Craig Baird has secured his first round win of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia season at Albert Park this weekend, as has Elite Class racer Max Twigg; with their round success moving the duo into the lead of their respective class championships.
Baird started today’s Race 3 from pole position after taking victory in the opening two Porsche races earlier in the weekend.
The New Zealander today finished his weekend in style with yet another race win, leading from the start through to the chequered flag, only challenged for the race lead by rival and countryman Jonny Reid after an early safety car period.
Baird held the front position to the finish ahead of Reid and Alex Davison, and in doing so, took the lead of the championship over Davison.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better round. In the last race, the safety car got me a little out of rhythm and I made a little bit of a mistake on the restart and I paid the price into turn one, but got away with it,” said Baird.
“That puts me back into the championship lead, so I’m happy coming off a round in Adelaide where we had a puncture that took a few points away from us at the beginning of the season. As they say, everyone has a bad round.
“We won the final race in Adelaide, and winning your first race of the season is always the hardest. Now we’ve won four in a row, so we’re going in the right direction.”
In second position for the round was Jonny Reid, who stood in for Nathan Tinkler in a one-off appearance. Reid secured the TAG Heuer Pole Position early in the weekend followed by three second place finishes, a feat he was pleased with having missed the opening round at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
“Craig was in a league of his own this weekend. When I look back, I think three second places and second overall for the round is great. I’d love to be back for some more Carrera Cup races this season but at the moment I’m taking it race by race and see what opportunities come along,” said Reid.
Steven Richards moved up to fourth in the final race, finishing ahead of young guns James Davison, fastest lap recipient Andre Heimgartner and Nick Foster, who won the Mobil 1 Hard Charger Award for the round.
Guest driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen concluded his weekend with an eighth placing after scoring two fourth place finishes in the opening two races, finishing ahead of seasoned Elite Class drivers Twigg and James Koundouris in ninth and 10th, respectively.
With three Elite Class race wins, Twigg moved into the Elite Class points lead, suggesting the Albert Park round was one of the best of his motor racing career.
“It’s probably the best weekend I’ve ever had. I couldn’t be any happier, I’ve been running with the guys I’ve wanted to run with and that’s been my goal for the last couple of years. I’m where I want to be right now, I’m very happy,” said Twigg.
Koundouris finished the round second in the Elite Class with Peter Hill in third after finishing 13th in the final race.