GLIMMER OF HOPE BRIGHTENS FOR DAVISON IN PURSUIT OF BAIRD Alex Davison recorded his first round win of the season and subsequently ended the run of rival Craig Baird at round four of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at Oran Park in...
GLIMMER OF HOPE BRIGHTENS FOR DAVISON IN PURSUIT OF BAIRD
Alex Davison recorded his first round win of the season and subsequently ended the run of rival Craig Baird at round four of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup at Oran Park in Sydney today.
The result came down to this afternoon's final 16-lap race after Davison (Glenfords Tool Centres / DeWalt) won the first race yesterday and Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) hit back to claim race two this morning.
Baird had the lead in race three off the start before Davison pulled a great passing manoeuvre on him a few turns later on the opening lap.
Davison, the series champion in 2004, managed to hold off his Kiwi rival for the rest of the race including a safety car restart.
In the end, Davison streeted to a comfortable four second win from Baird who had to hold off a closing challenge from promising Queensland racer David Russell (Boom Logistics / Sherrin Hire) with Jonathon Webb (Glenfords Tool Centres / Makita) tucked in right behind.
Russell's third place in race three gave the rookie star his second podium finish in only his fourth round of the all-Porsche series.
The unfortunate story of the day goes to Luke Youlden (Acer / Hitachi / Leading Solutions) who was set up for a podium finish when lying third in race three.
A touch from Jim Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) on lap seven caused Youlden to end up beached in the sand while Richards also had to retire with a damaged radiator.
Youlden was substituting this round for Peter Fitzgerald who was laid low with a bad case of the flu.
Another young charger in David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) finished fifth in race three to place fourth for the round, one place ahead of Youlden who filled out the top five.
Race two this morning saw Baird fly off the start line to head Davison into the notorious first turn to continue the rivalry that intensifies with every race in the championship.
Once again the race to the first turn claimed a few victims with Dean Grant (Hankook) puncturing both front tyres after becoming the 'meat in the sandwich' down the straight, while Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) had his race brought to a halt 100 metres later.
Baird proved too hard to pass for Davison this morning over the 16 laps setting a new race lap record along the way before Davison regained it back with a scintillating 1:09.6224 on lap six.
Baird held on from Davison with this round's 'super sub' Youlden finishing third from Michelin rookies Russell and David Wall (Glenfords Tool Centres / Hitachi).
Reynolds received a drive through penalty for jumping the start, but put up an outstanding hard charging effort to finish 11th.
Two other outstanding Mobil hard chargers in race two were Webb who made up 14 positions to place sixth and Bryce Washington (ADRAD Radiators) who climbed 11 spots to 10th -- both recovering from the horrors of yesterday's race one opening lap.
Webb's Glenfords Racing crew had a near sleepless night repairing the damage from yesterday's race one fire at the rear of the Number 22 Porsche.
Richards put in a commendable performance to finish seventh despite finishing with a flat front right tyre that started leaking eight laps out from the finish.
Following Davison's round win, he has narrowed the gap to series leader Baird to 137 points.
"This is the result we needed to give us confidence and hope that we can still win the championship," said Davison.
"Bairdo put in a great drive this morning to tie things up for this round but thankfully I got by him on the opening lap of the final race. I had a great car all round and the crew did a fantastic job, especially to get Webby's car back out there today after yesterday's fire."
Baird pilot sits atop the standings on 696 points from Davison (559), Richards (468), Reynolds (405) and Juniper Racing's Ian Dyk (348).
Russell is sixth overall but co-leads the Michelin Rookie of the Year alongside Wall.
A win in this round's TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for privateer drivers over 30 years has seen Rodney Jane move into second place in that award category behind John Kaias (Abcor) while reigning champion and former leader Grant moves back to third.
The Mobil 1 Hard Charger for the round had a number of contenders but in the end Webb made up the most number of grid positions over the three races with 16.
Round five of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup is next on the calendar (Betta Electrical 500) to be staged at Sandown in Melbourne from September 1 to 3.