Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup title contender Dylan O’Keeffe and his Ashley Seward Motorsport team are aiming for an improved qualifying performance in this weekend’s final round at the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
The 20-year-old’s race pace has been strong all season, but he says it will be essential to start up the pointy end of the field on the Surfers Paradise street circuit, a venue where overtaking is notoriously difficult.
“There are really only two overtaking spots on the track, and both of them are high-risk,” O’Keeffe said.
“The key to doing well on the Gold Coast will be to qualify well, because then you can dictate the pace from the front.
“The last couple of rounds, our race pace has been good but we haven’t qualified as well as we should have, and we’ve had to work our way through the field – we don’t want to be doing that on the Gold Coast.”
O’Keeffe comes into the weekend second in the points, 108 adrift of leader Jaxon Evans. With 180 points on offer for the weekend, O’Keeffe still has a chance – albeit a slim one – of winning the title.
“I know it’s an outside chance, but it’s still a possibility and this year we’ve seen drivers in other categories winning and losing championships in the last race of the season,” O’Keeffe said.
“Our best opportunity will be to set the pace from the very first practice session, and put Jaxon under some pressure.
“We’re also a chance of winning the Endurance Cup series-within-a-series, we’re only three points behind Dale Wood so we’ll be giving that a crack as well.”
With its bumps and ripple strips, the Surfers Paradise track is also notoriously tough on the Porsche Carrera Cup cars.
“The Porsches are naturally very stiff, so across the kerbs they get quite unsettled, especially through the Beach Chicane,” O’Keeffe said.
The weekend’s action will consist of a 32-lap race on Saturday morning (the final race in the Endurance Cup) along with a pair of 12-lap sprint races on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Carrera Cup Round 8 Schedule
Friday, 19 October
10:05am – Practice 1 (20 min)
12:35pm – Practice 2 (20 min)
3:45pm – Qualifying (20 min)
Saturday, 20 October
8:35am – Race 1 (32 laps)
1:15pm – Race 2 (12 laps)
Sunday, 21 October
1:05pm – Race 3 (12 laps)