The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge title battle is one of the tightest in series history, but CHE Racing Team's Thomas Sargent is aiming to replicate previous success enjoyed at The Bend Motorsport Park to extend his margin at the top of the standings.
It will come after a 20 hour road trip to get to the meeting as due to the flooding experienced in New South Wales and Victoria, a large detour by Sargent driving the CHE Racing Team truck was required to arrive at The Bend.
Sargent holds a nine-point advantage ahead of Earl Bamber Motorsport’s Ryan Wood after each took victory in the two races held at Sandown in what were treacherous conditions.
Just like at the previous round, weather is predicted to also be a wildcard although Sargent proved more than a match for New Zealander Wood in the changeable conditions at the historic Victorian venue.
Sargent has yet to finish outside the top two all season, with his campaign highlighted by a streak of four victories encompassing a clean-sweep at Queensland Raceway.
The Bend holds good memories for Sargent after winning in National Formula Ford, while the Porsche he will use took round victory last year in the hands of mentor and team owner Cameron Hill on his way to overall title success in Carrera Cup.
The Bend kickstarts the back half of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge season as rounds at Bathurst and Phillip Island follow in quick succession.
The fourth round of Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge will run as part of the final Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships event of the year termed The Bend Autofest, with Sargent hitting the track for practice twice and qualifying on Friday.
Tegra Australia/CHE Racing Team
“I’m super excited to go to The Bend again,” said Sargent. “I’ve had some really good success there in Formula Ford and it is one of my personal favourite tracks, it’s very cool to be heading back there.
“I really like high speed circuits and I took a liking to The Bend when I first started Formula Ford. It’s a tricky track and it was awesome in the Formula Ford, so I’m eager to have a crack in the Porsche.
“Cameron won the round last year in the rain driving in Carrera Cup and I think our driving styles are quite similar, so I’m sure the car set-up is really good.
“Unfortunately, it appears the weather is going to be like Sandown in it being quite treacherous and mixed conditions, so that will probably throw a spanner in the works. Whether it’s wet or dry I feel pretty confident in the car.
“I’ve got a very narrow margin back to Wood, so it’s not only important to keep winning races, but finishing also becomes essential.”
Team owner, CHE Racing
“I have only been to a few of the Porsche Sprint challenge rounds this year because they’ve clashed with Formula Ford races, so it will be good to be back with our CHE Racing Porsche crew for The Bend,” said Hill.
“It has been a pretty close title fight between Tom and Ryan Wood. They have been very evenly matched and I expect that the same will be the case at The Bend.
“It’s weird, we are only half way through that series, so there’s still lots to play for, but we have been really impressed with Thomas this year. He is making gains all the time and we’re looking forward to getting stuck into it this weekend.”