Warren Luff has broken through for a nail-biting maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race win at Bathurst on Saturday, while Nick Percat set record-breaking pace and Adam Gowans claimed Elite Class triumph.
Percat started the day in fine form, breaking the qualifying lap record by 1.2 seconds to claim the TAG Heuer Pole Position Award.
The young South Australian then went onto claim the opening race victory, taking an early lead over Warren Luff before racing to a dominant victory in the 10-lap race.
Luff placed second for the opening race from Craig Baird, Steven Richards, Michael Patrizi and Shae Davies in sixth place. Adam Gowans was the best of the Elite Class racers to finish in seventh from Max Twigg, Duvashen Padayachee, Shane Smollen, Damien Flack, Paul Kelly, Stephen Grove and newcomer Gavin Bullas in 14th.
Marc Cini placed 15th ahead of teammate Michael Loccisano, Renee Gracie, Tony Walls and Rusty French.
The race was delayed when a safety car period was called when James Bergmuller hit the wall across the top of the circuit, ending has Bathurst campaign. Tony Bates also hit the wall across the top of the course, putting an early end to his weekend.
Percat then started Race 2 on pole position, however Luff managed to gain the lead at the opening corner. From there Luff pulled away from Percat, who was later passed by Baird after running wide at the exit of The Chase.
Luff then looked set for an easy victory until the exit of Skyline on the final lap. Luff ran wide, however he kept the car off the wall and held on to the front position, now with Baird close behind.
Luff was able to hold on to the lead by the chequered flag, taking the first victory of his Carrera Cup career from Baird and Percat in third.
“It’s great to get the monkey off our back,” said Luff.
“There’s been so many times this year where we’ve had good speed and haven’t convert it to a consistent race pace, so it’s been fantastic to do that today.
“I got incredibly lucky on the last lap; I was enjoying the race while I had a decent lead and was watching Percat and Baird scrapping with each other, but I threw that away on the last lap. I had to work for it on the last third of the lap, but it was ultimately a great result for the team.”
Michael Patrizi placed fourth from Steven Richards and Shae Davies; the trio involved in an exciting race-long battle for fourth place.
Following Gowans’ Elite Class win in Race 1, the Tasmanian repeated the feat in Race 2, however he suggests tomorrow’s class battle to become more challenging.
“You can’t ask for much better than two Elite Class race wins,” said Gowans.
“Tomorrow’s aim is now to stay at the front of the Elite Class, though we’ve used all our tyres now and Max Twigg has two new tyres for tomorrow; so he has a slight tyre advantage.”
Twigg placed eighth in Race 2 from Padayachee, Kelly, Flack, Smollen, Bullas, Cini and Grove in 15th. Walls placed 16th in Race 2 from Gracie, Loccisano and French.