Adelaide hosted a faultless weekend for Porsche Carrera Cup Australia racers Warren Luff and Tony Bates, taking three wins from three races in the Professional Class and Elite Class, respectively, at the Clipsal 500.
Luff continued his impressive pace on the city-side circuit in Sunday’s final race, winning Race 3 by two seconds from Steven Richards and Nick Foster – the same order the trio finished in the round standings.
Rookie Nick McBride continued to impress in his Carrera Cup debut, finishing fourth for the race and the round, crossing the finish line ahead of Michael Patrizi, Sam Power, Duvashen Padayachee, Craig Baird, Shae Davies and Michael Almond in 10th.
Luff hoped to secure the championship lead at the Adelaide event and was pleased with his initial pace in the transition into the new 911 GT3 Cup car.
“It’s certainly good to start the 2014 season on a level playing field. I felt much more at home in the 2014 GT3 Cup car than I ever did in last year’s car. This was a great way to start the championship but obviously there’s still a huge amount of racing to go. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year and hopefully we can keep it going for the Grand Prix,” said Luff.
Richards was also happy with his results in Adelaide, suggesting consistency will be key to a successful 2014 season.
“It’s been a good weekend for us. Luff drove the perfect weekend with no mistakes. Maybe things could have been a little bit different had I not spun on Friday. That’s how you put a championship together, you’ve got to be mistake-free and consistent and get through these weekends without coming into misfortune,” said Richards.
After competing in the 2012 Carrera Cup season, Nick Foster aims to draw on his experience and bring a mature approach to contest for the title after a positive Adelaide weekend.
“We’ve kicked the championship off right with this weekend’s results. The plan is to be a championship competitor right through to the end so hopefully we can build on this from the Grand Prix onwards,” said Foster.
Tony Bates continued his strong form in the Elite Class, taking the race win from James Bergmuller, Shane Smollen, Stephen Grove, Tony Walls and Marc Cini in 16th position.
The impressive result placed Bates on top of the Elite Class round podium from Shane Smollen and James Bergmuller.
“We came to Adelaide with a structured plan not to complicate things this year and keep it basic. I drove at around eight-and-a-half tenths all weekend and preserved the tyres; I had a really good set of tyres by Race 3. I’ve been in a really good head space and had a plan for every session and we executed it well,” said Bates.
Brenton Ramsay placed 17th for the race from Renee Gracie, Roger Lago – who recovered to finish 19th after being forced to start from pit lane – Ash Samadi, Adrian Mastronardo, Maurie Pickering and Dean Koutsoumidis in 23rd.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will return to the track in two weeks for Round 2 of the championship at the Formula 1® Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.