Canberra race report

PORSCHE ace Jim Richards picked up two wins from two starts on the streets of Canberra today to extend his lead in the 2001 Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship. Richards, the defending Nations Cup champion, won both races...

PORSCHE ace Jim Richards picked up two wins from two starts on the streets of Canberra today to extend his lead in the 2001 Megamantis.com Australian Nations Cup Championship.

Richards, the defending Nations Cup champion, won both races from Kiwi international Craig Baird, who had stepped into the Prancing Horse team Ferrari 360 only yesterday after regular driver Mark Noske was forced out of the weekend's racing through injury.

"I'm pretty pleased about this. We hadn't had a win this season, so thi s is a good breakthrough," Richards said.

He now has 380 points in the Meguiar's Drivers Championship and a 90-point lead over second-placed Peter Fitzgerald, who won yesterday's firs t leg of round three but today retired from race two and finished fifth in race three.

The weekend's sorriest tale belonged to Lamborghini Diablo driver Paul Stokell, who slumped from first to fifth in the pointscore. After securing pole position, his big Italian coupe broke a driveshaft on the way to the starting grid for race one, crashed in race two and could not be repaired i n time for race three.

"After winning three races in the first two rounds, this was one of those weekends we'd rather forget, but there's plenty of racing left and we'll be fighting all the way," the three-time Australian Gold Star driving champion said.

D'arcy Russell gave the American-built Chrysler Viper a promising seaso n debut, finishing third in race three and, with Stokell, Fitzgerald and Richards, breaking the previous lap record in race two.

<pre> MEGAMANTIS.COM AUSTRALIAN NATIONS CUP CHAMPIONSHIP (Round 3)

Race 2 (6 laps):                        Race 3 (8 laps):                MEGUIAR'S DRIVERS C'SHIP
1.  J. Richards (Porsche GT3)           1.  J. Richards                 380  J. Richards
2.  C. Baird (Ferrari 360 Challenge)    2.  C. Baird                    290  P. Fitzgerald
3.  T. Quinn (Porsche GT3)              3.  D. Russell                  261  T. Quinn
4.  D. Beninca (Porsche GT3)            4.  G. Morgan                   218  P. Stokell
5.  D. Russell (Chrysler Viper ACR)     5.  P. Fitzgerald (Porsche)     166  M. Noske
6.  G. Morgan (Chrysler Viper ACR)      6.  D. Beninca

Fastest lap: Stokell 1:50.33 (record) kkk

-Chris Nixon

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Craig Baird , Mark Noske , Peter Fitzgerald , Paul Stokell