FINAL RACE WIN ADDS SPICE TO CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FOR COULTHARD Today will hold lifelong memories for 23-year-old Kiwi Porsche racer Fabian Coulthard. It was the day the Glenfords Tool Centres and Makita-backed driver won race three of the...
FINAL RACE WIN ADDS SPICE TO CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE FOR COULTHARD
Today will hold lifelong memories for 23-year-old Kiwi Porsche racer Fabian Coulthard.
It was the day the Glenfords Tool Centres and Makita-backed driver won race three of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia at Phillip Island, reinforcing his status as the number one Porsche driver in the national championship this year.
Later this evening, Coulthard will hold aloft the championship trophy at the official awards dinner highlighting the progress the young gun has made in the all-Porsche series in just two seasons.
While Coulthard won the overall championship spoils today, close rival Jim Richards completed a hat trick of race second placings at Phillip Island to be the overall round winner.
Coulthard finished second for the round with Jonathon Webb, third in race three, joining the leading duo on the round nine podium.
Today's race three produced some great Porsche racing, exciting the fans at the Phillip Island circuit for round nine of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia.
Although Coulthard was like a bullet out of a gun at the start and pulled away for a comfortable lead, the battle for the minor placings was intriguing.
Coulthard's Greg Murphy Racing team mate Alan Gurr (Glenfords Tool Centres / Hitachi) also got a great start to put himself in second ahead of Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers), the third Greg Murphy Racing pilot Ian Dyk (Glenfords Tool Centres / DeWalt, AEG) and Webb (Tekno Autosport / Yachting Unlimited).
However Gurr lost fifth gear mid-race and plummeted down to fifth while Richards, Dyk and Webb continued their tussle. In the closing stages, Webb passed Dyk to claim third spot for the race and a round podium finish.
Richards closed the gap on Coulthard and was right on his tail by the finish, but the young Kiwi held on to take the race three checkered flag.
Two of the big movers today were race one victor David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) and the experienced Peter Fitzgerald (Abcor/Acer). Both started from the rear of the grid, with Reynolds ending up fifth and Fitzgerald, ninth, in a great exhibition of hard charging.
In race two late yesterday, Coulthard started from sixth on the grid and remarkably was in the lead on lap two.
It was a bittersweet day for last year's Formula Ford national champion Reynolds. After winning race one, the 20-year-old snapped a gear lever on the first lap and did not finish.
This brought an abrupt end to Reynolds' Rookie of the Year aspirations as well as a final round podium.
In a great tussle for the top spots in race two, Coulthard held on over the final stages of the 12-lap race to win from Richards and Webb.
After the three races at Phillip Island for round nine of the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia, Richards won the round from Coulthard and Webb, with Dyk and Gurr rounding out the top five.
In the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for privateer drivers, Andrew Luxton (Hyundai Construction Equipment) claimed his maiden round win this season.
With the final round completed, Coulthard can enjoy the mantle of being the 2005 Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia champion.
Coulthard topped the standings on 1275 points from Richards on 1125 points and Webb on 878 points.
"It has been a great season and I must pay tribute to the crew at Greg Murphy Racing, our sponsors and my family who are here soaking this up as well," said Coulthard.
"I didn't have the best of starts to this round in race one, but our race two and three victories have really added some spice to the overall championship win.
"The competition keeps getting tougher and tougher in this category. Jim Richards is relentless with the pressure he applies, and I congratulate him and his team for some great racing this year.
"Not to mention the young guys coming through like Jonathon Webb, David Reynolds, Luke Youlden and my team mates Alan Gurr and Ian Dyk -- there has been some enthralling battles at the front-end involving all of them."
Dean Grant (Aqua Max Water Heaters) won the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge for privateer drivers over 35 years in 2003-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, with Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) second and Theo Koundouris (Supabarn Supermarkets/Dare Shots) third.
Webb capped off a great season by taking out the Wright Patton Shakespeare Michelin Driver to Europe for the leading driver under 30 years of age yet to contest an offshore International Carrera Cup round.
Despite missing the final round, Luke Youlden (Team VIP Petfoods) held on to win the Michelin Rookie of the Year for the leading driver new to a Porsche racing series.
Ash Samadi (Globe Racing) is the new Fuchs Hard Charger champion for the most number of grid positions made up through the course of the full season.
The Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia awards will be presented at the 2005 Awards Party tonight starting at 6.30pm at The Continental Hotel, Cowes at Phillip Island.
All cars in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia are developed and built by Porsche's 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.
This was the final round (round nine) of the 2005 Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Australia. Catch the action on Trackside on Network 10 on Sunday December 4 and TV One on TVNZ on Sunday December 18.