When the Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship returns to Hidden Valley Raceway this weekend, it will be something special for Darwin born Thomas Maxwell.
With the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s annual visit to the Northern Territory taking place this weekend, it will be the first time in the support category’s history that a local driver will be racing on his home circuit.
The event will also be Maxwell’s first time racing on his home circuit, despite being the only local driver part of the Carrera Cup.
The newly turned 21-year-old has spent much of his junior career racing overseas before returning to Australia this year to compete in the one-make series as a Porsche Michelin Junior driver.
The series will host its fourth round this weekend with Maxwell currently sitting in eight after a string of top 10 finishes, as well as a top five finish and the youngster is excited to finally make his home debut.
“It’s been a massive week and hopefully there’s a bit to celebrate by the end of the weekend – that would be an awesome birthday present,” Maxwell said.
“I’m super pumped to come back home and to race here. It’s special to be able to race around the world but nothing could be better than racing at your home event.
“It will be great for all the people to have helped and supported me to get me to where I am to come out and take it all in as well.
“Growing up I think I’ve been at every single Supercars race there since I was about 5 years old.
“As a local and how close the track is to home I don’t actually know it as well as some of the others on the calendar and this will be my first race there. But I’m pretty confident I know it well and I’ve done laps in a variety of different cars practicing over the years.”
Maxwell will be heading into the round full of confidence after a positive start to life in the Porsche 991 GT3 Cup Car, which requires a set of different skills compared to his past open wheel experience.
“It was always going to be a challenge but we’ve done quite well to settle in quickly and get some runs on the board,” Maxwell added.
“Our qualifying pace was a good step up last time out at Phillip Island and we want to keep moving that way in the top five or six and keep progressing forward.
“I’ve been slowly getting my head around re-programming my brain to drive a car with a roof, but it’s been an awesome experience.”
The Porsche PAYCE Carrera Cup Australia Championship’s fourth round will have practice sessions on Friday, before Saturday’s qualifying sets up three races across the weekend.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown will take place at Hidden Valley Raceway on 15-17 June.