BATHURST THRILLER TIES THE CHAMPIONSHIP Bathurst always brings excitement, thrills and spills and there was no exception in race one of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Super Cheap Auto 1000 in Bathurst today. Young gun Fabian...
BATHURST THRILLER TIES THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Bathurst always brings excitement, thrills and spills and there was no exception in race one of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Super Cheap Auto 1000 in Bathurst today.
Young gun Fabian Coulthard (Glenfords Tool Centres / Makita) not only claimed an impressive pole position in a record time, he streeted the field in race one over eight laps to join Bathurst legend Jim Richards in the overall championship lead.
Before this round seven of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, Richards led the championship standings by 12 points from Coulthard with Luke Youlden (Team VIP Petfoods) and Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosport / Yachting Unlimited) in third and fourth respectively.
In qualifying this morning, Coulthard set the scene for what would be one of his most memorable days in his brief motor racing career to date.
The 23-year-old set a new qualifying lap record around the 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit of 2:12.9287, breaking the previous record set by Richards last year by three-quarters of a second.
Webb qualified second to join Coulthard on the front row of the grid this afternoon. Richards was third fastest just ahead of Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) who recorded his only podium finish in his Carrera Cup career at Bathurst last year.
After the green light went on, Coulthard made a typically fast start to head the field into turn one. There was plenty of dicing for position early on between Webb, Richards, Quinn and another youngster in Bryce Washington (ADRAD Radiators).
By the completion of lap one and into the first corner of lap two, Coulthard had pulled away to a handy lead from Quinn, Washington, Richards and Webb.
However Sydney competitor Ash Samadi (Globe Racing) had run into clutch problems at the top of the mountain on the first lap and came to a halt in the middle of the track coming up to Skyline. This brought out a WPS Safety Car for two laps before the race went back under green.
When it did, the drama continued. Coulthard continued his front running while Quinn, Washington and Richards engaged in a great tussle for the minor placings.
On lap six, Cameron McLean (Sherrin Racing) went into a full spin after hitting the grass on the inside of The Chase. The top 10 championship racer who is also co-driving in the V8 Supercar enduro on Sunday did well to keep the car intact and out of the way of following competitors.
At a speed in excess of 250kph, McLean did slide into the wall on the outside of The Chase before coming to a halt.
Then a lap later, Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) lost control with a flat front left tyre at similar speeds coming into The Chase before sliding across the sand and into the wall sustaining front-end damage and a DNF (Did Not Finish) result.
Following this drama, Coulthard took the checkered flag from Klark Quinn who recorded his best race place in the category. Third went to Richards who overtook Washington in the final stages.
Webb ended up fifth with Peter Fitzgerald (Abcor / Acer) in sixth and Paul Freestone (Freestone's Transport) in seventh -- also his best race finish in the category.
Action continues tomorrow in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Super Cheap Auto 1000 with Race 2 over eight laps at 11.20am. This race will be telecast on Network Ten's coverage of the event at approximately 3pm, as will Race 3 on Sunday.
The calendar for the 2006 Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will also be announced tomorrow at a media conference at the Super Cheap Auto 1000.
All cars in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup are developed and built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany. With a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour, the lightweight, high performance vehicles have a 400 horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM, producing a sound that is distinctly Porsche.