Two in a Row for Richards at Sandown The arm wrestle between two of the world's finest Porsche racers Jim Richards and Alex Davison continued today at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne for round seven of the Australian ...
Two in a Row for Richards at Sandown
The arm wrestle between two of the world's finest Porsche racers Jim Richards and Alex Davison continued today at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown Raceway in Melbourne for round seven of the Australian Carrera Cup.
Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers) continued the impressive recent form of his team to take out his second consecutive round, in the process reducing the championship lead of close rival Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre).
With both drivers jumping from their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars into V8 Supercars throughout the weekend, they remained composed and continued their close tussle in the Carrera Cup championship.
Richards, 57, had a great car set-up all weekend and made his winning move on Davison on the second last lap of today's race three. Today's race win added to his race one victory yesterday to give Richards the round win at Sandown.
Davison did win race two yesterday after it was red flagged after six of the 14 laps. Thus no championship points were awarded due to 75 percent of the race not being completed.
In today's better conditions for racing, Carrera Cup debutant Craig Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) made a bullet-like start to hit the lead ahead of Davison and Richards.
Baird, the experienced Kiwi V8 Supercar star, was given a drive-through penalty for rolling at the start which ended his victory ambitions. Despite the penalty and being spun while leading in race one, Baird finished fourth for the round and showed he will be a contender for the remainder of the Australian Carrera Cup series.
Davison, 24, led until lap 10 of race three today before Richards made his passing manoeuvre and maintained the ascendancy until a red flag came out after the 11th lap.
Richards set the fastest lap of the weekend of 1:13.6956 on his way to the win, and has now set the scene for an intriguing final two rounds in the championship.
Another Carrera Cup young gun Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) continued his fairytale run at Sandown Raceway with his second podium finish at the circuit in two years.
The 20-year-old placed third in race three today, equalling his best ever Carrera Cup race result which happened to be in race three at Sandown last year.
Webb's third place today following his fifth place yesterday, was good enough to give him third place overall for the round -- his second podium finish in his Carrera Cup career.
Kiwi favourite Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ / Lakesawn Lumber) claimed fifth position for the round, with race finishes of 10th and fifth for the weekend.
Queenslander Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) and Melbournian Rodney Jane (Rodney Jane Racing / Bob Jane T-Marts) also accumulated the same amount of round points as Pedersen, to keep the duo entrenched within the championship top 10.
It was a great effort from the Rodney Jane Racing team who spent most of Friday night repairing the Jane Porsche after a nasty accident and roll in practice.
With two rounds to go in the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup, Davison sits atop the standings on 1068 points with Richards edging closer on 969 points and Fabian Coulthard in third on 804 points.
Coulthard had an unhappy weekend after claiming his first pole position on Friday. The series rookie leader was given a drive through penalty after spinning Baird in race one while vying for the lead, hit a wet patch on the track and crashed during the warm-up lap of race two, and smashed the wall in race three after making up 19 positions to fourth place before the accident.
Former V8 Supercar driver David Thexton (thexton.com.au) had his best Carrera Cup round to date, with his first top 10 race placing today and winning the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for the round.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge recognises drivers 35 years of age or older in a 2003-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
Dean Grant (Team Becks Racing) currently leads the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge, Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) is ahead in the Fuchs Hard Charger award, while Coulthard leads both the Michelin Rookie of the Year and Michelin Porsche Driver to Europe awards.
'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast round seven of the Carrera Cup from Sandown on Sunday September 19 at 2pm (check local guides).
The Australian Carrera Cup now moves to Bathurst for the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 - round eight from October 7 to 10.
The Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world with close-to-identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany set for racing in 2004. All cars have a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour with a 400-horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM.