Superb comeback drive sees Grove equal record

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Stephen Grove fought back to claim the Pro-Am round victory in addition to his race win, equalling a Porsche Payce Carrera Cup Australia record at Phillip Island.

The three-time Carrera Cup Australia Pro-Am champion picked up his 13th ever round win, the equal most of all-time in Carrera Cup’s Pro-Am class to tie him with Max Twigg.

Grove was the biggest mover in the opening Endurance Cup encounter of the season, making the best of the scheduled 24 lap distance to march through the field.

Coming from 20th on the grid after a difficult Friday qualifying, he managed to climb to 15th outright, third in class for Race 1.

The resurgence continued into the second race, where he engaged in a furious battle for the class lead for much of the 14 lap race, ultimately ending up on top in 13th outright.

“That was tough, to start a fair way back on the grid in race two, to get up to third and then push on to get a win, that was really special,” an elated Grove said after Race 2.

“It was really hard work the boys kept coming for me and pushing and pushing me so to get that win was quite sweet. 

“It’s a tough track here, you need to be fairly committed, so it’s fantastic.”

Race 3 got off to a good start as the Melburnian jostled for position in the initial exchanges, however, he was involved in an incident at Turn 4 after contact with Sam Shahin. 

Having to brake in avoidance of Shahin’s car which speared across the track and into Warren Luff’s car, Grove subsequently lost the class lead and had to settle for second position in Pro-Am for the race.

The weekend’s results netted him the class round win.

“Qualifying didn’t go how we wanted, but it came together in the end,” added Grove.

“Proud of the team, they put in some hard work so it was great to get the round win as a reward for them.

“That was a pretty sweet win, it was tough, and we had to fight all weekend. There was a lot of passing, I don’t think I’ve done that much passing for many years now. 

“Everybody was on their game, so to come away as the winner was fantastic.”

Grove will now prepare for his full-season campaign in Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup under the Team Australia banner, beginning with Round 1 at Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain from May 10-12.

A test day at the same venue will come before the opening round in the coming weeks.

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Stephen Grove got to sit on the throne for the special Game of Thrones round.

Stephen Grove got to sit on the throne for the special Game of Thrones round.