Ben Barker has taken his maiden Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia victory in the opening race in Sydney, with Elite Class driver Max Twigg showing another strong performance.
British driver Barker, who now lives in Sydney’s seaside suburb of Manly, secured pole position early in the day, but trailed series leader Craig Baird after the start of the opening 12-lap race.
The safety car was soon called to recover the stranded car of Steven Richards, who suffered clutch issues at the start. After the restart Barker regained the lead and pulled away from Baird to eventually claim his first race win of the season.
Baird secured second place and firmed his position at the top of the outright standings with two races remaining for the season, while his nearest challengers for the title, Jonny Reid and Daniel Gaunt, placed third and fourth, respectively.
“I’ve been waiting the whole season for this win and I’m stoked to get it in the last round, and at my new home circuit,” said Barker.
“Getting a race win was definitely one of the goals for the year, but we were realistic as there are a lot of experienced Porsche drivers and this is only my first year in a tin-top car.
“I’m now confident going into tomorrow. The car was great and I’m in the right head space, so we’ll see what we can do.”
Michael Patrizi finished the race in fifth, while Carrera Cup newcomer Nick Foster scored an impressive sixth place on debut.
“I managed to move up a few places from the start to eventually finish sixth. I’m very happy with that result and hopefully we can hang on the guys at the front a little bit more tomorrow,” said Foster.
Twigg finished the race in seventh ahead of Elite Class rivals Paul Kelly, James Koundouris, Theo Koundouris and Marc Cini in what was a very entertaining battle, and suggested his season is finishing on a ‘good note’.
“We were baulked at the start after Steven Richards had an issue and that lost us a couple of places to Paul Kelly and Nick Foster, and by then the main group had got away from us. I thoroughly enjoy the race, and racing with Nick Foster was good; he’s taken to the car exceptionally well,” said Twigg.
“We’ve got the Elite Class win tied up now and our race pace was good so we’re finishing on a good note.”