Stephen Grove has come away with a healthy points lead in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia standings after a rewarding weekend at the Sepang International Circuit.
Carrera Cup Australia embarked on its maiden voyage overseas to the 5.5km Malaysian circuit last weekend which hosted the fifth round of the championship and provided a new test for the drivers.
Sepang’s mix of fast flowing off camber corners, coupled with heaving braking zones, long straights and searing heat made for some brilliant racing and a new experience for Grove Racing.
“To go over to Malaysia and race was an amazing experience and it was even better to be able to come away with two race wins on a track I haven’t been to before,” said Stephen Grove
Grove started off what was an awesome weekend by Qualifying in a very solid second place in the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge class. The Melbourne based driver ended up only 0.6s off the pace in Qualifying but none of that mattered by the end of the first race.
As the lights went out for race one Grove executed a perfect start going head to head with Tim Miles.
The pair had an extraordinary battle, they were nose to tail, side by side and sometimes door handle to door handle.
Despite a last corner effort from Miles, Grove claimed the win and took his seventh victory of the season in the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge class.
“Tim Miles pushed me really hard this weekend and the result was some great racing. It was some good clean racing that was great to be a part of.”
In race two, Grove converted his pole position start into another fantastic race win, which resulted in the class B round win.
Grove went side by side with Miles on the opening lap going into turn one as they engaged in another thrilling battle. Grove got by into first place with a text-book overtake under braking for turn one, claiming the lead and the win.
“Race one was extremely close, and so in Race two, I had to push early in order to build a margin to ensure Tim had no opportunity for a passing move.
“He was strong through the last corner and the first corner due to the toe from the long straights so it was important that I got a good exit onto the long straights to make sure he didn’t have that opportunity,” concluded Grove.
Quicker than you could click your fingers, Grove Racing was back on the starting grid for the combined invitational race with Carrera Cup Asia. Stephen had another brilliant start from third on the grid but got slightly boxed in at turn one.
Grove had another great battle but this time it was with a Carrera Cup Asia driver, Evan Chen. Chen got by under braking for turn one after some great side by side action with Grove.
As the chequered flag flew for Grove’s final race of the weekend, he crossed the line in an impressive fourth position.
“It was something really awesome to be a part of. I had quite a poor start which meant I lost a lot of time at the start of the race.
“From there I lost more time to the leaders as I tried to come back through the field which made it difficult for the end. To come home in 4th wasn’t a bad result for me, especially racing against such experienced guys at that track.”
Grove currently leads the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge standings by a convincing 274.5 points with just three rounds remaining.
From Sepang, the cars get shipped back to Australia for the next Carrera Cup round in September. The sixth round of the championship will take place at Sandown Raceway from the 15th to the 17th of September as the series begins to draw to a close.
“I look forward to the next rounds and racing at two iconic circuits and trying to have some more solid results for the championship, said Grove”
While Carrera Cup heads to Victoria, you can next see Grove Racing on track from the 4th – 6th of August at Queensland Raceway for round five of GT3 Cup Challenge.