Carrera Cup Sandown: Father and son successful in thriller weekend

Stephen Grove has come away with the round win in class after a thrilling weekend of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia action at Sandown, while his son Brenton Grove took home sixth for the round in the professional class.

Stephen extended his Challenge class championship lead with a solid weekend overall and a win in race’s two and three, adding more points to his healthy tally.

The experienced racer earned the class win in Saturday’s race two, bouncing back from a tough start to the weekend where he finished third in class during race one.

In race three, Stephen set the pace throughout the 25-lap Endurance Cup event, taking the class victory and round win, as well as stretching his advantage to 316.5 points ahead of Tim Miles in the Challenge class championship standings.

“Sandown is normally a good track for me,” said Grove.

“But I struggled in practice and had a poor qualifying and race one, so to work my way back to win race two and three is really good.

“I really enjoyed the third race, we pushed on early and got the passes we needed to get done and we just consolidated a good lead and pushed on.

“It was a long race, 25-laps around Sandown is a long time, but the car was fantastic and it was really good.”

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Brenton also enjoyed success over the weekend, qualifying in sixth position for race one, after an immaculate lap from the Porsche Centre Melbourne driver, ending up only 0.7s off the pole lap.

The 20-year old started race two from an impressive fourth position ahead of big names like Jaxon Evans, David Wall and Cameron McConville.

A difficult end to the weekend saw Grove finish 10th in race three, but as he reinforced before the weekend; the goal for his Carrera Cup debut was always going to be learning.

“The first two races were good,” said Grove.

“For different reasons though, the second race was good because of our finishing position, but the first race was nice to start off the third row of the grid and have a battle with the more experienced drivers.

“It was definitely a learning weekend, as I aimed for it to be.

“There was a lot to gain, but I feel like we maximised every opportunity and did a good job overall, collecting some solid results along the way as well.”

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Both drivers are now looking forward to their next weekend behind the wheel of a car.

For Stephen it will be his one off return to Porsche Carrera Cup Asia at the Sepang International Circuit from September 29 – October 1, before heading to Bathurst for the penultimate round of Carrera Cup Australia.

“I really like Bathurst,” said Stephen.

“I’m lucky because the weekend before Bathurst I’ve got the Carrera Cup round at Sepang, so I fly back on the Monday after that event and head straight to Mount Panorama, so it should be pretty polished.”

Brenton’s next weekend behind the wheel is on the streets of the Gold Coast, where he will re-join the Porsche Centre Melbourne squad for the final event of Carrera Cup Australia.

“I can’t wait for the Gold Coast, it’s a good atmosphere on and off the track.

“It’s probably going to be more difficult than the Sandown weekend was, just because of the nature of the circuit and the kerbs and everything else.

“There will be a lot of work going into that one, but it’s good and I think we’ve got all the resources we need to maximise the weekend, and it should be a bit of fun too!”

 

Grove Racing schedule for remainder of 2017:

September 29 – October 1: Carrera Cup Asia, Sepang, Malaysia

October 5 – 8: Carrera Cup Australia, Bathurst, NSW

October 20 – 22: Carrera Cup Australia, Gold Coast, QLD

November 10 – 12: 24H of Circuit of the Americas, Texas, USA 

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Carrera Cup Sandown: Grove Sr and Grove Jnr take on their home track

Grove Racing is set for an exciting weekend of track action as Porsche Carrera Cup Australia reignites at Sandown Raceway for the sixth round of the championship, which will see both Stephen and Brenton Grove take on the South Melbourne venue.

Brenton; or ‘Grove Jnr’, will make his Carrera Cup debut this weekend after a fantastic 2017 season in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge – which wrapped up last weekend at Phillip Island with the young gun finishing in second place in the championship.

The 20-year old will race with Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport in their 911 GT3 Cup car - making it Grove X2 on the entry list with seasoned veteran, Stephen Grove, or ‘Grove Snr’ also set to take to the track!

Stephen and Brenton will also make Carrera Cup history at Sandown, becoming the first ever father and son to race in the category in separate Porsche entries.

Stephen has had an immensely successful campaign in Carrera Cup this year, with multiple race victories in class and some extremely exciting battles between fellow competitors.

The experienced racer is excited to take on Sandown, being able to draw on previous experience around the Victorian circuit.

“It’s been an enjoyable year so far," said Stephen.

"I'm really concentrating on taking my driving to the next level, trying to gain as much out of every session as I possibly can.

“I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things at Sandown, its definitely been too long since I was in the car.”

