenong Road corner and fell back to fifth. He recovered back to third before losing a position when he ran wide again on Lap 17. Love set fastest-lap after fastest-lap to catch and pass McBride to reclaim third spot.

Almond, who dropped to third behind Jones off the start, chased him for 18 laps before taking the lead as the pair negotiated through traffic. Jones closed in but Almond defended strongly to score the win by a car length.

At the end of the weekend Almond, Love and Jones were all tied on points, with Jones securing the round victory with a single point awarded for pole position.

In Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge, Sonic Formula Ford graduate Courtney Prince impressed with third in all three races.

The final 45-minute race of the weekend was the longest race of her career to date, as Prince progressed steadily to complete her first weekend of Porsche competition.

The 2021 Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia will return at the Australian Grand Prix on March 8-9, while the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge commences at Phillip Island in February.