RICHARDS HITS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER SANDOWN WIN Jim Richards returned to the championship lead after claiming his first round victory in 12 months in the all-Porsche Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown...
RICHARDS HITS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AFTER SANDOWN WIN
Jim Richards returned to the championship lead after claiming his first round victory in 12 months in the all-Porsche Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown in Melbourne today.
The 58-year-old veteran, who also campaigned a HRT Commodore in the V8 Supercar 500km enduro today, won race three this morning adding to his race one win and race two second place yesterday.
Richards, in his OAMPS Insurance Brokers-backed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, was thrilled to return to the winner's list with his previous round win being at Sandown on the same weekend last year.
At the conclusion of round six of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, Richards took the win from fellow dual Porsche and V8 Supercar enduro campaigners Cameron McLean (Sherrin Racing) and Fabian Coulthard (Glenfords Tool Centres/Makita).
It was a particularly sweet result for Brisbane-based McLean and his Sherrin Racing crew securing their first podium in their first year in the all-Porsche category. Only two rounds ago McLean was involved in that infamous eight-roll accident at Queensland Raceway which almost destroyed his car.
Today's final race of round six ended up being full of thrills, spills and drama, starting with a shortened race of eight laps after an earlier delay in the on-track program.
On a drama-charged opening lap, Richards charged away from the front row of the grid while Coulthard was involved in an incident to be reviewed by stewards at the next round in Bathurst.
After a coming together with another competitor, Coulthard ended up at the back of the pack and had to retire on the next lap due to the damage. The young gun's DNF (Did Not Finish) severely affected his championship standing and his chance of winning the Sandown round.
New Zealand racer Paul Pedersen (42 Below Vodka), young Adelaide prodigy Bryce Washington (ADRAD Radiators), Canberra competitor James Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets/Dare Shots) and petfood magnate Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) were also early retirements, as Richards pulled away in the lead.
Then on lap three, another two series young guns Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports / Yachting Unlimited) and Alan Gurr (Glenfords Tool Centres / Hitachi) had a coming together with the subsequent damage to both Porsches forcing their retirements from the race. This will be another incident to be reviewed by stewards in Bathurst.
Following a safety car period for the removal of Coulthard's car, Richards continued to control the race with McLean unable to significantly pressure the 2003 series champion.
After the eight laps, Richards hit the checkered flag first from McLean with Luke Youlden (Team VIP Petfoods) in third, David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) fourth and veteran Peter Fitzgerald (Acer / Abcor) claiming fifth.
The provisional round results saw Richards atop the podium from McLean, Coulthard, 20-year-old Reynolds continuing his great form in fourth, from Youlden in fifth.
After six rounds of the nine-round Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup championship, Richards now has a slender lead on 837 points from Coulthard on 825 points, Youlden cementing third on 635 points, Webb in fourth on 594 points and Reynolds fifth on 513 points.
In the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for drivers over 35 years in 2003-spec Porsches, reigning champion Dean Grant (Aqua-Max Water Heaters) took the round win from Theo Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets / Dare Shots) and Ash Samadi (Globe Racing).
Melbourne-based Grant has extended his lead in the standings with 876 points from Quinn on 744 points and Koundouris moving into third on 654 points, in the race for the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronographs.
Youlden continues to lead both Wright Patton Shakespeare Michelin Driver to Europe (leading driver under 30 years of age) and Michelin Rookie of the Year (leading driver in first full season of Porsche racing) awards, while young Queensland Klark Quinn leads the Fuchs Hard Charger stakes (driver who has made up most grid positions).
Round seven of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is scheduled for the Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst from October 6-9.
The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world, and is the primary support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Australia.
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.
1. J Richards
2. C McLean
3. L Youlden
4. D Reynolds
5. P Fitzgerald
6. K Quinn
7. R Jane
8. D Grant
9. A Samadi
10. T Koundouris
ROUND 6 POINTS
1. J Richards 174
2. C McLean 126
3. F Coulthard 114
4. D Reynolds 108
5. L Youlden 102
POINTS AFTER ROUND 6
1. J Richards 837
2. F Coulthard 825
3. L Youlden 635
4. J Webb 594
5. D Reynolds 513
6. P Fitzgerald 471
7. C McLean 450
8. A Gurr 384
9. J Cressey 333
10. K Quinn 330