AARON CARATTI MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Sometimes it all comes down to one decision. When Aaron Caratti's (Parklands on Bertram) team decided to change from wet tyres to slicks in the last few minutes of qualifying this morning at Barbagallo...
AARON CARATTI MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW
Sometimes it all comes down to one decision.
When Aaron Caratti's (Parklands on Bertram) team decided to change from wet tyres to slicks in the last few minutes of qualifying this morning at Barbagallo Raceway he thought they were crazy.
Heavy showers had proceeded the session and with a wet track Caratti wasn't too keen on heading out on the faster tyres.
But he did, snatched pole position on the last lap of the session and used the front row of the grid to drive off and take victory in Carrera Cup's first race of the weekend this afternoon.
The victory is Caratti's fourth in a row and moves him within striking distance of Championship leaders Craig Baird (ACER/Leading Solutions) and Dean Fiore (Complispace/Advance Energy).
David Wall (Shannon's Insurance) was second behind Caratti in what was the Camden driver's best ever Carrera Cup result, while Baird rounded out the race podium.
David Russell (Boom Logistics) and Fiore were fourth and fifth respectively while James Moffat (Bob Jane T-Marts/Trueline), Bryce Washington (ADRAD Radiators), Barton Mawer (No Fear), Max Twigg (Trueloc) and Theo Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets) completed the top 10.
Twigg and Theo's finishes handed them the Pilatus Challenge one-two, while Peter Hill (Boost/Globe) was 11th overall and third in the championship-within-a-championship for non-professional drivers over the age of 30.
Mawer's drive was sensational given he started in 14th, while Koundouris' finish was his best of the year so far and even better when considering the fact he started 17th.
After qualifying in the wet this morning the afternoon had fined up and the track was dry for the race -- but there were still plenty of incidents throughout the 20 laps.
The safety car was deployed twice, once for an incident on turn one which saw Jono Lester (Blackwoods/JBS Tools) knocked out the race; the second for an incident between Hill, Grant Sherrin (Sherrin Rentals) and Shaun Juniper (Juniper Developments) which saw Juniper lose a wheel and teetering on the precipice of flipping onto his roof.
But out front it was smooth sailing for Caratti, who has taken his Carrera Cup career victories to four.
"It was a pretty comfortable race for me," he said.
"We had decent pace and I was able to pull out a bit of a gap although the safety car closed that.
"But overall it was comfortable and it was great to get the win at my home track in front of my friends and family."
Wall was also excited by his performance which came after two disappointing rounds.
"Aaron drove really well and his car is just exceptional at the moment but to finish this high is fantastic," he said.
"I've got to keep doing as much as I can to pressure Aaron so that when he eventually makes a mistake I'm there to swoop."
Twigg's result means he overtakes Juniper at the top of the Pilatus Challenge table.
"I'm very happy with where I'm at at the moment," he said.
"I had consistent speed and stuck to my lines which meant that when someone in front of me made a mistake I could sneak up the side.
"Winning the Pilatus Challenge is my aim this year and if I can keep near the top 10 I should achieve that. But today was just fantastic."
Round Four of Carrera Cup Australia continues tomorrow with Races Two and Three, with the final race of the weekend telecast nationally on Channel 7 from 3.30pm (AEST).
Picture caption: Aaron Caratti leads the field into turn one on the first lap.