Home Win in Carrera Cup For Baird The Australian Carrera Cup series trophy may have been presented to Alex Davison in glorious Gold Coast conditions, but it was local driver Craig Baird that took the honours at the Lexmark Indy 300 for the...
Home Win in Carrera Cup For Baird
The Australian Carrera Cup series trophy may have been presented to Alex Davison in glorious Gold Coast conditions, but it was local driver Craig Baird that took the honours at the Lexmark Indy 300 for the final round of the all-Porsche championship.
After placing second behind Jim Richards in race two yesterday, Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) shot off the line to lead into the Lexmark Chicane from Richards (Jim Richards Racing / OAMPS Insurance Brokers), Fabian Coulthard and Davison (Greg Murphy Racing / Glenfords Tool Centre).
Aiming for his first race win in the Australian Carrera Cup, Baird had a titanic struggle for the first four laps to stay ahead of Richards who was peppering him at every turn.
Then on the fifth lap, disaster struck for Richards as he continued to seek a line past Baird, instead finding a tyre barrier on one of the chicanes. He did resume the race but lost valuable positions and ultimately the chance to win the round.
Baird, the 34-year-old Gold Coast-based Kiwi, continued on to take the checkered flag in this final race of the 2004 season from Coulthard (Greg Murphy Racing / Team Braun, Mossimo) and Gold Coaster Tony Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods).
The race three win gave Baird enough points to claim the Lexmark Indy 300 round, also his first round win of the season. Coulthard put in a consistent series of three races to finish third for the round just behind Richards on a countback.
The series champion Davison battled not only the flu this round but also a tyre puncture today, to finish sixth overall which was his first non-podium finish of the season.
However he did celebrate on the streets of Surfers Paradise accepting the trophy for champion of the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup.
For the season Davison accrued 1344 points, with close rival Richards taking the runners-up position with 1146 points, and Coulthard finishing third on 1071 points.
Another featured battle today was for the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge. Melbourne-based Dean Grant held a 60-point lead for this award entering today's final race, and just had to finish to claim the winner's TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph. This award was for drivers over 35 years in a 2003-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
The other contender was Tony Quinn, and despite Quinn's season high race finish of third, Grant (Becks Racing) held on to win the season's TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge by placing ninth overall and third out of TAG Heuer drivers.
Today presented, however, Quinn's first race top-three finish for the season and also his second consecutive Fuchs Hard Charger title. This award was for the driver who made up the most number of grid positions throughout the year.
After a consistent season which included 19 race top-three finishes, two race wins and six round podiums, the 22-year-old Coulthard picked up the Porsche Michelin Driver to Europe award as well as the Michelin Rookie of the Year.
The Lexmark Indy 300 concludes the 2004 Australian Carrera Cup, which was an action-packed and exciting nine-round series starting back at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide in March.
'Trackside' on Network Ten will telecast this final round of the Carrera Cup on Sunday November 7 at 2pm (check local guides).
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.
Full results of today's race three of the Australian Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 at www.cupcar.com.au