“I don’t think I breathed for the entire lap – every single corner I was right on the limit, my mental capacity was totally consumed with intense concentration, and there was absolutely no margin for error.”
That was how Cameron Hill described his fastest lap – a scorching 2m 6.8s – during Race 3 of the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia at the hallowed Mount Panorama circuit last year.
The Bathurst event turned out to be the Canberra racer’s best of the 2018 season; he chalked up a trio of fourth-place results to finish the round third overall. With another 12 months of Porsche racing experience under his belt – highlighted by a pole and race win at the Hidden Valley round – Hill said he can’t wait to return to the iconic location.
“Our first season in Porsches last year was very up-and-down, but to come away with our best result of the season at Bathurst was very satisfying; there was no better place for me to score my first Porsche podium,” Hill said.
“Bathurst was an event where we had the car working well, and after another year in the category we’re definitely in a better place, both in terms of my driving technique, and understanding how to optimise the car setup.
“The mental strength required for one flying lap is incredible, let alone stringing together a series of fast laps in succession without making any mistakes. It certainly gives you an appreciation for the abilities of drivers who complete long stints in endurance races like the Bathurst 1000 or 12 Hour.”
Hill and his team completed a test day in the lead-up to the event, and the 22-year-old said the focus was on understanding how to adapt the car setup to suit changing track conditions.
“We’re happy with the setup direction we’ve taken in recent Carrera Cup rounds, because our outright pace has been very competitive,” Hill said.
“Bathurst is notorious for quick changes in weather. In fact, you can often have different conditions at the top of the Mountain compared to the bottom, so one of the keys to success will be able to think on our feet, and adjust quickly if things change.”
The round will consist of practice and qualifying on Thursday, and one race each day thereafter, with the Sunday race held as the curtain-raiser for the Bathurst 1000.
Carrera Cup Round 7 Schedule
Thursday, 10 October
8:50 – Practice (50 min)
15:15 – Qualifying (30 min)
Friday, 11 October
13:40 – Race 1 (16 laps)
Saturday, 12 October
13:55 – Race 2 (9 laps)
Sunday, 13 October
10:05 – Race 3 (9 laps)