Grove treks north to the Top End


Grove Racing heads to Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway in support of this weekend’s CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown and Round 4 of Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia.

Stephen Grove, who currently sits second in the Pro-Am standings, returns to the one-make series for the first time since his expedition to the famed Monaco Grand Prix Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup event only a few weeks ago.

Hidden Valley Raceway is a circuit the Melbourne-based driver has had success at recently, with Grove taking out the class pole position at last season’s event.

This weekend, Grove arrives back in Darwin with unfinished business after he was involved in a pair of unfortunate accidents during the previous year’s races and is yet to clinch a victory at the venue.

“Darwin is a track I really like, it’s quite a tough track, I mean there’s braking obviously into Turn 1 and then the next set of corners are pretty tight,” said Grove.

“There’s not a lot of run off so you need to be precise and it’s also fairly hard to get a good lap time; you need to string it all together, it’s a really quick lap. 

“It’s a track I’ve had some success at, I’ve had pole there before, but both times I’ve been there I’ve been involved in unfortunate accidents so I just want to make sure we’re a little more conservative going there now.

“Obviously, the standings are quite important, but I don’t even look at them to be honest,” he added.

“I just try and do things round by round, sometimes you start thinking about a championship and then you become too conservative or you make mistakes and you put too much pressure on yourself. 

"For me now, I just want to try and keep winning; coming off a round win at Phillip Island was great, so I just want to keep winning and if you keep winning I think the championship will sort itself out.”

This weekend’s Carrera Cup round features a pair of sprint races on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, followed by a longer, 35-lap race on Sunday.

Darwin, which is synonymous for its hot and humid conditions, will offer a tough challenge for Grove, with car setup and driver fitness set to prove critical in Sunday’s endurance style race.

However, Grove re-affirms that he will not let the high temperatures distract him from his overall focus for the weekend.

“Most of the stuff I do overseas is usually in the hot season and the Bathurst 12 Hour was pretty warm, so I’m conditioned to long races in the heat, because we’ve got a longer race here as well,” explained Grove. 

“I think the conditions will be fine for me.

“Darwin is a good social event to go to, I just want to go up and get some good points for each race and come back and try and build on the momentum we’ve sort of picked up from Phillip Island.”

All three races this weekend will be shown Live on Fox Sports channel 506.

The Grove Racing and Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport team trucks on their voyage north across the Australian outback to Darwin during the week.

The Grove Racing and Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport team trucks on their voyage north across the Australian outback to Darwin during the week.