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Baird and Twigg top Phillip Island practiceCraig Baird tops Friday’s practice with new lap record while Max Twigg sets the pace in the Elite Cl

Craig Baird has posted the quickest time and a new lap record in opening practice for Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia at Phillip Island, while Elite Class driver Max Twigg was among the outright pace-setters.

Baird eclipsed the current lap record by half a second at the Victorian circuit, improving the previous Carrera Cup lap record the New Zealander set in 2008.

Along with his Carrera Cup duties, Baird will also race in V8 Supercars’ L&H 500 endurance race with Fabian Coulthard in the #61 Bundaberg Racing Commodore, and suggests his busy schedule won’t hampered his driving performance.

“It’s a good way to start the weekend,” said Baird.

“I’ve raced in multiple categories at these events for 10 years. The closer they make the sessions between Carrera Cup and V8 Supercars the better it is for me because a few of the younger blokes might struggle a bit. I know I used to struggle a little bit and I think it’s been reflective from their pace in the second session where we had to jump out of the V8 Supercar and straight into the Porsche.”

Baird finished at the top of the opening practice session ahead of Daniel Gaunt, Jonny Reid, Twigg, Ben Barker, Matt Coleman, Michael Patrizi, Steven Richards, James Koundouris and Damien Flack in 10th.

Baird again topped the times in Practice 2 ahead of Reid, Richards, Patrizi, Barker, Gaunt, Coleman, Twigg, Flack and Koundouris in 10th.

Twigg currently leads the Elite Class standings and is looking forward to the challenge of racing against his Professional Class rivals after posting the quickest Elite Class time in both sessions, including the fourth best outright time in
Practice 1.

“We were actually surprised where I finished in the first practice session,” said Twigg.

“I’ve been looking forward to this race meeting for so long. I’ve been thinking about it and it’s where I want to do my very best.

“My goal this weekend is to tag onto the Professional drivers for as long as I can. That’s been my goal since the start of the season, so I’ll try to remain close to them for as long as I can.”