BAIRD AND KEMAL FULL OF HEART AT ORAN PARK Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird and Paul Kemal have showed their fighting spirit during the final day of proceedings for round five of the Carrera Cup and Aussie Racing Car series for the Jim Beam 400...
BAIRD AND KEMAL FULL OF HEART AT ORAN PARK
Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird and Paul Kemal have showed their fighting spirit during the final day of proceedings for round five of the Carrera Cup and Aussie Racing Car series for the Jim Beam 400 at Oran Park today.
Craig Baird had a day of ecstatic highs and perilous lows today, with a great start to race two this morning coming to a painful end only just past the finish line before he came back for a top four finish in the final race this afternoon.
Baird, who diced with Alex Davison for the lead over a number of laps after David Reynolds stalled on the start line, later fell victim to a rear left puncture and front radiator split which saw him fall back in the field over the final two laps from first to 16th, forcing him to make an agonizing crawl over the final lap to cross the finish line before pulling into the infield.
With repairs made ahead of the next race, Baird fronted up in grid eighteen optimistic, and when race two winner Paul Stokell also failed to move from the start line Baird jumped at the chance and bounded up the field to eighth and a compressed field as Ash Samadi hit Stokell's stranded car to bring out the safety car.
Over the next few laps, Baird worked hard to move up the field and placed as high as sixth before two incidents - one which saw Davison's right side greet the wall -- brought out the safety car and cut the race to a one lap sprint to the line.
"Today has been very interesting for me, with the whole team's weekend just one of ups and downs with practice illustrating some issues and then there was the qualifying result and then the race events over the weekend," said Baird.
"We have really pulled together as a team to try and get everything to come fruition, and it was unfortunate the final race was cut short by the safety car this afternoon as I really felt we could have made up a few more spots."
While 'Bairdo' was working on his position, his Team VIP Petfoods' teammate Klark Quinn was putting down his best results of the season, placing eighth in this morning's race two and ninth in the third and final outing this afternoon.
"It was really great to get in there today in the wet and put down some strong results for myself and for the team, as they work so hard," said Klark Quinn.
"Next on the round list is Sandown so you can be assured I will be looking to continue this form for there!"
Team boss Tony Quinn had better luck on track today after he was involved in a multi-car incident which saw his car out of the race with radiator damage yesterday afternoon -- instead holding on for a healthy dice further back in the pack to place 17th this morning and come home in 14th this afternoon.
"It certainly has been an interesting weekend, and as always we look forward to doing it all again for the next round!" mused Tony Quinn.
In the Team VIP Petfoods' Aussie Racing Car, Paul Kemal stunned all involved when he won this morning's third outing for the pocket-rockets after starting on the rear of the grid.
Relegated to 32nd on the starting line after a turn one spin while fighting for the race two lead yesterday, Kemal brought together his local track expertise, lightening speed and unquestionable skill to charge through the field in a nail-biting adventure over ten laps to cross the line sideways three hundredths of a second in front of a persistent James Ward.
After the adrenalin of race three the final outing was destined to be thrilling one, and Kemal and his pint-sized comrades did not disappoint -- with Kemal fighting hard from seventh on the grid to again take the win in another edge-of-your-seat battle with Ward.
Kemal's spectacular results today now see him move up from fourth to third in the championship, closing the gap on current series leader James Ward from 12 points to just nine with three rounds remaining.