Steven Richards has ended Warren Luff’s winning streak in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia by taking Race 1 victory at Albert Park as James Bergmuller claimed his first Elite Class race win.
Luff was victorious in all three races at the season opening Clipsal 500 and claimed pole position for the opening race at the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix.
Richards gained the lead from the start and, after a close tussle early in the race, pulled away to be out of reach of the series leader by the chequered flag, winning by 1.6 second lead from Luff and Nick Foster close behind in third.
“I had a good race with Luff for a few laps towards the start. I’m happy with the win and it’s great to get our first win of the season,” said Richards.
“Luff obviously had a great weekend at the Clipsal 500 so at some point we needed to be crawling some points back. It’s crucial we do it as soon as possible as he is no doubt going to be pretty consistent over the year.”
Shae Davies and Michael Patrizi had a race-long battle and finished in fourth and fifth from Craig Baird, Nick McBride, Michael Almond and Sam Power in ninth.
Smollen was the first Elite Class driver to finish, placed 10th, however a post-race five-second penalty for a jump start dropped him behind Bergmuller in the race results, with Smollen dropping to 11th from Tony Bates, Roger Lago, Stephen Grove and Renee Gracie in 15th.
Bergmuller was happy to get his maiden Elite Class race win and feels it is a step in the right direction for this season.
“I’m absolutely rapt with that result. It was totally unexpected,” said Bergmuller.
“At the beginning of the year I was aiming for a top five result in the Elite Class. After my Clipsal 500 podium I reassessed and now we’re looking toward greater goals and potentially even the championship. So far it’s looking alright.”
Duvashen Padayachee finished 16th after a spin at the start from Marc Cini, Ash Samadi, Brenton Ramsay, Adrian Masrondardo and Dean Koutsoumidis in 21st.
Two drivers failed to finish: Maurie Pickering incurred damage after contact with Ramsay and Tony Walls made contact with a concrete barrier late in the race.