AUS: Bathurst round six preview

In Form: Craig Baird (VIP Petfoods) -- Baird continues to lead the race for the overall championship. Despite finishing runner-up at the previous two rounds at Oran Park and Sandown, Baird has extended his...

In Form:

Craig Baird (VIP Petfoods) -- Baird continues to lead the race for the overall championship. Despite finishing runner-up at the previous two rounds at Oran Park and Sandown, Baird has extended his lead to 176 points over Alex Davison. So far this season, Baird has won nine of the 15 championship races, and three of the five rounds. Yet he has not snared a pole position. He will also back up to contest the V8 Supercar 1000km enduro with Jason Bargwanna for WPS Racing.

Alex Davison (Glenfords Tool Centres / DeWalt) -- Davison finished third at the previous round at Sandown after being victorious the round earlier at Oran Park. While Davison is still in the championship hunt, he will have to hope Baird has a few poor races to make up the point's gap. With 60 points awarded to each race winner, this means that Davison would have to win all three race at Bathurst and Baird not start or finish all three races (0 points) for Davison to hit the lead. Davison will also double up in Bathurst by partnering Grant Denyer for DJR in the V8 Supercar enduro.

David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) -- Young star Reynolds has shot into third place 109 points behind second-placed Davison. The 21-year-old claimed his first round win in the all-Porsche category at Sandown, which was his first round win in any category since his title-winning year in the Australian Formula Ford Championship. Reynolds is also the joint leader with Tony Quinn in the Mobil 1 Hard Charger, for the driver who has made up the most number of grid positions in official championship races this season.

Jim Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) -- Richards is close behind Reynolds in fourth position, and eager to secure a fourth consecutive championship podium finish -- 1st 2003, 2nd 2004, 2nd 2005. Richards' most recent round podium was at Hidden Valley in Round 3 (3rd), and has more recently endured a 10th and eighth placing respectively to drop outside the top three for the first time in Carrera Cup Australia history.

Jonathon Webb (Glenfords Tool Centres / Makita) -- In the race for fifth place, Webb leads rookie talent David Russell by a slender three points. Webb has yet to stand on the podium this season after recording a third place season finish last year. His best round results to date in 2006 have been a fifth placing at both Wakefield Park and Sandown.

The Title Chase:

Leading into Round 6 of the championship this weekend, drivers and teams are vying for the prestigious Overall Championship in 2006 as well as a host of other awards.

Interesting Facts and Figures:

Five drivers in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will 'double up' by driving in the V8 Supercar enduro at Bathurst as well. They are Craig Baird (#10 WPS Racing with Jason Bargwanna), Anthony Tratt (#15 HSV Dealer Team with Tony D'Alberto), Alex Davison (#18 DJR with Grant Denyer), Jonathon Webb (#20 PCR with Marcus Marshall) and Jim Richards (#22 HRT with Ryan Briscoe).

In addition to those five drivers, another five V8 Supercar drivers have driven in the Carrera Cup in previous seasons -- Matt Halliday, Fabian Coulthard, Alan Gurr, Marcus Marshall and Luke Youlden.

Alex Davison, Craig Baird and Anthony Tratt jumped out of their full-time V8 Supercar seats from last year to get into the left-hand drive seats of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars this year.

This is the fourth time that the all-Porsche racing series has been staged at Bathurst in NSW. Last year, Fabian Coulthard claimed pole and won two races en route to the overall round win. In 2004, Jim Richards started from pole, but Alex Davison won two races and Fabian Coulthard the other, for an overall round win to Davison. While in 2003, Jim Richards was the pole sitter and won all three races for the overall round win.

A field of 22 drivers will race in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) cars at Bathurst. This new model has enhanced aerodynamics - a new front section and a larger rear wing produces 40 percent more downforce than the previous 996 model. The six-speed sequential gearbox makes gear shifting faster and more failsafe, while the ABS brakes are replaced by tandem racing master cylinders and an in-car brake bias adjustment control.

Matt Coleman makes a popular return to racing in the Carrera Cup replacing John Kaias in the #77 Abcor entry for this single round. This will be Coleman's first start back in the category since his eighth placing at Bathurst in 2004. Coleman finished sixth overall in the category's inaugural season in 2003.

Shaun Juniper will continue in the #8 Juniper Racing Porsche for the remainder of the 2006 season. Melbourne based privateer Max Twigg will replace Daniel Pappas in the #19 Sherrin Motorsport Porsche, also for the remainder of the season. While Bryce Washington returns after missing a round in the #54 ADRAD Racing Porsche. Peter Fitzgerald also returns after missing two rounds through illness in his #6 Acer, Leading Solutions and Hitachi Data Systems backed Porsche.

Nine of the Porsche drivers at Bathurst are under 30 years of age -- Alex Davison, Jonathon Webb, Aaron Caratti, Bryce Washington, David Reynolds, David Russell, David Wall, Dean Fiore and Klark Quinn.

There have been 10 newcomers to the category in 2006 - David Russell, Dean Fiore, Daniel Pappas, Aaron Caratti, David Wall, Anthony Tratt, John Kaias, Damien Flack, Shaun Juniper and Max Twigg.

Eight drivers have contested each season of Carrera Cup in Australia since its introduction in 2003 - Jim Richards, Klark Quinn, Peter Fitzgerald, Rodney Jane, Dean Grant, Marc Cini, Jonathon Webb and Tony Quinn.

Craig Baird scored his 10th race win in Carrera Cup Australia history at the previous round at Sandown and is behind the trio -- Jim Richards (31), Alex Davison (24) and Fabian Coulthard (18). Baird has four round wins and also sits behind Richards (10), Davison (8) and Coulthard (6).

David Reynolds became the eighth different winner of a round in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup since its inception in 2003, when he took out the top spot at Sandown.

Queensland's Klark Quinn has an affinity with the Mount Panorama circuit. Quinn had his equal best round finish (2nd) at Bathurst in 2004, his equal best race finish (2nd) at Bathurst last year, and equal best qualifying performance (4th) also at Bathurst last year.

Klark's father Tony has also had his best race place (3rd) at Bathurst in 2003 and equal best qualifying performance (6th) at Bathurst in 2004.

Jim Richards is a seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner, Craig Baird won the 1995 and 1997 Bathurst 1000 for Super Touring Cars in a BMW, Peter Fitzgerald was a winner of the 1998 Bathurst 3-Hour and 1991 Bathurst 12-Hour and David Russell was a class winner in the 2002 and 2003 Bathurst 24-Hour.

Bryce Washington made his debut in Carrera Cup at Bathurst in 2004, and then produced his best qualifying performance in the category (5th) at Bathurst last year.

A number of new sponsors have been introduced to the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup for 2006. Mobil is the Official Automotive Lubricant Partner, MAN is the Official Transporter, Pilatus is the Official Executive Aircraft, ZF Sachs is the Official Suspension and Clutch Components Provider, Adidas is the Official Uniform Supplier, The Autograph Shop is the Official Memorabilia Provider, and Gatorade is the Official Sports Drink.

-credit: cupcar.au

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Series Porsche
Drivers Ryan Briscoe , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Baird , Jason Bargwanna , Alex Davison , Anthony Tratt , Luke Youlden , Bob Jane , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Grant Denyer , Peter Fitzgerald , Alan Gurr , Tony D'Alberto , Jonathon Webb , Bryce Washington , Damien Flack , David Wall , John Kaias , Max Twigg , Shaun Juniper , David Reynolds , Marc Cini , Aaron Caratti , Dean Grant , Dean Fiore , Matt Halliday , David Russell