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Stephen and Brenton will take on the 3.1km; 13-turn Sandown complex with might, as both drivers look forward to the final few events of the 2017-racing season.

Just three more rounds remain in the Carrera Cup championship, which will take the Grove Racing squad up the east coast of Australia with Sandown this weekend, followed by Bathurst and capping the year off on the streets of the Gold Coast in mid-October.

Brenton will participate in both the Sandown and Gold Coast rounds and is looking to make his stance clear as a contender for race wins.

“I don’t have any predetermined goals for the outing," said Brenton.

"I’m purely just trying to do every lap of every session, developing as a driver every time I go out on track.

“If I can pick up some decent results along the way then that’s more fun, but I’m purely focussed on maximising this opportunity.”

Stephen is also set to reinforce his stance as he takes on all three of the remaining Carrera Cup rounds aiming for the championship in the Carrera Challenge class.

“Consistency is the big thing for me," Stephen pointed out.

"I have a lot of good competition around me and so I need to make sure I am always getting the most out of myself and the car every time I’m on track.

“If I can do that then I’m sure we will be in a decent position.”

The Sandown weekend will take place from the 15th to the 17th of September, with all of Stephen’s and Brenton’s races set to be broadcasted Live on Fox Sports, Channel 506.

Make sure you follow our social media pages to keep track of how ‘Grove Jr’ and ‘Grove Snr’ progress across the weekend, and look out for some of our exclusive content!

Brenton Grove in GT3 Cup Challenge last weekend at Phillip Island 

Brenton Grove in GT3 Cup Challenge last weekend at Phillip Island 

GT3 Cup Challenge Phillip Island: Grove on top in GT3 Cup finale

Brenton Grove has capped off a brilliant debut season in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge with a win in the final race of the year, and second place in the championship at Phillip Island, after a bouncing back from a difficult Friday.

Grove suffered heavy damage to his 997 when he made contact with the barriers during practice in tricky wet conditions.

The team having to pull out the spare car that night - which just happened to be Grove Racing’s very own two time Bathurst 12 Hour class winning Porsche, with Le Mans 24 Hours victor Earl Bamber, and Supercars star Scott McLaughlin’s names engraved onto the door from the 2016 Mount Panorama endurance classic.

Unable to set a time in qualifying, Grove started the first of three races on Saturday morning from the rear of the grid, claiming that having Bamber and McLaughlin riding with him would be a good luck charm.

The young racer carved through the field, going from fourteenth to fifth place by the time the chequered flag appeared at the end of the 11-lap race, it truly ended up being a Bamber and McLaughlin esque performance!

“It wasn’t the best of days on the Friday," said Grove.

"I made a small error going into turn one and the consequences of that were very large.

“Not being able to qualify made the weekend a lot more difficult but we sat down as a team and worked out a plan for the three races and we couldn’t have done any better.

“It was pretty funny seeing the names of those guys still on the car, I sent them both a message in the morning and they both sent back supportive messages for the day, however they were very quick to point out that I couldn’t hurt their baby!”

A lengthy safety car intervention punctuated race two, with Grove climbing up to, and finishing just off the podium in fourth place courtesy of a brilliant move on fellow competitor Ben Stack at the restart. 

“There wasn’t really a chance to get into a rhythm for race two, it was my first dry laps of the weekend so I was learning every corner about what the car was doing and how the track was, so for me I was trying to maximise the race, but with only two clean laps it was difficult.”

Grove sealed the deal in race three, with a fantastic victory after absorbing immense pressure from championship rival Jordan Love in the closing stages.

The bright red Porsche, with a determined Grove behind the wheel took first place early on, leading every single lap except one from his fourth place start on the grid.

The safety car was deployed in the mid stages of the race when three other competitors came together leaving debris littered across the circuit, and a trio of rather damaged cars.

Grove held the lead on the restart and fended off Love in the final laps until the latter spun off into the gravel trap in the last couple of turns, letting Grove cruise home to victory.

The win meant that Grove closed the gap to Love in the championship standings, finishing second in his debut season in GT3 Cup Challenge.

“Starting from fourth, I didn’t really expect the get the win, I just wanted to get onto the podium and gain some confidence for next weekend.

“However, after the first couple of laps, being in the lead I quickly changed my focus from finishing to getting the win.

“With one lap to run after the safety car, I was going to do everything I could to bring the car home in the lead to pay everyone back for the hard work they had done to get me into this position.

“I’m so happy to have claimed the race win, and it’s given me a lot of momentum going forward next week!”

