AUS: Clipsal Friday summary

COULTHARD DRAWS FIRST BLOOD IN SERIES OPENER The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup battle lines have been drawn for season 2005. First blood went to young gun Fabian Coulthard in today's race one at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Earlier in...

COULTHARD DRAWS FIRST BLOOD IN SERIES OPENER

The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup battle lines have been drawn for season 2005. First blood went to young gun Fabian Coulthard in today's race one at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

Earlier in the day 2003 series champion Jim Richards claimed pole position after recording a blistering record qualifying lap time of 1:24.955 -- the first time a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car has been under 1 minute 25 seconds on the 3.22km street circuit.

However it was Coulthard in his Glenfords Tool Centres and Makita-backed machine that took control from the outset in race one.

In what will certainly be a preview of the season ahead, Coulthard and Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) engaged in another great tussle with the race lap record falling twice over the 12 laps.

Richards was the first to set a new record on lap seven as he closed the gap on his younger rival, and then Coulthard responded with a best lap of 1:25.1621 on the next circuit.

The former New Zealand Formula Ford champion and last year's Michelin Rookie of the Year held strong for the final four laps to take the first checkered flag of the season in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup.

Richards was three seconds behind, with Team VIP Petfoods 2005 recruit Luke Youlden starting the season with an impressive third-placed finish.

It was Coulthard's day, as the 22-year-old set a lap time under 1:26 in nine of the 12 laps.

"With all of the experience I gained racing Porsches last year, I am focused on the key areas of racing this year especially the starts," said Coulthard.

"As the category is so similar, the start is so important and that is where I set it up today. I won the race, set a lap record, and didn't worry about Jim."

It was a youthful procession between third and sixth place with Youlden, 27, Jonathon Webb (Paul Cruickshank Racing), 21, Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods), 22, and Alan Gurr (Glenfords Tool Centres / Hitachi), 23, filling those positions.

Cameron McLean (Sherrin Hire Racing) put the unfortunate circumstances of the Grand Prix behind him, with a consistent 12-lap performance to finish seventh.

After leaving the Grand Prix with a third place finish, Charlie O'Brien (Tenkate Plant Hire) crossed the line in eighth, with James Cressey (Paul Cruickshank Racing) and Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) rounding out the top ten.

Earlier in the afternoon, McLean met Gift 4 Dreams Ambassador Kylie Halliday, Adelaide's own World Sport Aerobics Championship silver medalist from last year. Halliday was given a 'nuts'n'bolts' tour of McLean's Sherrin Hire Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Gift 4 Dreams is the Official Charity of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup.

Race two over 18 laps will be held tomorrow at 4.30pm, while a 12-lap race three will be staged on Sunday at 9.40am.

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.

<pre> RESULTS

Race 1, Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, Friday March 18, 2005 1. Fabian Coulthard Glenfords Tool Centres 12 Laps 2. Jim Richards OAMPS Insurance Brokers 12 Laps 3. Luke Youlden Team VIP Petfoods 12 Laps 4. Jonathon Webb Paul Cruickshank Racing 12 Laps 5. Klark Quinn Team VIP Petfoods 12 Laps 6. Alan Gurr Glenfords Tool Centres 12 Laps 7. Cameron McLean Sherrin Hire Racing 12 Laps 8. Charlie O'Brien Tenkate Plant Hire 12 Laps 9. James Cressey Paul Cruickshank Racing 12 Laps 10. Tony Quinn Team VIP Petfoods 12 Laps

Qualifying, Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup, Friday March 18, 2005 1. Jim Richards OAMPS Insurance Brokers 1:24.9555 2. Fabian Coulthard Glenfords Tool Centres 1:25.1868 3. Luke Youlden Team VIP Petfoods 1:25.8063 4. Jonathon Webb Paul Cruickshank Racing 1:26.1287 5. Peter Fitzgerald Acer/Abcor 1:26.1459 6. Klark Quinn Team VIP Petfoods 1:26.2892 7. Alan Gurr Glenfords Tool Centres 1:26.3172 8. Cameron McLean Sherrin Hire Racing 1:26.5178 9. Charlie O'Brien Tenkate Plant Hire 1:26.5205 10. Bryce Washington ADRAD 1:26.8568

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Jim Richards , Fabian Coulthard , Luke Youlden , Cameron McLean , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , Alan Gurr , Jonathon Webb , Bryce Washington , Paul Cruickshank