Craig Baird has secured his third Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title at the final 2011 round in Sydney.
Recognised by Porsche AG as the ‘world’s most successful Porsche Cup driver’, Baird has accrued 114 race victories in Porsche one-make series over his career, which is more Porsche Cup victories than any other driver worldwide.
The New Zealander has previously won six Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge New Zealand championships and now has added a third Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title to his career highlights, in addition to his 2006 and 2008 series wins.
Baird secured the 2011 crown after the second of three races at the final round in Sydney, with his season highlights including one round victory at Albert Park, seven race wins and 12 top three finishes.
Baird also raced at the Porsche Carrera World Cup at Nurburgring-Nordschleife, Germany, in June, 2011. Baird was invited by Porsche AG to race in the #200 Guest Porsche entry, placing 39th at the gruelling one hour event.
Baird took the 2011 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title ahead of fellow New Zealanders Jonny Reid and Daniel Gaunt.
How do you feel to have secured the title win?
Craig Baird: “I’m really relieved that this championship is over. I probably let the boys down a bit mid-season but it’s great to have recovered and take the series win. I had two shockers in Perth and Townsville which I don’t normally have, which meant I had to chase the leaders in the following rounds. I had a bit of bad luck at Phillip Island, which cost me 60 points. I just had to get my head right. We had a strong car but I had to get it all working again at the right part of the season. This is great for the team. Jet Travel Insurance is obviously a new sponsor to Carrera Cup so it’s nice to deliver them a championship in their first year.”
What was been special about this title win?
“Title number three is always nice. The series has been fantastic and I probably haven’t enjoyed my racing this much for a long time. As I’ve always said, Australian motorsport had a massive whole without Carrera Cup and, in fact, there was nowhere I could really go racing. Then Carrera Cup came back, and better than ever.”
Where to from now?
“Now, I’ve got no intentions of hanging up my helmet. I’ve got to say I was a little bit disappointed with my performance throughout the year. I got a bit lost mid-season, so I had to take some time out and go testing and get all our ducks in a row. We should have been more dominant. But we got it together again and happy with the win. So now, we’ll have to try to do it all again next year.”