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Baird wins, Luff and Gowans take maiden round victory at Mount PanoramaPorsche Carrera Cup Australia: Round 6, Race 3, Sunday


After a season of front-running form, Porsche Carrera Cup Australia racer Warren Luff has finally secured his first round win of the 2013 season at Bathurst, while Adam Gowans secured an Elite Class clean sweep.

Craig Baird stole the show on Sunday morning, however, when the New Zealander took the lead of the final race from the start.

Baird held his position at the front and maintained a gap to Luff throughout the race to take Race 3 victory, finishing ahead of Race 2 victor Luff.

For Luff, second place was enough to secure the Professional Class round victory – his first round win of his Carrera Cup career.

“It’s been a fantastic weekend. It would have been nice to tick off some of these boxes earlier in the season but to do it at Bathurst is obviously very special for me and the team. Hopefully we can carry this momentum into the Gold Coast in two weeks,” said Luff, who now sits 16 points ahead of Nick Percat in the standings in second place.

“It’s great to get a good haul of points on Nick in that last race, but there’s still a lot of racing to be done at the Gold Coast. I knew that we were going to be competitive and have a great car this weekend. The team has done a fantastic job in preparing the car all year and we’ve been very unlucky on several occasions. To be able to get our maiden round win for the season is very special for me and the team.”

Steven Richards finished a weekend-high result of third from Michael Patrizi and Elite Class race winner Gowans, who finished an impressive fifth in Race 3.

The Elite Class race win was Gowans’ third for the weekend from three races, claiming a clean sweep of race wins at the Mount Panorama circuit.

“It’s an amazing feeling to take my first Elite Class round win, especially on such an amazing circuit. What an event, what a track, what a championship,” said Gowans.

“I had a really tight tussle with Max Twigg in the first couple of races. It was pretty tight between us in the first couple of corners of the final race, though Max was having a battle with Shane Smollen and I was dragged along by the Professional Class drivers and was able to open up a bit of a gap, which was enough to secure the class race win.

“I was fortunate to get into the top five in the final race too, which I’m extremely happy about.”

Max Twigg finished sixth for the race and second in the Elite Class for the round, extending his Elite Class title lead to 39 points over Damien Flack ahead of the season finale.

Team-mates Duvashen Padayachee and Nick Percat finished seventh and eighth, respectively, with the latter and Patrizi making contact at the opening corner, resulting in Percat’s drop down the order.

Ninth place for Smollen secured him third for the round in the Elite Class, finishing ahead of Flack, Paul Kelly, Marc Cini and Gavin Bullas. Stephen Grove placed 14th from Tony Walls, Michael Loccisano and Renee Gracie.

Shae Davies was set for a top-five result, however a deflated tyre caused the Queenslander to exit the track at The Chase at high speed, eventually coming to rest in the gravel trap with a relatively unscathed Porsche.

Baird is now a firm favourite to take the 2013 Carrera Cup Australia title with a 104-point lead over Luff with one round remaining and 180 points on offer.

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will now visit the streets of Surfers Paradise for the final round of the 2013 championship, to be held at the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

13/10/2013