RUSSELL WINS THE BATTLE BUT BAIRD THE WAR David Russell (Boom Logistics) has won his first ever Carrera Cup Australia race, taking out Race Three at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this afternoon. While a brilliant result for the Brisbane based...
RUSSELL WINS THE BATTLE BUT BAIRD THE WAR
David Russell (Boom Logistics) has won his first ever Carrera Cup Australia race, taking out Race Three at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this afternoon.
While a brilliant result for the Brisbane based racer it wasn't enough to snatch the round win, with Kiwi Craig Baird (ACER/Leading Solutions) taking out the first round of 2008 after his second placed finish today.
David Wall (Shannon's Insurance) took the final podium spot for Race Three but it was Dean Fiore (Complispace/Advance Energy) -- who took fourth in the final race -- who filled the final podium spot for the round.
Adelaide based Bryce Washington (ADRAD) finished fifth for Race Three, Aaron Caratti (Parklands on Bertram) was sixth, James Moffat (Bob Jane T-Marts/Trueline) seventh, Rodney Jane (Bob Jane T-Marts) eighth, Rodney Forbes (Jaimie Vedda Racing) ninth while Max Twigg (Truloc) rounded out the top 10.
In the Pilatus Challenge, which is for non-professional drivers over the age of 30, Shaun Juniper (Juniper) won the round, Peter Hill (Boost/Globe) was second with Marc Cini (Hallmarc) third.
An electrifying start by Russell signalled his intent for Race Three and by the end of the main straight he was ahead of Baird after starting one space behind him.
He wasn't the only driver to get a brilliant start, with Forbes moving up seven spots, Juniper two and Cini three.
While in front Russell was under immense pressure - with Baird attacking him from the get-go - Fiore, Moffat and Washington were having a huge battle of their own.
Moffat edged for position on the inside of Fiore on turn three but was denied, which allowed Washington to have a crack, but he was similarly treated.
Washington pressured Moffat the entire lap, until coming onto the main straight Moffat got a touch, ran wide and was passed by Washington and Barton Mawer (Opes Prime Stockbroking).
After Moffat was passed by the two Caratti sniffed his chance and snuck past him as well. Caratti stepped up and passed Mawer, and left the two rookies to battle it out.
And it was only the third lap.
Back at the front Fiore was literally flying -- he used every curb he could -- in an effort to catch Wall and even though he set the fastest lap of the race on lap four, he wasn't able to sneak past the Shannon's Insurance driver.
There was action aplenty further back in the field, with Andrew Moffat (V8 Super Loans), Jono Lester (Blackwoods/JBS Tools) and Cini three wide down the main straight as they race came towards an end.
Moffat over cooked the brakes heading into the chicane, causing a yellow flag and an early finish for himself.
Mawer also had an unhappy finish, with him collecting the wall in turn 11 on the last lap and limping to the line in 13th.
The end couldn't come soon enough for Russell who was doing everything he could to hang on.
Baird threw everything he had on the last lap and nearly passed him on the turn into the main straight. He nudged the back of Russell's car which not only sent Russell wide but slowed Baird's momentum and Russell recovered in time to cross the line first.
Russell said he was ecstatic with the win.
"To get my first race win is special four me and the team and it is certainly a good way to start the season," he said.
"I've gone from sixth to third to first over the course of the weekend so I'm pretty happy with that."
Baird was also impressed -- with Russell.
"I threw everything I had at him in that last race and put him under as much pressure as I could so he did a fantastic job for the win," he said.
Fiore however was disappointed with the final result.
"I'm a bit disappointed considering the pace I had and the fact I set the fastest lap," he said.
"Last year I struggled for consistency but I've got myself on track this year so hopefully I can back up this weekend in Melbourne next round."
Carrera Cup Australia will next take to the track at the FORMULA 1 ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, March 13-16.