APB Group driver Dylan O’Keeffe has given his brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car the seal of approval ahead of its first race meeting at the 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup season-opener at this weekend’s Adelaide 500.
The 20-year-old is embarking on his third season in the one-make Porsche category, and had his first taste of the new car in a test at Winton last week.
“It’s the first time I’ve driven a brand-new race car, so it’s very exciting,” O’Keeffe said.
“The main goal of the Winton test was to get comfortable in the car, and we certainly achieved that.
“Compared to the previous generation car, the thing you notice straight away is the extra power. It has about 80 more horsepower, which means top speeds are higher but you have to be a bit more gentle on the accelerator coming out of corners.
“There are also some extra roll bars in the rear, which means it turns into corners more responsively, and there’s some cool new technology as well, like the live tyre pressure monitoring in the cabin.”
O’Keeffe enjoys the physical nature of street circuits and performed solidly at the Adelaide venue last year, working his way forward in each of the three races and finishing third in the final.
“It’s a great way to start the year – it’s right in the heart of the city and everyone gets behind it, so there’s a really exciting atmosphere,” he said.
“From a driver’s perspective, it’s a track where you have to push the boundaries with the kerbs and walls – the best corner is Turn 8, which is taken at over 200km/h and has absolutely no margin for error. It’s all about commitment and pure bravery.”
O’Keeffe finished sixth in the Carrera Cup standings last year with a best round result of second overall. He is naturally aiming for more consistent podium finishes and victories in 2018, but said it will be a very hotly-contested season.
“It’s one of the most competitive Carrera Cup fields we’ve ever seen, with Supercar drivers like James Moffat and Dale Wood joining the class, some fast young drivers like Jaxon Evans and Jordan Love returning, and the reigning Champion David Wall is back as well.
“Fortunately, I have a great team behind me in Ash Seward Motorsport – Ash knows his way around Porsches as well as anyone in the paddock, and he’s also very good with data analysis and driver development. He’s assembled a strong team and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.”
Carrera Cup competitors will be on track across all four days at the Adelaide 500, with the sessions to be shown live on FOX Sports 506.
Carrera Cup Round 1 Schedule
Thursday, 1 March
11:35 – Practice 1 (20 min)
13:55 – Practice 2 (20 min)
Friday, 2 March
8:35 – Qualifying (20 min)
12:45 – Race 1 (15 laps)
Saturday, 3 March
11:10 – Race 2 (18 laps)
Sunday, 4 March
9:05 – Race 3 (15 laps)