TOP THREE FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS AT ORAN PARK Team VIP Petfoods' defending champion Craig Baird has placed in the top three during today's first race of the weekend for round five of the Carrera Cup series. The weekend has been an interesting...
TOP THREE FOR TEAM VIP PETFOODS AT ORAN PARK
Team VIP Petfoods' defending champion Craig Baird has placed in the top three during today's first race of the weekend for round five of the Carrera Cup series.
The weekend has been an interesting one for his team -- with Baird's front-running result only one side of the story in what has been a multi-faceted tale for the Gold Coast-based outfit which is fielding drivers in both the Carrera Cup and Aussie Racing Car series this weekend.
Baird, who took the previous round at Queensland in a clean sweep, started the first Carrera Cup race in style with a fantastic run off the start seeing him claim third from Dean Fiore to tag onto the back of current series leader Alex Davison.
A first lap multi-car incident involving Team VIP Petfoods chief Tony Quinn saw a battle ensue from the restart between the top three, with Baird holding second position momentarily before Reynolds took it back on the inside.
"The first half of the race was great -- nice and tight with lots of dicing," said Baird.
"After a while the three of us started to have a fair bit of air between us and I just wasn't able to do anything with the gap, but there are two more races to come and its sure not over yet!"
While 'Bairdo' was enjoying a tour with the front-runners, team boss Tony Quinn was watching from the sidelines after that earlier incident saw him stranded on the infield with a damaged radiator for the duration of the race.
"It wasn't all that fun to be watching from the sidelines, but I guess that is how it goes sometimes," said Tony Quinn.
"My brakes were not running up to scratch for some reason, so I wasn't able to react to the situation all that well and there were people going everywhere, but I guess that's racing -- these are the things that happen and we will be back tomorrow for a new day."
Looking on the brighter side, Tony's trackside seat gave him the ideal vantage point to watch 25 year-old son Klark as he battled through the pack from his starting position of 18th to cross the line in 11th.
"The car was good out there today and I was happy to be able to move up the field after the safety car period," said Klark Quinn.
"Last year my second race saw an early incident effectively put me out of the round -- so here's hoping we can come out tomorrow and give it a good go and bring it home."
While the Carrera Cup trio of Baird and the Quinns enjoyed their first race of the weekend, Team VIP Petfoods' Paul Kemal in the Aussie Racing Car Series had the pleasure of enjoying not just one, but two -- with the pint-sized racers heading out a total of three times throughout the day.
After strategically deciding to qualify on his used tyres, Kemal qualified seventh only to come out in the first race on green tyres and set the fastest time of the session in only the second lap, by which time he was chasing James Ward for the lead.
An amazing race-long tussle ensued which saw the lead continuously swapped between the two, ultimately ending when a last lap lunge by Ward paid off to see him across the line with Kemal beside him.
Race two was shaping up to be an equally thrilling stoush before an outside move on Morris for second by the defending champion into turn one resulted in Kemal's Team VIP Petfoods 'BA Falcon' coming unstuck on the outside line to eventually grind to a halt in the gravel trap.
Although registered as not finishing the race, Kemal used a safety car opportunity brought about by another incident a few laps later to rejoin at the back of the field to enjoy a run for the closing laps -- passing nine cars before the chequered flag fell.
"It was a measured decision this morning to save the new tyres until the race as that is where your speed really counts - I went out and set the quickest time straight up so it worked!" said Kemal.
"The dicing in race one was fantastic and unfortunately race two went a bit awry but all the same -- I had fun out there and we obviously have the speed so I am looking forward to tomorrow."
Race three of the Aussie Racing Car series will kick off tomorrow at 8.55am with their fourth and final race to be held at 3.15pm. Baird and the Quinns will head out for race two of the Carrera Cup at 11.50am with their final race held at 3.40pm.