Daniel Gaunt has continued his run of race wins in Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia with victory in the opening race at Phillip Island, while Max Twigg has taken the Elite Class honours.
After taking three race wins at the last round at the Sucrogen Townsville 400, Gaunt started today’s Race 1 by passing pole-sitter Jonny Reid for the lead in the opening laps before pulling away from his fellow New Zealander.
While Reid was left to battle for second with Craig Baird, Gaunt went on to take victory in the 12 lap race and will now start Sunday's Race 2 from pole position.
Baird and Reid endured an exciting battle for second, which resulted in Baird eventually finishing runner-up to Gaunt at the finish, with Reid in third.
Ben Barker and Michael Patrizi were battling for fourth when Patrizi’s Porsche suffered a broken drive belt, forcing the West Australian to retire from the race.
Barker therefore claimed fourth, with Steven Richards in fifth.
This weekend, Gaunt will also race alongside Tim Slade in the Lucky 7 Racing V8 Supercar in Sunday's 500 km endurance race in addition to his Carrera Cup duties; something which he suggests has been difficult this weekend.
“Double duty has been pretty tough so far and I’m just glad we can start off here where we finished off in Townsville. The V8 Supercar has been going okay, and it’s great that the Porsche is continuing like it did in Townsville,” said Gaunt, who finished 21st in today’s V8 Supercars Qualifying Race 2.
“It does give me confidence going into tomorrow. We’ve got car pace, we’ve just got to make sure we still have enough pace into Race 3 for tomorrow with good tyres.
“Double duty is definitely tough and today is one of the hardest days of my life, physically and mentally. I’m learning a lot and I hope we continue to have a good weekend.”
Max Twigg finished the 12 lap race in sixth position and was the first Elite Class driver to the finish, ahead of Matt Coleman, Damien Flack, James Koundouris, Paul Kelly, Shane Smollen and Jemery Gray, who finished 12th on debut in the championship.
Twigg was pleased with his performance and his ability to lap at a similar pace as the Professional Class drivers.
“I had a nice start and kept with the front guys for as long as I could,” said Twigg.
“It’s a shame I made a mistake going into Siberia on the opening lap, but I held the gap to the Professionals for most of the race. It gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow.
“From what I learnt out of today’s race, I think we can stay at the back of the Professional drivers for a while.”