GT3 Cup Challenge Queensland Raceway: Grove rockets around the ‘paperclip’

Brenton Grove has reinforced his championship stance in a thrilling weekend of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge action at Queensland Raceway.

The fifth and penultimate round of GT3 Cup Challenge Australia had many highlights for the Grove Racing squad as Brenton took to the track on Friday for practice, his first time around Queensland Raceway in a Porsche.

The ‘paperclip’ style layout offered some fresh challenges as well as the pleasant warm weather, that for southerners like us, from Melbourne, is heaven at this time of year.

 

Things got off to a brilliant start on Saturday when Grove qualified on the front row for the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race. Making use of the clean run into the first turn, Grove nailed the start with a more than perfect get away, leading the opening couple of laps.

An early safety car intervention denied any chance for Brenton to build a gap to second placed Jordan Love, when Love got past, Grove kept within touching distance of him as they duelled for lap after lap.

With four laps remaining, the safety car was brought out again to recover a car from the gravel. The race would not go back to green, again denning any chance for Grove to pounce on Love for the race win.

 

“Race one was good,” said Grove. “I was always going to be at a disadvantage purely down to tyre quality. Jordan had a new set of tyres on and I made a mistake in qualifying so I had to use second hand rubber.

“It was difficult to maximise the race and that late safety car brought us back into contention but the race never went back to green. All that being said, it was great to bring the car back, get some solid points and finish second in the endurance championship.

“It was also pretty cool to drive around for an hour and have some fun.”

Race’s two and three took place on Sunday under the glorious Ipswich sun, again, Brenton got two more top class starts in both of Sunday’s races finishing race number two in second place.

In race three, Love and Grove engaged in another enthralling head to head battle, but a minor mistake had huge implications for Grove. Brenton topped the weekend off with a second in race three resulting in second place overall for the round and a solid bag of points.

 

“We got a good start in the third race and were battling Jordan and catching him for the lead,” said Grove.

“I think we had what it took, but one lap we hit a bump which caused us to lock up, I mean, at 250km/h a lock up just destroys the tyre.

“After that we just tried to bring the car home because it was almost impossible to drive so we kind of lost all chance to win that race. All in all, it’s been a cool weekend here at QR”.

 

As GT3 Cup Challenge steams towards its final round of the season at Phillip Island, Grove has his eyes set on an enjoyable and productive last couple of races.

“I’m excited for Phillip Island, once again it’s my home track and it’s the last round. In terms of the championship, it’s pretty well sorted itself out, Jordan’s first, I’m second, but I will do everything I can to put pressure on him and beat him and get the race wins, unless anything un-foreseeable happens I don’t think we’ll win the championship. I just want to enjoy myself and get ready for next season.”

The Phillip Island weekend will take place from the 8th – 10th September.

GT3 Cup Challenge Queensland Raceway: Grove takes on the 'paperclip'

Grove Racing travels north this weekend to Queensland Raceway, Ipswich for the fifth round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia.

 

The penultimate round of the series will see second generation racer Brenton Grove, who enters the weekend vying for the series lead, take on the 3.12km circuit in what will be a critical event as the season enters its final stanza.

 

Grove sits just 63 points off the top of the standings, and with 75 points up for grabs this weekend, he could head home in control of proceedings, though the young gun is keeping his feet firmly planted for the moment.

 

“It’d be nice,” said Brenton. “To be honest, the championship isn’t something that is really in my field of view.

 

“I want to continue improving every time I go out on the track and learn as much as possible to set myself up for next year.”

 

This weekend will be Grove’s second visit to the Ipswich, Queensland Raceway circuit, and is keen to get back out on track.

 

“I have only been to Queensland Raceway once before and I enjoyed the track. I look forward to the challenge as it is another type of circuit and another set of skills that I can learn and apply.

“I can’t wait to get out there and really attack the first sector, it’s a really nice feeling when the car is hooked up around there."

 

The Melbourne based driver has tasted plenty of champagne so far this season, with a raft of podium finishes and two race wins capping off a successful season so far.

 

“It’s been a good year to date, I’m forever learning and trying to develop every time I get in the car.

 

“I am really happy with the progress we’ve made but for sure I still think there is more to go.

 

“I’m thankful to be surrounded by so many talented people who have a heap of experience they can share with me."

 

Practice gets underway on Friday at 11:50 before qualifying on Saturday morning sets the grip for the first of the weekend's three races.

 

Race 1 is scheduled for 13:45 on Saturday (August 5) with two more races to follow on Sunday.

 

A Live Stream of all Sunday's action will be available on the Shannons Nationals website.

 

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