Reigning Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia champion Craig Baird has one hand firmly on the 2012 title after a flawless Saturday performance in the Gold Coast.
After qualifying on pole position on Friday, Baird pulled away from the field in Saturday’s opening race to gain a lengthy lead in the opening laps.
Baird’s nearest points rival, Alex Davison, had an impressive start also and was in pursuit of Baird however contact with Steven Richards in the opening lap broke a shock absorber in his Porsche, forcing him out of the race.
Nick Foster soon made his way into second however he too fell victim late in the race; slight contact with a concrete barrier causing race-ending damage.
Jonny Reid took advantage, claiming second at the finish and inched closer to second-placed Davison in the championship points.
Richards finished third from Daniel Gaunt, Andre Heimgartner, Carrera Cup debutant Shae Davies, Elite Class race winner Shane Smollen, Max Twigg, Marc Cini and Paul Kelly in 10th.
Baird’s success continued in Race 2, taking his 10th win of the season and fifth race victory in a row from Reid, Richards, Gaunt, Heimgartner, Davison, Davies, Elite Class race winner Twigg, James Koundouris and Tony Bates in 10th, who failed to finish the opening race after colliding with the concrete barrier.
Baird’s two race victories hands the three-time Carrera Cup Australia champion a 202-point lead in the standings from Davison with only 180 points on offer after tomorrow’s Race 3 from the penultimate round of the season.
Meanwhile, Davison is now only 19 points ahead of a hard charging Jonny Reid, who missed the opening round of the championship.
“Jonny wants to win and move ahead of Alex in the championship, so I knew he would be pushing pretty hard in the final race,” said Baird.
“My guys have done a really good job of the car and I’ve got my head in the right place too. This time last year we got on a roll and started winning races and we’ve done the same again at an important time this season too.
“I’m 202 points ahead and there’s only 180 points available in Sydney; I just want to race myself, not make any mistakes, finish and, if I can wrap it up with a round to go, I’ll be doing kart wheels.”
Twigg was pleased with his race results, winning the Elite Class in Race 2 and placing second to Smollen in the opening race. Unfortunately, Smollen’s weekend ended during the second race after his engine dropped a valve.
“It’s great to have another race win, however it’s a shame what happened to Shane,” said Twigg.
“It was enjoyable chasing the quick guys though and picking up quite a few things from them. We’ve got new tyres for tomorrow so I think we’ll put on a good show in the morning.”