Grove will have back to back race weekends, when he hits the track at Sandown Raceway this coming weekend (15 September - 17 September) for his first of two Porsche Carrera Cup Australia outings. 

The young gun will make the step up to Australia’s premier single make category and join his father; Stephen Grove on the grid at both the Sandown and Gold Coast rounds.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever run back to back weekends and it’s a pretty cool feeling. Coming off a high in the final race, I’m so excited to make my debut and start learning what a 991 is like to drive!”

This coming weekend’s Carrera Cup round will be part of the Wilson Security Sandown 500, taking place from 15th to the 17th of September.

 

GT3 Cup Challenge Phillip Island: Grove has the season finale in his crosshairs

After a five week break, Grove Racing is back and ready to rumble as Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia resumes at Phillip Island for the final round of the season.

Brenton Grove has experienced an extremely positive season in GT3 Cup Challenge so far, with countless podium finishes, and all in all, a valuable year of learning and perfecting the talent he was born with; To drive a race car, and drive it fast.

Last time out at Queensland Raceway, Grove reinforced his championship stance in a thrilling weekend of action at the Ipswich circuit. The young racer stood firm and executed an impeccable weekend, despite it being the first time he had driven around the track in a Porsche.

“QR was a very valuable weekend for lots of different reasons,” said Grove.

“I didn’t manage to get onto the top step of the podium, but I feel like we learnt a lot and I can come away from the weekend with lots of confidence going forward.”

 This weekend Grove heads back to home territory in Victoria for round six, and the championship title decider. The last time Grove hit the track at ‘the Island’ was back in May for the second round of the series, in a weekend where he claimed the race two victory.

“Phillip Island is an amazing track,” Grove continued.

“So fast and flowing. It’s probably the track I’ve done the most laps at, and for that reason I’m excited to go back and hopefully improve on my results from earlier in the year.

“It will be interesting to see how much I’ve improved from May, so I look forward to really attacking the weekend.”

Brenton Grove at Round Two of GT3 Cup Challenge earlier in the year at Phillip Island 

Brenton Grove at Round Two of GT3 Cup Challenge earlier in the year at Phillip Island 

Grove currently sits second in the championship standings, but for the 20-year old, his focus extends further.

“For me it’s the last race in the 997, and the last round of my championship.

“I don’t really have anything to lose, I just want to give it my all, hold nothing back and see where we end up.

“The guys have had the car hooked up lately and we are reeling Jordan (Love) in during every session, so I feel like we can have a strong showing here (at Phillip Island) and hopefully get some champagne to reward the guys for their hard work all year.”

Brenton will hit the track on Friday for practice as the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia championship wraps up at Phillip Island.

Grove Racing will then gear up for a back to back race weekend with Porsche Carrera Cup at Sandown on the following weekend.

Keep an eye on our social media channels to stay up to date with the latest from Grove Racing throughout the race weekends and during the week.

Brenton Grove at Round Two of GT3 Cup Challenge earlier in the year at Phillip Island

Brenton Grove at Round Two of GT3 Cup Challenge earlier in the year at Phillip Island

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.

 

GROVE SET FOR CARRERA CUP SPA CHALLENGE

GROVE SET FOR CARRERA CUP SPA CHALLENGE

Carrera Cup Australia driver Stephen Grove will do battle against France’s top Porsche drivers at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit this weekend.

The 2014 TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge winner is set to make an appearance in a round of the Carrera Cup France series, which supports this weekend’s FIA World Endurance Championship meeting at the famous Belgian circuit

GROVE TAKES POLE AT 2017 BATHURST 12 HR

GROVE TAKES POLE AT 2017 BATHURST 12 HR

Grove Racing has qualified on Pole in their class in the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hr Endurance race after lapping the imposing Mount Panorama Bathurst circuit in a stunning time of 2 :08.532 during qualifying today.

In the outright Class, the #88 Maranello Ferrari will start from front of the field position, after Toni Vilander topped the Top 10 Shootout.

AUSTRALIA'S TOUGHEST TEST OF ENDURANCE - BATHURST GLORY AWAITS

AUSTRALIA'S TOUGHEST TEST OF ENDURANCE - BATHURST GLORY AWAITS

Reigning Class Champions Grove Racing are set for their attack on the 2017 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Class B winners in both 2014 and 2016, the Melbourne based Porsche outfit have unveiled another impressive line-up for the 12 Hour marathon which begins on February 3rd 2017. 

The 2017 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Endurance event will begin on Friday 3rd February with the race itself beginning at 5.45am on Sunday 5th February.