Night Race Wows Spectators and Drivers The first Australian Carrera Cup race held at night proved a resounding success, with a large crowd enthralled by an intriguing battle between Alex Davison and Jim Richards in race one of the all-Porsche...
Night Race Wows Spectators and Drivers
The first Australian Carrera Cup race held at night proved a resounding success, with a large crowd enthralled by an intriguing battle between Alex Davison and Jim Richards in race one of the all-Porsche category at the Lexmark Indy 300 tonight.
In also the first night race held at the Lexmark Indy 300 in its 14-year history, Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre) won the 20-lap race around the 4.47km Surfers Paradise street circuit by a whisker from his rival Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers).
After claiming pole position yesterday in a new Porsche lap record, Davison set the pace early on leading Richards, Melbourne-based Kiwi Fabian Coulthard, Gold Coast-based Kiwi Craig Baird and experienced local Charlie O'Brien for the first half of the race.
Watched by thousands in the corporate suites, grandstands and high rise balconies around the track, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars were an awesome spectacle particularly their glowing brake disks.
On lap eight, Davison broke his lap record from yesterday clocking a 1:56.617 lap in the cooler night air, with the track illuminated only by the car headlights, building lights and strategically placed flood lights.
The second half of the race provided plenty of intrigue, as Davison stretched to a 12-second lead in the space of two laps, only to have this reduced to less than a second with a lap to go.
The two main combatants for season 2004 put in a stellar last lap battle, with the young gun Davison holding out the wily Richards. Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun, Mossimo) maintained third through to the checkered flag, ahead of Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) and O'Brien (Charlie O'Brien Racing / Wright Patton Shakespeare).
In a glittering finale to the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup season last night, Alex Davison was presented with the championship trophy at the 'Celebration of Carrera Cup Dinner' in the magnificent Porsche Centre Gold Coast showroom.
Davison had already secured the 2004 championship entering the final round at the Lexmark Indy 300, with a 246-point buffer over last year's champion Jim Richards.
Fabian Coulthard accepted two awards for season 2004, winning the Michelin Porsche Driver to Europe for the leading driver under 30 years of age, as well as the Michelin Rookie of the Year for first-season Porsche drivers.
Paul Pedersen was announced as the leading New Zealand-based driver, while Richards wrapped up the People' Choice Award presented by Motorsport News for polling the most fan votes on a www.cupcar.com.au poll.
Awards still to be determined at this final round on the Gold Coast are the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge between Dean Grant and Tony Quinn, the Fuchs Hard Charger between Quinn, Rodney Jane and Stephen Borness, and the championship runner's up position between Richards and Coulthard.
Australian Carrera Cup CEO Jamey Blaikie last night announced the Gift for Dreams foundation as the official charity partner of the Australian Carrera Cup for at least the next two years.
Patron of Gift for Dreams Tatiana Grigorieva, the Sydney 2000 Olympic pole vault silver medallist and self-confessed rev-head, was present to launch the partnership and overview the foundation. It has been established to develop and support disadvantaged young Australians through sporting and other professional pursuits.
Blaikie also outlined plans for the Australian Carrera Cup next year, to maximise its potential, continue its growth and consolidate its position as the primary support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The final round of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 continues with race two tomorrow, Saturday October 23, and race three on Sunday October 24.
'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast this round of the Carrera Cup on Sunday November 7 at 2pm (check local guides).
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.
Full results from tonight's race one of the Australian Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 at www.cupcar.com.au