TEAM VIP PETFOODS LEADS AT HOME TRACK Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird has triumphed at home by taking a comfortable race one victory this afternoon after qualifying on pole this morning for round four of the Carrera Cup series at Queensland ...
TEAM VIP PETFOODS LEADS AT HOME TRACK
Team VIP Petfoods' Craig Baird has triumphed at home by taking a comfortable race one victory this afternoon after qualifying on pole this morning for round four of the Carrera Cup series at Queensland Raceway today.
By posting the fastest time of the weekend in qualifying on only his fourth lap the defending Carrera Cup champion saw the VIP Petfoods flag was flown early, and that it continued to fly with a new race record this afternoon.
Baird's blistering race pace saw the race record previously held by Jim Richards smashed in only his second lap, following a run reminiscent of a drag race to the first corner against runner-up David Reynolds.
After winning the corner, Baird was able to pull away to eventually cross the finish line with a comfortable 0.9 of a second lead over Reynolds after leading for all 14 laps.
"Obviously I'm happy -- to win the first one of the weekend is always great, but it is especially so this weekend for Team VIP Petfoods at our home circuit," said Baird.
"To start the weekend off with a clean sweep is just perfect, and I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow.
"I didn't get the best start, I would say David Reynolds had the better start however he wasn't able to do anything with it being on the outside and I was able to pull away for the lead.
"The car was perfect so we won't be making any changes ahead of tomorrow."
While Baird streaked away to the win, his teammate Klark Quinn was under siege -- holding out Rodney Jane in the final two laps to take twelfth.
Klark's times today are living proof of the tight racing playing out in front of spectators this weekend, with less than a second between Klark and race victor Baird in both qualifying and the race.
"I was under attack for the first two laps and the last two laps -- so you could say I was grateful for the chequered flag," said Klark Quinn.
"I started out well, had a fantastic start and took three positions which was great.
"The car was performing well and I was feeling good about the race, but unfortunately as the race went on the car started to drift off a bit, losing the ability to turn in as well.
"As the race went on I progressively became slower, and Rodney Jane's car behind me was probably just starting to come on so he was able to make a few runs at me over the closing laps.
"Luckily I was able to hold him out to cross the line in twelfth, and I was happy with that outcome.
"I still feel I am benefiting from the extra work I have been putting in ahead of this round, especially in regards to my concentration during the race.
"I will definitely be working hard tomorrow on keeping my eye on the ball to take home some good positions in the closing races."
Also looking to come back tomorrow for a good result is Klark's father and Team VIP Petfoods boss Tony Quinn, whose race did not quite go to plan.
"I didn't have the best race possible that is for sure," said Tony Quinn.
"My start was bad; I lost a few spots right there and then got stuck in a road train.
"On the last lap Rodney Forbes came out and passed me - the car was starting to play around at the back and this wasn't helping the situation.
"Since it was the last lap I made a big lunge on Forbes on turn three, unfortunately I didn't make it and I went up over the curb and lost two spots.
"We will be looking at the car overnight to eliminate the movement in the rear, so hopefully I can come back tomorrow for a new day and start over.
"You really can't do much else but keep on going and put your all into it, so that is what I will do."
Starting on pole tomorrow means Baird is in the best possible position to continue his hunt to move back up the championship ladder.
Currently placed third in the championship and 48 points behind series leader Alex Davison - who placed fourth in today's race - Baird is sure to put in his all tomorrow to make sure his home-track round pays off for him and his back-to-back championship hopes.
Tomorrow's Carrera Cup race action will kick off at 10.10am for race two, with the final run to the finish scheduled for 3.25pm.