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Richards wins, Baird and Twigg take Adelaide crownPorsche Carrera Cup Australia: Round 1, Sunday, Race 3

Steven Richards has taken his first race win of the 2013 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season in Race 3 in Adelaide, as Craig Baird and Max Twigg claimed the round victory in the South Australian event.

Following victory in the first two races, Baird was deemed to have jumped the start in the Sunday race, an act that receives a penalty of five seconds being added to the driver’s race time.

Baird was ultimately the first car to cross the finish line, however Richards, who was closely in tow, inherited the race win from Nick Percat and Baird, who won the round and now leads the Porsche championship.

“It’s a funny way to get a race win. Once I heard that Baird was given a penalty, I just managed the gap to Nick and tried to be fast in the right places so Nick couldn’t have a crack at passing me,” said Richards.

“It was a great weekend. We’ve come a long way from this time last year. I’ve got a good handle on the car now, so I’m sure we should go to every round and be somewhere near the front, where we need to be.”

Richards added that being consistently at the front this year is the only way he can break Baird’s run of three-straight Carrera Cup Australia titles.

“We’ve come away only a few points behind Baird. But now we need to really try to beat him. The only way we are really going to win this championship is if we keep finishing in front of him.”

Michael Patrizi recovered from his poor start to the weekend, where a qualifying accident forced him to start the opening race from the rear of the field. The West Australian finished Race 3 in fourth ahead of Matt Kingsley, Karl Reindler, Shae Davies, Warren Luff and Steven Johnson in ninth.

The race in the Elite Class was won by Max Twigg, who finished in 10th from James Koundouris, Marc Cini, Damien Flack, Shane Smollen in 14th.

Twigg’s class race win placed him at the top of the Elite Class points at the end of the event, with Koundouris and Smollen placing second and third in the Elite Class round results, respectively.

“That was a good result and a solid drive from me,“ said Twigg, who had previously struggled to beat class rival Koundouris on the Adelaide layout.

“I’ve never beaten James here. In fact, I’ve been thrashed by James here. For me it’s a good step forward. Using data this weekend got me going back to the basics and allowed me to become more consistent in the third race where I’ve suffered before.”

The win has given Twigg confidence ahead of Round 2 at Albert Park – a circuit where at last year’s round the reigning Elite Class champion was competing among the more experienced Professional Class drivers.

“A win in the first round gives me confidence, and confidence is everything in motorsport. The Albert Park track is my sort of circuit. It has long flat changes of direction and low kerbs; it’s built for a sports car. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Stephen Grove finished the race in 15th from Michael Loccisano, Tony Walls, James Bergmuller and Renee Gracie in 19th, while Duvashen Padayachee failed to finish.

Elite Class contender Tony Bates was unable to start the race due to damage to his Porsche caused by an incident in Race 2.