MAKE NO MISTAKES, BAIRD WINS ROUND ONE DOG FIGHT Close and intense racing with no room for error was the order of round one of the Wright Patton Shakepeare Carrera Cup at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide with Kiwi expat Craig Baird taking the...
MAKE NO MISTAKES, BAIRD WINS ROUND ONE DOG FIGHT
Close and intense racing with no room for error was the order of round one of the Wright Patton Shakepeare Carrera Cup at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide with Kiwi expat Craig Baird taking the overall honours today.
Team VIP Petfoods' Baird won race three adding to his race two win yesterday. The 35-year-old who now lives on the Gold Coast countered a fantastic three-race challenge from Alex Davison and David Reynolds to start the season standing on top of the podium.
Paul Cruickshank Racing's Davison, backed by Glenfords Tool Centres and DeWalt, could not find a way past Baird in race three but also had to fend off the constant harassing by Reynolds behind him.
The 2004 series champion, polesitter and race one winner took second overall from the Bob Jane T-Marts-backed Reynolds, with the duo filling up the first podium of the season.
Jim Richards, who has rarely missed a podium in the first three seasons of Carrera Cup Australia, had to settle for fourth although provided plenty of pressure on the back of Reynolds in race three.
The OAMPS Insurance Brokers-backed driver scored a treble of fourth placings over the weekend for a consistent start to the championship in the new 997-type Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
The huge Clipsal 500 crowd was once again treated to some great racing across the field of 22 new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars today in race three.
In an enthralling start, Baird got away the best to lead into turn one with Reynolds almost getting by Davison from the second row of the grid.
Davison held firm causing Reynolds to leap over the ripple strip on turn one giving the edge to his Paul Cruickshank Racing rival.
For the entire 12-lap race, Baird, Davison, Reynolds and Richards stayed in that order but within one second of eachother, just waiting for a mistake from the car in front which never came.
Clawing his way back to fifth was series rookie Dean Fiore in the Landscape Developments-backed Sonic Motor Racing Porsche. The 22-year-old from Perth had to contend with a flying Klark Quinn from Team VIP Petfoods early, initially losing fifth place on the first lap before taking over again on lap four.
Quinn then developed a battle with Ian Dyk and Jonathon Webb, before the younger duo forged their way ahead.
Last year's championship third placegetter Webb ended the round on a high by posting a blistering new race lap record of 1:24.5850 which was more than two-tenths of a second faster than anyone else.
The Paul Cruickshank Racing pilot, sponsored by Glenfords Tool Centres and Makita, finished sixth in race three and sixth overall, just behind Fiore.
The race three top-10 also included four improvers in David Russell, Aaron Caratti, Anthony Tratt and Peter Fitzgerald.
Despite a mishap on lap seven to place 12th for the race, Juniper Racing's Ian Dyk held onto seventh for the round from the Toll-backed Tratt, Quinn and the third PCR driver David Wall.
In the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for the leading privateer driver 30 years of age or older, Dean Grant was victorious from Rodney Jane and John Kaias.
The Mobil 1 Hard Charger of the round for the driver who made up the most number of grid positons was awarded to Aaron Caratti from Firepower Racing for attaining 12 positions over the three races.
In the Wright Patton Shakespeare Michelin Driver to Europe award for the leading driver under 30 years of age who has not previously driven in a Porsche Michelin Supercup or International Carrera Cup round, Reynolds has shot to the lead from Fiore and Dyk.
In the Michelin Rookie of the Year for the leading driver who has not competed in more than six rounds of a Porsche racing series prior to 2006, Fiore has taken the early ascendancy from Wall.
The next stop for the Porsches is Melbourne next week for the Foster's Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, a non championship round for Carrera Cup Australia.