AUS: Albert Park race four notes

Fight Looms after Albert Park Season Opener Porsche talent Alex Davison evened the victory ledger in the Carrera Cup at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix with Matt Halliday after winning today's drama-packed fourth and final race. After...

Fight Looms after Albert Park Season Opener

Porsche talent Alex Davison evened the victory ledger in the Carrera Cup at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix with Matt Halliday after winning today's drama-packed fourth and final race.

After making a sensational start, Davison (Greg Murphy Racing/Glenfords Discount Tools) led all-the-way in the eight-lap race to make it two wins at the Grand Prix. He joined Kiwi Halliday (International Motorsport NZ/Giltrap Prestige) as two-race victors, setting up an exciting 2004 Carrera Cup series ahead.

The 24-year-old from the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn clocked his quickest lap of all of the four races on the second last lap to keep Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing/OAMPS Insurance Brokers) at bay in today's race.

"It's always good to win the last race because that is the one that most people remember. It was a great weekend all up, and to set our fastest lap in today's race four was very pleasing," said Davison.

"It would mean a lot to win the championship. I had the opportunity to race overseas again, but I decided to compete in the Australian Carrera Cup which is the major support category to one of the leading touring car competitions in the world."

Richards, the reigning Carrera Cup champion, had a consistent four race carnival with two second placings and two third placings, in a close duel with both Davison and Halliday.

"The introduction of Matt and Alex has lifted the ball-game this year. I always knew Alex was quick and Matt demonstrated his talent in the recent Trans Tasman GT3 Cup," said Richards.

"We're happy with the places we got. If we can improve our starts, we will be there fighting again this year."

The rivalry showcased between these three drivers and up-and-comers led by 21-year-old Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing/Team Braun) this weekend, has previewed the official championship which begins with round one in two weeks at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

While Davison and Richards stayed out of trouble in front, there was plenty of action behind them to add spice to some great Porsche GT3 911 racing today.

Halliday and team mate Ross Rutherford (International Motorsport NZ/Woodstock Bourbon) had an altercation on the final turn which sent Rutherford into a spin off-the-track. Halliday, who crossed the line in third, was later disqualified from the race by stewards for his part in the incident. Hamilton driver Rutherford rejoined the race in sixth with his place adjusted to fifth in the final results.

One of the happiest drivers with today's result was Matt Coleman (Matt Coleman Racing/Red Bull) who finished third after starting from 14th on the grid. The Donvale 30-year-old finished sixth in the championship last year and showed he was back with a charging final race.

Giving Coleman a tight race to the line was last year's series runner-up Marcus Marshall (TEKNO Autosports/AEG Power Tools) from the Gold Coast, who finished an encouraging fourth.

New Zealand drivers Rick Armstrong (International Motorsport NZ/Rick Armstrong Motors) and Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ/Lakesawn Lumber) capped off a great weekend for their team with seventh and eighth placings respectively behind another team mate in Rutherford.

Gold Coast's Klark Quinn gave Team VIP Petfoods its best result of the weekend with eighth position, while Andrew Bagnall (International Motorsport NZ/Holiday Shoppe) and Peter Hill (Greg Murphy Racing/Team Braun) improved considerably to round out the top 10.

Coulthard, who looked set to push for his first podium finish in Carrera Cup, endured a broken clutch on lap five which ended his race. Others who suffered race-finishing drama included Charlie O'Brien (Charlie O'Brien Motorsport), Allan Simonsen (Mark Coffey Racing/Barry Plant Doherty Real Estate) Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) and Rodney Jane (Rodney Jane Racing/Bob Jane T-Marts).

The official championship season of the Australian Carrera Cup begins with round one at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 18 to 21 with the final round (Round Nine) to be held at the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast from October 21 to 24.

The Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world with 30 close-to-identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany racing at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix. All cars have a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour with a 400-horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM.

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Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Andrew Bagnall , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Fabian Coulthard , Alex Davison , Allan Simonsen , Bob Jane , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Peter Hill , Matt Halliday