Albert Park specialist Craig Baird has secured Race 2 victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship from the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix, while Max Twigg drove his ‘most enjoyable race’ en route to an Elite Class win.
Baird was promoted to second on the grid after Nick Percat was handed a penalty for his part in an altercation with Baird in Race 1, with one second added to the South Australian’s Race 1 race time and therefore demoting him to third.
Baird used his promotion to the front row of the Race 2 grid to his advantage, taking the lead from the start with Percat closely in tow.
The duo, while pulling away from their rivals, remained close for the eight-lap race until Baird pulled a gap in the closing laps to secure a five-second victory from Percat.
“As per usual the start was the most important part of the race. I got into the lead from the start after being placed second on the grid, which is positioned on the inside of the road; a big bonus for me,” said Baird.
“There were areas of the track that my car was better than Nick’s and there were areas where he was quicker than me so it was status quo for the whole race.”
Much like the leading duo, McElrea Racing teammates Michael Patrizi and Warren Luff battled for third position throughout the race. Luff moved into third on the second to last lap, claiming his first top-three race finish of the season from Patrizi in fourth.
The battlepack from fifth through to ninth provided race-long entertainment, a group of cars which included Steven Johnson, Shae Davies, Matt Kingsley, Max Twigg and Steven Richards, who ran off the circuit in the opening lap, dropping the Race 1 winner down the order.
Johnson was the winner of this battlepack, taking fifth position from Richards, Elite Class winner Twigg and Davies, while James Koundouris and Damien Flack rounded out the top-10, capitalising on steering damage and a deflating tyre on 11th placed Matt Kingsley’s car, sustained after an early altercation with a tyre bundle.
Twigg, who placed seventh outright, was pleased with his performance against his Professional Class rivals.
“That’s probably the most enjoyable drive I’ve ever had, bar none. I sat there and watched the Professional drivers battle in front of me, dust and the locked brakes everywhere, slowing each other down. But my pace was good and we won the Elite Class by a considerable margin,” said Twigg.
“I was thrilled to be there at the end; I don’t think I’ve ever stuck with the Professional guys for that long. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
Duvashen Padayachee scored his best result in the category so far, finishing in 12th position ahead of Paul Kelly, James Bergmuller, Shane Smollen, Michael Loccisano, Marc Cini, Stephen Grove, Renee Gracie, Tony Walls and Tony Bates, who sustained damage after contact with a tyre bundle.
Karl Reindler was the only driver who failed to finish the race; gearbox issues ending his Race 2 campaign.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its final race from the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix on Sunday at 2:10pm.