Australia Gold Coast race three notes

VICTORY in today's third and final race of the eighth round of the Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 has sealed the 2003 Carrera Cup for Jim Richards. The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner led today's seven lap race from start to finish, taking...

VICTORY in today's third and final race of the eighth round of the Carrera Cup at the Lexmark Indy 300 has sealed the 2003 Carrera Cup for Jim Richards.

The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner led today's seven lap race from start to finish, taking the chequered flag in front of young Gold Coast ace Marcus Marshall.

Richards' win was a special one for his team, after the passing of team manager Karl Batson's father Murray yesterday in Melbourne due to a long illness.

"The race was a bit easier than I thought," said Richards, who led home Marshall, Klark Quinn and Peter Fitzgerald.

"I found more grip than in any of the other races this weekend and the rest of the guys got tangled in among one another on the opening laps.

"It's a pretty emotional result today. Murray was a racer himself and involved with CAMS for a long time."

While Richards' round victory was enough to seal the championship with one round to go at Eastern Creek in four weeks time, his young rival Marshall sealed two championships himself.

The 25-year-old VIP Petfoods driver secured the Rookie of the Year victory as well as an unassailable lead in the Driver to Europe Award pointscore.

The Driver to Europe Award is to be presented to the best driver under 30 years of age in the championship, with a drive in a Porsche-prepared round of the 2004 Porsche Supercup the prize.

"It's unreal that I've clinched these wins," said Marshall.

"I've just put in 110 percent all season and it was always going to be a bit of a miracle to beat Jim. But finishing second to someone as good as Jim is like winning the championship for me."

Fitzgerald was again his usual consistent self, taking fourth place in today's race which was good enough for third spot for the round.

"I don't quite know what to do to get more speed out of our car," he said.

"The car was good early but it went away late in the race. I think we went a bit too high with our tyre pressures. I was battling to keep Klark behind me."

Quinn, in the #23 Quik'n Tuff Wall Systems Porsche, took third in the final race, the result good enough for fourth place for the round. Amazingly, having only competed in three rounds of the series, the 21-year-old Gold Coaster is 14th in the championship.

His father Tony kept a watchful brief behind his son in today's race, the #32 VIP Petfoods car finishing fifth, ahead of Rodney Jane (fifth for the round), Matt Coleman, Dean Cook, Scott Shearman and Jack Crocker.

There was drama at the first chicane on lap one of today's race that resulted in Roger Oakeshott being spun around. The Greg Murphy Racing driver was able to continue, while rival James Dutton was handed a drive-through penalty in pit lane for his involvement in the incident.

Oakeshott's Greg Murphy Racing team-mate Tim Leahey suffered a broken driveshaft, ending a pretty difficult weekend for the Braun-backed team.

Only one round remains in the 2003 Carrera Cup, with three races to be held at Eastern Creek Raceway in support to the VIP Petfoods Main Event in four weeks time.

Carrera Cup, Round 8, Race 3 Results (7 laps)

1. Jim Richards, 2. Marcus Marshall, 3. Klark Quinn, 4. Peter Fitzgerald, 5. Tony Quinn, 6. Rodney Jane, 7. Matt Coleman, 8. Dean Cook, 9. Scott Shearman, 10. Jack Crocker, 11. Russell Wright, 12. Dean Grant, 13. Chris Seidler, 14. Peter Hill, 15. Charlie O'Brien, 16. Greg Keene, 17. John Teulan, 18. Stephen Borness, 19. Marc Cini, 20. James Dutton, 21. Andrew Taplin, 22. Roger Oakeshott, DNF. Jonathon Webb, DNF. Tim Leahey, DNS. Kevin Bell, DNS. Paul Pedersen.

Points after round eight of nine:

1. Richards 1323, 2. Marshall 1086, 3. Fitzgerald 969, 4. Leahey 717, 5. Bell 615, 6. Coleman 531, 7. Pedersen 489, 8. T.Quinn 470, 9. Webb 396, 10. Cook 364.

-cc.au-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Greg Murphy , Tim Leahey , Marcus Marshall , Jack Crocker , Scott Shearman , Jim Richards , Rodney Jane , Tony Quinn , Klark Quinn , Peter Fitzgerald , John Teulan , Stephen Borness , Jonathon Webb , Peter Hill , Kevin Bell , Marc Cini , Andrew Taplin , Dean Grant