McElrea Racing’s “Aussie assault” on the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America is set to expand for the final four rounds of the 2023 championship, with Bayley Hall joining the team alongside championship front-runner and fellow Australian, Tom Sargent.
Hall drives for McElrea Racing in the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia championship – scoring three top-10 round finishes this season in what is effectively his second full year of one-make Porsche competition.
He qualified a career-best third in Townsville and finished fifth overall last time out at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia and sits less than 60 points outside the top four in the championship.
Hall has already completed a pair of tests in the United States, including one at Road America and another at the Circuit of the Americas, where the final two rounds will be staged at the US Grand Prix in October.
“This opportunity to race with my home team on an international scale will be very eye-opening but an experience I am very grateful to take head-on and make the most of every minute,” Hall said.
“The United States is so passionate about sports, and I cannot wait to experience that for myself from the driver’s side’ and immerse myself in it.
“When I was seven years old, I made my Dad take a detour on a USA family holiday to visit Laguna Seca, but I have never been to Texas, so yes, I’m very excited. I’m very much looking forward to this incredible experience and ticking off another two iconic tracks from my bucket list that I had set goals to race on.
“There are a few differences in Carrera Cup North America. Most notable ones are that the cars use ABS and have rolling starts, which is different from Carrera Cup Australia. Also, they have two 40-minute races over the weekend, which will provide plenty of laps to learn and grow from.
“I’ve taken inspiration from both Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen, who have both raced in the US and rustled some feathers. I’m excited for when it’s my chance to do the same.
“The American championship is still extremely competitive, and it will be a great challenge for me to adapt to the tracks as quickly as possible and also endeavor to make a name for myself in another country.”
With three Carrera Cup championship wins and a star-studded alumni list, which includes current Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 racer Matt Campbell, McElrea Racing expanded this year to launch a North American program for the first time.
They hit the ground running in March at the pre-season test, with Tom Sargent topping the timesheets at the pre-season test. With four rounds remaining, Sargent is second in the Pro driver’s points, while the team sits third in the team’s standings.
“Last year we threw Bayley into the deep end in Carrera Cup due to Covid not allowing a Sprint Championship for him to learn from; he pretty much had to learn how to drink from a fire hose, and he certainly did,” McElrea said.
“This year, he’s been able to gain another level of confidence by building on his experience from last year. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him, he’s a brilliant student & he’s exceeding our expectations. He’s fast, he’s dedicated & he’s hungry.
“The opportunity to test in America arose, and like Bayley always does, he grabbed it with two hands & impressed at the test, opening up this opportunity to race in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America championship.
“It will be a challenge for him, but he’s proven his adaptability skills over the last 18 months, and we can’t wait to see what he can do.”
Hall will make his US debut at the iconic Porsche Rennsport Reunion event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca next week from September 29-October 1, before competing at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas for the support event at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on October 20-22.
Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America uses identical cars to the Australian championship, except for the addition of ABS braking.