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NZ: Porsche GT3 Cup Timaru day 1 notes

Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Timaru, New Zealand Day 1 Report Cat and Mouse Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Battle Continues at Timaru The cat-and-mouse battle between Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup protagonists Matt Halliday and Craig Baird ...

Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup
Timaru, New Zealand
Day 1 Report

Cat and Mouse Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Battle Continues at Timaru

The cat-and-mouse battle between Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup protagonists Matt Halliday and Craig Baird continued on the first day of competition at the third round of the Mike Pero Mortgages Motorsport Series at the Timaru International Motor Raceway today.

Championship points leader Matt Halliday pipped expat Baird to claim pole position in the damp morning qualifying session but Baird got a better start in this afternoon's 10 lap race and was never heading, crossing the line in cold albeit dry conditions 0.480 seconds in front of Halliday, who is turn was almost eight seconds clear of third placegetter Ross Rutherford.

Halliday set a marginally faster lap - a 1.03.646 to Baird's best of 1.03.698 - but although the 25-year-old Auckland international got within two car lengths of Queensland-based former New Zealand Grand Prix and Touring Car champion Baird he didn't get close enough to launch a serious attack.

"Yes," said Baird afterward."It was good to get the good start and like most tracks (winning the race) comes down to whoever gets the jump off the line. If Matt had got the jump on me I would have found it very hard to get past him."

For Halliday starting from pole position (on the damp inside of the track) turned out to be a mixed blessing, and like fastest qualifier Brent Collins in the first Toyota Racing Series race, he was beaten to the first corner by the driver who started the race from the second spot on the grid.

"I knew when I got to the grid for the warm up lap that there was no chance that I was going to get off the line ahead of Craig because (with cars using the outside line during the previous race) the track was still damp on the inside. Both times, on the practice start and the real start I had to use only half the revs and just try and hold onto second (place)."

Third across the line was the first of the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge (for over 35-year-olds) drivers, Ross Rutherford, followed by fellow Tag Heur Carrera Challenge combatants Dean Fulford and Angus McFarlane, then a fast closing Rhys McKay in his debut drive in a newer '04 GT3 Cup car.

Young Hong Kong-based Canadian/Chinese driver Darryl O'Young impressed with the seventh fastest time in qualifying in front of Australian young gun Jonathan Webb then ran strongly in the top six early in the race before slipping back to cross the line in ninth position.

Webb however was a non-finisher, as was fellow Australian Bryce Washington and Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge front-runner Mike Weeks.

There are two more races for the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup cars at the Timaru International Motor Raceway tomorrow, another 10 lapper in a morning and a 16 lap final in the afternoon.

<pre> 2004/05 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Series Rnd 3 Timaru International Motor Raceway Timaru Sat/Sun Jan 8/9

Qualifying 1. Matt Halliday Auckland 1.07.794 2. Craig Baird Queensland 1.07.915 3. Rick Armstrong Christchurch 1.08.905 4. Ross Rutherford Hamilton 1.09.207 5. Dean Fulford Auckland 1.09.207 6. Angus McFarlane Christchurch 1.09.273 7. Darryl O'Young Hong Kong 1.09.308 8. Jonathan Webb Sydney 1.09.354 9. Andrew Bagnall Auckland 1.09.415 10. Shane McKillen Auckland 1.09.950 11. Rhys McKay Auckland 1.10.138 12. Bryce Washington Adelaide 1.10.243 13. Graeme Cameron Auckland 1.10.314 14. Paul Kelly Auckland 1.10.338 15. Dean Cockerton Auckland 1.10.387 16. Mike Weeks Auckland 1.10.684 17. Grant Dalton Auckland 1.11.800 18. Scott O'Donnell Invercargill 1.12.310 19. Michael Morton Auckland 1.14.367

Race 1 1. Craig Baird 10.42.607 2. Matt Halliday +0.480 3. Ross Rutherford +7.826 4. Dean Fulford +8.711 5. Angus McFarlane +22.852 6. Rhys McKay +25.581 7. Andrew Bagnall +27.535 8. Paul Kelly +29.196 9. Darryl O'Young +29.448 10. Graeme Cameron +31.015 11. Dean Cockerton +34.431 12. Grant Dalton +51.002 13. Scott O'Donnell +58.912 14. Shane McKillen +59.167 15. Michael Morton +1 lap

-fast company-

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About this article
Series GT
Drivers Matthew Halliday , Andrew Bagnall , Craig Baird , Scott O'Donnell , Darryl O'Young , Bryce Washington , Paul Kelly , Rhys McKay , Dean Cockerton
Teams Toyota Racing