Six drivers in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will 'double up' by driving in the V8 Supercar enduro at Sandown as well.
They are Luke Youlden (pictured) (#1 SBR with Russell Ingall), Craig Baird (#10 WPS Racing with Jason Bargwanna), Anthony Tratt (#15 HSV Dealer Team with Tony D'Alberto), Alex Davison (#18 DJR with Grant Denyer), Jonathon Webb (#20 PCR with Marcus Marshall) and Jim Richards (#22 HRT with Ryan Briscoe).
In addition to those six drivers, another four V8 Supercar drivers have driven in the Carrera Cup in previous seasons - Matt Halliday, Fabian Coulthard, Alan Gurr and Marcus Marshall.
Alex Davison, Craig Baird and Anthony Tratt have jumped out of their full-time V8 Supercar seats from last year to get into the left-hand drive seats of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
This is the third time that the all-Porsche racing series has been staged at Sandown in Melbourne. Last year, Jim Richards claimed pole position and won two races en route to the overall round win. While in 2004, Fabian Coulthard started from pole, but Richards won two races and Alex Davison the other, for an overall round win to Richards. The race lap record is still held by Richards at 1:13.6956 set in 2004.
A field of 22 drivers will race in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) cars at Sandown. This new model has enhanced aerodynamics - a new front section and a larger rear wing produces 40 percent more downforce than the previous 996 model. The six-speed sequential gearbox makes gear shifting faster and more failsafe, while the ABS brakes are replaced by tandem racing master cylinders and an in-car brake bias adjustment control.
Luke Youlden will continue in the #6 Fitzgerald Racing Porsche backed by Acer, Leading Solutions and Hitachi Data Systems, after replacing Peter Fitzgerald at Oran Park. Shaun Juniper will replace Ian Dyk in the #8 Juniper Racing Porsche, with Dyk currently in the UK preparing for an A1 Grand Prix test at Silverstone this week. Australian GT Championship driver Damien Flack, like Juniper, will make his debut in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at Sandown. Flack will step in for Bryce Washington in the #54 ADRAD Racing Porsche.
Jim Richards celebrates his 59th birthday on September 2 - the Saturday of the Sandown round.
Ten of the Porsche drivers at Sandown are under 30 years of age - Jonathon Webb, Aaron Caratti, Damien Flack, Daniel Pappas, David Reynolds, David Russell, David Wall, Dean Fiore, Luke Youlden and Klark Quinn.
There are nine newcomers to the category in 2006 - David Russell, Dean Fiore, Daniel Pappas, Aaron Caratti, David Wall, Anthony Tratt, John Kaias, Damien Flack and Shaun Juniper.
Eight drivers have contested each season of Carrera Cup in Australia since its introduction in 2003 - Jim Richards, Klark Quinn, Peter Fitzgerald, Rodney Jane, Dean Grant, Marc Cini, Jonathon Webb and Tony Quinn.
Sherrin Motorsport's David Russell has become the sixth rookie since the category's inception in 2003 to stand on the podium on more than one occasion. Russell can lay claim to that feat along with Marcus Marshall (2003), Tim Leahey (2003), Fabian Coulthard (2004), Luke Youlden (2005) and David Reynolds (2005).
Craig Baird is in fourth in the all-time lists for Most Round Wins and Most Race Wins in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup. Baird has four round wins and sits behind Richards (10), Davison (8) and Coulthard (6). He also has accrued nine race wins and is behind the same trio - Richards (31), Davison (23) and Coulthard (18).
A number of new sponsors have been introduced to the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup for 2006. Mobil is the Official Automotive Lubricant Partner, MAN is the Official Transporter, Pilatus is the Official Executive Aircraft, ZF Sachs is the Official Suspension and Clutch Components Provider, Adidas is the Official Uniform Supplier, The Autograph Shop is the Official Memorabilia Provider, and Gatorade is the Official Sports Drink.
Car Number - Driver Name (Team Name / Major Sponsor/s)
2 - Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers)
4 - Craig Baird (Team VIP Petfoods / VIP Petfoods)
5 - Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods / VIP Petfoods)
6 - Luke Youlden (Fitzgerald Racing / Acer, Leading Solutions, Hitachi Data Systems)
7 - Rodney Jane (Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T-Marts)
8 - Shaun Juniper (Juniper Racing / Juniper Development Group)
9 - David Russell (Sherrin Motorsport / Boom Logistics, Sherrin Hire)
11 - Dean Grant (Hankook Motorsport / Hankook Tyres)
12 - Marc Cini (Hallmarc Racing / Hallmarc)
14 - David Reynolds (Sonic Motor Racing / Bob Jane T-Marts)
15 - Dean Fiore (Sonic Motor Racing / Landscape Developments)
19 - Daniel Pappas (Sherrin Motorsport)
21 - Alex Davison (Paul Cruickshank Racing / Glenfords Tool Centres, DeWalt)
22 - Jonathon Webb (Paul Cruickshank Racing / Glenfords Tool Centres, Makita)
23 - Aaron Caratti (Caratti Motorsport/ Firepower)
25 - Paul Freestone (Freestones Racing / Star Track Express)
29 - Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods / VIP Petfoods)
38 - David Wall (Paul Cruickshank Racing / Glenfords Tool Centres, Hitachi)
54 - Damien Flack (ADRAD Racing / ADRAD Radiators)
55 - Ash Samadi (ROOCK Racing / ROOCK)
75 - Anthony Tratt (Greg Murphy Racing / Toll)
77 - John Kaias (Fitzgerald Racing / Abcor)
Next Round: Round 6 - Super Cheap Auto 1000, Bathurst, NSW - October 5 to 8
When: Friday September 1 to Sunday September 3
Where: Sandown, Melbourne
What: Round 5 of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia
Practice - Friday 10.50am (20 minutes)
Qualifying - Friday 12.40pm (20 minutes)
Race 1 (14 laps) - Saturday 12.25pm
Race 2 (14 laps) - Saturday 4.15pm
Race 3 (14 laps) - Sunday 11.15am
Track Length: 3.16km - anti-clockwise racing
On Television: Network Ten will telecast Round 5 at Sandown on Sunday September 24.