Richards completes clean sweep at Phillip Island. Fitzgerald and Marshall fill Carrera Cup podium in opening round. Despite tough competition from a full field of identical Porsche GT3 Cup cars, seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards has...
Richards completes clean sweep at Phillip Island.
Fitzgerald and Marshall fill Carrera Cup podium in opening round.
Despite tough competition from a full field of identical Porsche GT3 Cup cars, seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards has today won the opening round of the new Carrera Cup at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Having won the first race yesterday, Richards led from start to finish in both 12-lappers, though faced stiff competition from ENJO-backed racer Peter Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald pushed the OAMPS/Greenfield Mowers driver for the full distance, though was forced to settle for two more second-place finishes and second overall for the round.
Queenslander Marcus Marshall added two more third-place finishes to his third-place result from yesterday, taking his #31 VIP Pet Foods Porsche to third on the podium.
"The young guys have done very well," said Richards, who expects his opposition to close the gap as they continue to familiarise themselves with the rear-engined GT3 Cup cars.
"Marcus has done very well this weekend, it's only a matter of time before he and the guys like Tim Leahey and Matt Coleman are at the front."
Marshall's tyres were worn and he was forced to press on in the closing stages of race three. In the earlier race, he had grabbed third place from Leahey's Mossimo/Greg Murphy Racing on the last corner, as Leahey ran off the road after hitting oil that had dropped from Jack Crocker's Team Terrier car. He managed to re-join, albeit in 13th.
His third race ended in retirement after busting his radiator, which in turn dumped all of the fluid onto the Orange-based driver's tyres, causing him to spin and subsequently retire from the race.
The New Zealand 'invaders' performed well throughout the two races, Kevin Bell taking fourth-place in race two until problems forced him to slow in the final race, taking his Gtech Bellmor car to 10th. Fellow Porsche Motorsport NZ driver Paul Pedersen made a super debut at Phillip Island, taking fourth for the round after a fifth and fourth-placed finish.
Tekno Autosport driver Jonathon Webb received a stop-go penalty for making contact with Bell during a passing manoeuvre in race three, dropping to 15th, while a whole host of drivers made off-track excursions in a bid to make up ground.
Scott Shearman was in strong form in race three, taking his #77 Natural Blonde machine to fifth-place in the final race, clear of Andrew Miedecke (a good fightback after a poor qualifying performance), Dean Grant, Dean Cook, Tony Quinn (who fell to the back of the field on the first lap) and Bell.