AUS: Albert Park Thursday notes

Halliday wins Carrera Cup season opener March 4, 2004 -- Carrera Cup Spoils To New Zealand at Albert Park An arm wrestle with a touch of drama, and victory to an in-form New Zealand driver capped off the first day of Carrera Cup racing at the...

Halliday wins Carrera Cup season opener

March 4, 2004 -- Carrera Cup Spoils To New Zealand at Albert Park

An arm wrestle with a touch of drama, and victory to an in-form New Zealand driver capped off the first day of Carrera Cup racing at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park today

Auckland 24-year-old Matt Halliday (International Motorsport NZ/Giltrap Prestige) turned the heat up on his Porsche rivals in an enthralling eight-lap first race at the Grand Prix, leading almost from start to finish to win what was also his first Australian Carrera Cup race.

The exciting Kiwi got a blistering start from the second row of the grid to move past Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing/OAMPS Insurance Brokers) and then pole sitter Alex Davison (Greg Murphy Racing/Glenfords Discount Tools) by the first corner.

Then the struggle and drama unfolded as Halliday and fellow young gun Davison, 24, pulled away, while Richards shook off an early fight from 21-year-old Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing/Team Braun).

By the end of lap three, Richards had closed the gap on his younger rivals and was now waiting for a chance to make a move. Two laps later, Davison edged past Halliday momentarily with Richards tucked in closely behind. Halliday recovered quickly and regained the lead under brakes, as Richards made a move on Davison. Contact between these two saw Richards in a little off-the-track excursion allowing Davison to pull away slightly in second.

The places remained the same until the checkered flag with only 1.1 seconds separating Halliday in first from Richards in third.

But no drama could spoil a well-deserved victory for Halliday who had early season form on the board. The former single-seat driver campaigned his Porsche GT3 911 in the six-round Trans Tasman Cup series over summer, finishing a close runner-up to Richards including seven race wins.

"This is the result we were after but the job is not fully done. There are still another three races this weekend, but at the moment, we are very happy," said Halliday.

"We did have some brake problems but have worked through them. I was slow on a couple of corners but managed to keep everyone at bay."

Halliday's win spoilt Davison's 100 percent Carrera Cup record in Australia, with the Melbourne driver having to settle for second place on the podium and Richards in the unfamiliar position of third.

Coulthard capped off a great day for New Zealand to finish in fourth, just ahead of the experience of Peter Fitzgerald (Peter Fitzgerald Racing/ENJO, Acer) in fifth and last year's Australian Carrera Cup runner-up Marcus Marshall (TEKNO Autosports/AEG Power Tools).

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.

Race two of the Michelin Carrera Cup is tomorrow afternoon with race three on Saturday March 6 and race four on Sunday March 7.

DAVISON EDGES OUT RICHARDS FOR ALBERT PARK POLE

Continuing where he left off in 2003, Alex Davison (Greg Murphy Racing/Glenfords Discount Tools) claimed pole position for race one of the Michelin Carrera Cup at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix to be held later this afternoon.

The 24-year-old Melbourne local clocked a best qualifying lap of 2:02.733 to put his 2004 Porsche GT3 911 on pole position just ahead of reigning Carrera Cup champion Jim Richards (Jim Richards Racing/OAMPS Insurance Brokers).

Davison, who won all of his six Australian Carrera Cup races last year including the three at Albert Park, left it until his final flying lap to overhaul Richards' best time of 2:02.940.

"It was hot out there. I'm relieved to have put it all together, and left it to a last lap burst to put it on pole," said Davison.

In a promising sign for the four races, Kiwi young gun Matt Halliday (International Motorsport NZ/Giltrap Prestige) and Porsche newcomer Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing/Team Braun) will start from the second row of the grid.

Halliday, 24, was second in practice this morning and then backed up to be third fastest in qualifying with a quick 2:03.504, while fellow Auckland resident Coulthard, 21, knocked out a consistent series with a best lap of 2:03.684. This was a fantastic result for the Team Braun recruit in his first hit-out in a GT3 911.

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.

Race one of the Michelin Carrera Cup at Albert Park was this afternoon, with race two tomorrow, Friday March 5, race three on Saturday March 6 and race four on Sunday March 7.

-cupcar.au-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Matthew Halliday , Greg Murphy , Marcus Marshall , Jim Richards , Fabian Coulthard , Alex Davison , Peter Fitzgerald