AUS: Bathurst race summary

GREAT PORSCHE RACE AT THE GREAT AUSSIE RACE A massive national television audience tuning into Network Ten's coverage of the Super Cheap Auto 1000 witnessed one of the most exciting Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup races in its brief three...


A massive national television audience tuning into Network Ten's coverage of the Super Cheap Auto 1000 witnessed one of the most exciting Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup races in its brief three year history this morning.

In the lead up to the 1000km V8 Supercar enduro, young tyro Fabian Coulthard returned to the championship lead after a ding-dong battle with main rival and Bathurst stalwart Jim Richards.

Coulthard (Glenfords Tool Centres / Makita) won the eight-lap encounter from Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) to edge back ahead of his Porsche rival in the championship standings with only two rounds to go.

Today's race had everything -- a dramatic first corner, exceptional passing manouevres, thrills and spills, and close racing right through the field.

It saw not only Coulthard reclaim the championship lead, but Richards stay within striking distance, Team VIP Petfood's Luke Youlden fly like a rocket before coming unstuck and then recovering brilliantly, Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosport / Yachting Unlimited) grab another podium finish and Andrew Luxton (Hyundai Construction Equipment) claim his maiden TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge round win.

On the opening corner, Queensland young gun Klark Quinn who started from the front row of the grid was given a nudge from behind sending the Number-5 Team VIP Petfoods Porsche into a spin and out of the race.

The incident also saw the youngest driver in the field Ian Dyk (Glenfords Tool Centres / DeWalt, AEG) in a spin, and Dean Grant (Aqua Max Water Heaters) clip Quinn's car after the spin and bust his own radiator forcing him to retire from the race.

Richards made a great pass on Coulthard at Skyline on the first lap, as did Youlden over Webb into third place. Rodney Jane (Bob Jane T-Marts) settled into fifth ahead of Paul Freestone (Freestones Transport), Peter Fitzgerald (Acer / Abcor), David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) and James Cressey (Zarraffas Coffee).

The early flier was Youlden who got by Coulthard on the final turn of lap two, before overtaking Richards heading up the mountain on lap three. However coming into the cutting, Youlden went too wide, came unstuck, clipped the wall and spun back through the field.

Then Richards and Coulthard had a fantastic tussle for the next two laps, before last year's Michelin Rookie of the Year took over the lead on lap five. Webb continued his campaign in third, ahead of Jane, Freestone and the recovering Youlden.

Despite his lap two incident, Youlden continued flying, making up plenty of lost ground and setting the fastest race lap along the way.

For the final three laps, Coulthard continued on his merry way and pulled away to take the checkered flag first, six seconds ahead of Richards, Webb and the hard charging Youlden doing a marvelous job to finish fourth.

Ultimately Coulthard was the round seven victor standing on the top step of the podium from Richards, Webb and the experienced Fitzgerald finishing fourth ahead of Youlden who made up the top five.

In the hotly contested overall championship, Coulthard now leads Richards by just six points with a massive buffer back to Youlden in third place. Webb made up some ground on Youlden to sit 36 points behind the Team VIP Petfoods lead driver. Reynolds holds down fifth spot from a charging Fitzgerald.

In the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for amateur drivers over 35 years in 2003-spec Porsches, Luxton won his first-ever round from Marc Cini (Adamco) and Ash Samadi (Globe Racing). Despite a Race 3 DNF, reigning champion Dean Grant (Aqua-Max Water Heaters) continues to lead the standings in the race for the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronographs from Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) with Cini moving into third.

Youlden continues to lead both Wright Patton Shakespeare Michelin Driver to Europe (leading driver under 30 years of age) and Michelin Rookie of the Year (leading driver in first full season of Porsche racing) awards, while Samadi leads the Fuchs Hard Charger stakes (driver who has made up most grid positions).

The next round of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is scheduled for the Lexmark Indy 300 from October 20 to 23.

The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world, and is the primary support category to the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Australia.

All cars in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup are developed and built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany. With a top speed in excess of 300 kilometres per hour, the lightweight, high performance vehicles have a 400 horsepower, 6 cylinder Boxer engine which revs to 8000 RPM, producing a sound that is distinctly Porsche.

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Series Porsche
Drivers Fabian Coulthard , Luke Youlden , Bob Jane , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , Ash Samadi , Jonathon Webb , David Reynolds , Marc Cini , Dean Grant