Phillip Island summary, champion crowned

BAIRD WINS WRIGHT PATTON SHAKESPEARE CARRERA CUP Craig Baird became the fourth different winner of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup championship in the category's four year history after a fourth placing in the final round of the ...

BAIRD WINS WRIGHT PATTON SHAKESPEARE CARRERA CUP

Craig Baird became the fourth different winner of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup championship in the category's four year history after a fourth placing in the final round of the series at Phillip Island which concluded today.

Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) will be presented with the overall championship at the Carrera Cup Australia Awards Party being held at Phillip Island tonight.

The 36-year-old Gold Coast based Kiwi topped the series standings on 1164 points to claim his first Carrera Cup title from Alex Davison (1099 points) and David Reynolds (1029 points).

He now joins an illustrious list of Carrera Cup champions in Australia which reads Jim Richards (2003), Alex Davison (2004), Fabian Coulthard (2005) and now Craig Baird (2006).

Today's final round was won by Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) ahead of Davison (Glenfords Tool Centres / DeWalt) and David Wall (Glenfords Tool Centres / Hitachi) who scored his first podium in his rookie season.

Reynolds, 21 from Albury, won all three races over the weekend to show his promise and consolidate a top three finish for the season.

In other season awards, the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for the leading privateer over 30 years of age was won by Rodney Jane (Bob Jane T-Marts) ahead of Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) and Dean Grant (Hankook Motorsport).

Jane ended the two year reign of Grant to win a prized TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph which he will receive at the awards party tonight.

A broken ball joint following an incident with Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) in race two saw Jane finished as the fourth privateer at Phillip Island but he had already secured the overall award.

In the closest award for the season, David Wall took out the Michelin Rookie of the Year from close rival David Russell (Boom Logistics / Sherrin Hire) and Dean Fiore (Landscape Developments).

Tony Quinn made it a second award for Team VIP Petfoods for securing the Mobil 1 Hard Charger for the driver who made up the most number of grid positions in championship races throughout the season.

Quinn made up 60 positions to finish ahead of Jane on 59 and Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) on 54. The round winner for Phillip Island in the Mobil 1 Hard Charger was Jane who made up nine positions in a hard charging final race of the season.

Sonic Motor Racing also claimed two awards with David Reynolds' clear-cut win in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Michelin Driver to Europe for the leading driver under 30 years of age adding to Jane's TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge award.

Unfortunately it wasn't a 23rd birthday celebration for Jonathon Webb (Glenfords Tool Centres / Makita) who looked set for his first podium finish of the season before a coming together with Peter Fitzgerald in his final Carrera Cup race of his career ended his chances.

After 30 years of Porsche Motorsport racing, Fitzgerald drove his final Carrera Cup race today but signaled a future unearthing some bright motor racing talent in his team, Fitzgerald Racing, over the next few years.

A 30-minutes highlights program from Phillip Island will be telecast on Network Ten next Sunday December 17 at 1.30pm.

-credit: cupcar.au

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Series Porsche
Drivers Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Baird , Alex Davison , Bob Jane , Tony Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , Jonathon Webb , David Wall , David Reynolds , Dean Grant , Dean Fiore , David Russell , Phillip Island