Avoiding dramas in the first race is the top priority for Dylan O’Keeffe at this weekend’s fourth round of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup at the OTR Bend SuperSprint.
In the opening three rounds of the season, O’Keeffe has suffered a variety of mishaps in Race 1, putting him on the back foot for the remainder of each event.
“At the Grand Prix, we had a setup issue in the wet which caused me to slip down the order, and then at Hidden Valley I copped a big hit on the first lap of Race 1 which damaged the car,” O’Keeffe said.
“I also had contact from another competitor in the first race at Townsville, and with the cars in Carrera Cup being so evenly matched, if you have a problem early in the weekend it makes it difficult to fight back.”
Along with his GWR Australia/RAM Motorsport/Dexion Victoria team-mate Dean Cook, O’Keeffe recently tested at The Bend, giving him reason to be cautiously optimistic heading into the weekend.
“The testing went well and we had some great pace, but you never want to read too much into the lap times because the track conditions can change completely once you get to the race meeting, and your test day performance becomes irrelevant.
“But we certainly learned a lot, and we were able to explore different setups for qualifying and racing. I feel like we’re heading into this weekend with good options for both one-lap pace and race runs, which will be important because we have a longer 20 lap race on Sunday.”
The Bend also marks the last Carrera Cup round before the Supercars endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst, where O’Keeffe will be faced with dual driving commitments in both the Carrera Cup car and the PremiAir Racing Supercar.
“This is the last weekend where my sole focus will be Carrera Cup, so I need to make the most of it and maximise my results before Sandown and Bathurst,” he concluded.
Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Round 4 Schedule
Friday, 18 August
11:35am – Practice 1 (25 min)
2:15pm – Practice 2 (25 min)
Saturday, 19 August
10:35am – Qualifying (20 min)
3:20pm – Race 1 (11 laps)
Sunday, 20 August
10:40am – Race 2 (20 laps)
2:35pm – Race 3 (11 laps)