PORSCHE driver Jim Richards stretched his lead in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup with an all-the-way win today in the first of three round-seven races at the Gold Coast Indy. Richards started from third grid position, but was in...
PORSCHE driver Jim Richards stretched his lead in the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup with an all-the-way win today in the first of three round-seven races at the Gold Coast Indy.
Richards started from third grid position, but was in the lead by the first corner and finished the eight-lap event on a wet track more than a second ahead of runner-up Mark Williamson, in another Porsche.
Williamson drove a strong race from sixth on the grid, holding off a late challenge from Peter Bradbury (Porsche) for one of his best results of the season.
Richards' win consolidated his lead in the eight-round national series and set him on course to repeat his dominant performance at last year=B9s Honda Indy 300, when he won two races.
He will start tomorrow's second race from pole position and with 170 points on the board.
Nearest challenger Mark Noske has 127 points after finishing fourth today, his Ferrari F360 Challenge proving difficult to drive in its first outing on a wet track.
Pole qualifier Peter Fitzgerald came home fifth after missing the start when his Porsche GT3 slipped out of first gear.
Richards said he was happy to win today, but still was far from claiming the championship.
"Including our last round at Bathurst, there are still five races and 76 points up for grabs. The gap back to Mark Noske is only 43 points and if tomorrow's race is dry I'm sure we'll have a fight on our hands," Richards said.
<pre> RESULTS, Race 1 (8 laps): 1. Jim Richards (Porsche GT3) 2. Mark Williamson (Porsche GT3) 3. Peter Bradbury (Porsche 911 GT3) 4. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 5. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3) 6. Christian Jones (Ferrari F360 Challenge)
MEGUIAR'S TOP MARQUES DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP: 1. Jim Richards 170 2. Mark Noske 127 3. Peter Fitzgerald 114 4. Paul Stokell 92 5. Peter Bradbury 80 6. Mark Williamson 76
TIMETABLE: Saturday 12.15 pm - Race 2 (8 laps); Sunday 10.45 am - Race 3 (6 laps).