JIM Richards maintained his record as a master of the Gold Coast Indy street circuit today with his second race win in two days in round seven of the Century Batteries GTP Nations Cup.

The Porsche driver, who has competed at every one of the 10 annual Indy events, led from start to finish, beating Peter Fitzgerald in another Porsche by 2.7 seconds.

The win lifted Richards closer to clinching the 2000 GTP Nations Cup, with nearest challenger Mark Noske falling further behind in the title chase with third place today in his Ferrari.

While Richards enjoyed a clear track, Noske endured a frustrating race from fourth on the grid. He passed Peter Bradbury's Porsche on the third of eight laps but could not get around a defensive Fitzgerald despite appearing to have the faster car toward the end.

"I was anxious to catch up to Jim. The Ferrari was going like a train and Fitzy was holding me up. I'm sure I could have challenged for the lead," Noske said.

"Tomorrow is crunch time for us. Richards will be doing his best to wrap up the championship, though I'm confident we can give him a good run for his money."

Richards now has 185 points in the Meguiar's Top Marques Drivers Championship and Noske, 137.

Going into tomorrow's six-lap race, the Ferrari driver still has a chance to delay the championship conclusion until the final round at Bathurst next month. However, he must also defend his current position against third-placed Fitzgerald, who is 11 points behind.

<pre> RESULTS, Race 2 (8 laps): 1. Jim Richards (Porsche GT3) 2. Peter Fitzgerald (Porsche GT3) 3. Mark Noske (Ferrari F360 Challenge) 4. Paul Stokell (Lamborghini Diablo SVR) 5. Peter Bradbury (Porsche GT3) 6. Christian Jones (Ferrari F360 Challenge)

MEGUIAR'S TOP MARQUES DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP: 1. Jim Richards 185 4. Paul Stokell 100 2. Mark Noske 137 5. Peter Bradbury 86 3. Peter Fitzgerald 126 6. Mark Williamson 80

TIMETABLE: Sunday 10.45 am - Race 3 (6 laps).

-Chris Nixon