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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