THE PERFECT PRESENT: A CLEAN SWEEP FOR BIRTHDAY BOY BAIRD Craig Baird has been given a very happy birthday today -- taking round four of the Carrera Cup championship at Queensland Raceway in a clean sweep this weekend. The win elevates Baird...
THE PERFECT PRESENT: A CLEAN SWEEP FOR BIRTHDAY BOY BAIRD
Craig Baird has been given a very happy birthday today -- taking round four of the Carrera Cup championship at Queensland Raceway in a clean sweep this weekend.
The win elevates Baird to equal second in the championship with today's runner-up David Reynolds, and weakens current series leader Alex Davison's grip on top of the ladder with only six points separating him from the Team VIP Petfoods stalwart.
Some may have said it was expected for the Gold Coast Team VIP Petfoods to do well at their home-circuit; however the now thirty-seven year old Baird was never more on his toes than in today's final race.
"It has been a good weekend for us obviously," said Baird.
"To start off the weekend from pole was just great, and then to take the round in a clean sweep is really just the best result you can hope for.
"It is great of course for VIP Petfoods with this being our home-track.
"Of course some people will say it is what would be expected from us here, but I would say I was kept pretty honest over the whole weekend."
Baird's amazing performance over the past three days has ensured his goal of securing back-to-back championships is not yet lost, with today's result ensuring the championship remains wide open with only four rounds remaining.
"It is great of course to be moving back up the ladder," said Baird.
"Obviously we had a shocker at Winton, and then Hidden Valley didn't help, but we have just been pushing on and keeping in there.
"Even if I hadn't been successful today, to have a serious race like this has been great, it wouldn't matter if I was placing first, second or third if the races keep on like that I am in for all of them!"
While Baird celebrated his birthday wish come true, teammate Klark Quinn finished off the round in the top ten with the twenty-five year old experiencing some nail-biting moments of his own over the weekend.
"Race two started off well for me, I had good speed and was keeping on it, but as the race got on I started to slow down and the guy behind me was just starting to come on," said Klark Quinn.
"That was Rodney Jane, and he managed to come past me on turn four, unsettling my car along the way which gave Rodney Forbes the chance to have a look in.
"Luckily I was able to recover and hold Forbes out for the remainder of the race to come home in 13th.
"Race three was marred by safety cars, and they certainly didn't help me out.
"Unfortunately dad (Team VIP Petfoods boss and driver Tony Quinn) was a casualty of a restart incident at turn one, bringing out yet another safety car.
"It wasn't a good feeling knowing he was out of it, and the yellow eliminated any gap I had managed to create, so I was on the defensive for almost the entirety of the race.
"Having said that though, to come home in tenth after a good start, and being able to hold my own throughout the race is nothing to sneeze at, and has seen me place tenth for the round which is great."
While Klark's top ten establishes his position of 13th on the ladder 45 points ahead of 14th placed Rodney Forbes, his father Tony Quinn was mourning the restart incident which saw him put out of the final race on lap five.
"It was terrible to crash out like that, as you gear yourself up for the restart over the safety car laps and then to get to the first corner and be gone is just disappointing," said Tony Quinn.
"The weekend up to that point had been ok for me, the car was going well and I was just struggling to translate that into the fast times I know the car is capable of here.
"On the upside, to see Bairdo take the round in a clean sweep on his birthday has been a great bonus for the team and we are all excited for him."
Tony's incident also sees his position in the championship standings stabilised, one point ahead of James Koundouris in 15th with four rounds remaining before the 2007 champion will be crowned.
August's Oran Park round five will provide the next opportunity for the Team VIP Petfoods trio to dig in once again, with Baird sure to be boosted by this weekend's events.
Although four weeks will pass before Baird and Tony and Klark Quinn fly the VIP Petfoods flag in New South Wales, it won't be that long before a VIP Petfoods entry graces a race track.
Daredevil drifter Robbie Bolger - who provided the stunt entertainment during this weekend's round and competes for Team VIP Petfoods in the Toyo Drift Australia Series - will return to Queensland Raceway in three weeks for round four of the series in which he is currently placed fifth.