AUS: Sandown race one, two notes

Alex Davison and Jim Richards shared the spoils during the first two races in the Australian Carrera Cup at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown Raceway today. Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers) took out race one in wet and...

Alex Davison and Jim Richards shared the spoils during the first two races in the Australian Carrera Cup at the Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown Raceway today.

Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers) took out race one in wet and cold conditions this morning, then Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre) was leading in race two when officials red-flagged the race due to the track condition.

Despite the weather there was a tremendous battle at the front of the field that saw four cars feature as the leader over today's two races.

Carrera Cup newcomer and experienced V8 Supercar campaigner Craig Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) started the day in fine fashion, hitting the lead on lap two before an encounter with rookie star Fabian Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) on lap seven ended his winning chances.

Baird's spin sent him back to fourth, an ensuing drive-through penalty for Coulthard saw him drop from first to seventh, while Richards hit the lead which he did not reliniquish for the remaining three laps.

At the checkered flag, it was Richards from Davison and Baird, with the experienced wet racer Charlie O'Brien (Charlie O'Brien Racing / Wright Patton Shakespeare) close by in fourth. Another youngster Jonathon Webb (Tekno Autosports) was fifth, keeping Coulthard at bay at the finish.

Peter Hill (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun) was the leading driver eligible for the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge, for drivers 35 years of age or older in a 2003-spec 911 GT3 Cup car. He finished seventh overall.

With the weather fine and track drying up for race two, the Porsches hit the track on their Michelin 'control' slick tyres. However a wet area on the track proved detrimental for Coulthard on his warm-up lap, as he hit the water and slid into the wall.

The tricky conditions also brought the downfall of Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods), Ash Samadi (Globe Racing) and Peter Bradbury (Team MPS Security), with the track dry in most parts and wet in others.

On lap six, with Davison leading Richards and Baird, the officials called a conclusion to the race as another heavy rainstorm engulfed the track.

Webb capped off a very consistent and clean day with a fourth place, ahead of the fast-finishing Kiwi Paul Pedersen (International Motorsport NZ / Lakesawn Lumber).

David Thexton also enjoyed his best day so far in the Australian Carrera Cup with a 10th place finish, as well as being the leading driver in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge in race two.

Round six of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup at Sandown concludes tomorrow with race three over 14 laps.

The Carrera Cup is the most successful 'one make' championship in the world with close-to-identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche' racing arm in Weissach, Germany set for racing in 2004. 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.

'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast round five of the Carrera Cup on Sunday September 19 at 2pm (check local guides).

-cupcar.au-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Jim Richards , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Baird , Alex Davison , David Thexton , Tony Quinn , Ash Samadi , Jonathon Webb , Peter Hill