Asia: Craig Baird Beijing preview

Beijing Porsche battle for Baird Recently honoured New Zealander Craig Baird MNZM, has higher aspirations for this weekend's second round of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia being raced in Beijing 21-23 May. Currently third in the title ...

Beijing Porsche battle for Baird

Recently honoured New Zealander Craig Baird MNZM, has higher aspirations for this weekend's second round of the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia being raced in Beijing 21-23 May. Currently third in the title standings for professional race drivers after the first two rounds, 39-year-old Baird returns to China with his Auckland based Triple X Motorsport crew, sure of an improvement in his point position.

"We started the season on a new circuit (to me) with a new car - unsure of how setup changes would alter the car characteristics. It'll still be a new circuit, but I've got my head around the car so feel comfortable at setting times to put us at the front of the grid," said the now Queensland based Kiwi.

Tackling two races at the 2.4 kilometre Goldenport International Circuit, Baird says reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Christian Menzel is there for the taking.

"He's a great driver to race against - so is the perfect benchmark to start our weekend alongside." Although Baird considers Menzel's 11 point lead perfect fodder to oust the current leader.

"Even though he has an advantage of having raced the track previously, we've beaten him before so I have to keep him behind me. While we can claim some of our lost ground, it's going to take a non-finish on his part to really open up the championship - its early days."

With strict guidelines on when the cars can be prepared for the race weekend, the team head to Beijing Monday night, acclimatising ahead of the Wednesday morning when they can un-pack the VnC Cocktails Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Checking the car over, the team rely on local contacts to supply any parts to have the car ready for Friday testing. Following qualifying on Saturday, the two 25-lap Sunday races account for rounds three and four of the 11 race season.

Located 20 kilometres from the Beijing Capital International Airport, the weekend incorporates the Fascination Porsche event from May 21-23, which will cover a host of motorsport-related activities. Featuring a display of vintage Porsche cars, brought especially to Beijing from the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany, it will include icons of Porsche performance.

The impressive line-up will comprise such notable racing cars as the 550 Spyder which Hans Hermann drove to a class victory in the Carrera Panamericana of 1954, the record-breaking Porsche 904/8, and an icon of Porsche performance, the Porsche 917 Langheck which gave Porsche its first overall victory at Le Mans in 1970. Also featured will be a Porsche 959, the model which took first and second places in the 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally.

-source: xxxmotorsport.co.nz

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Craig Baird , Christian Menzel , Hans Herrmann