South Australians Michael Almond and Sam Shahin have taken home victories in Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia’s first ever race at The Bend Motorsport Park in a thrilling – and eventful – opening battle at the new Tailem Bend circuit.
David Wall was the first to cross the chequered flag after an impressive finish to the race, however the reigning series champion received a five-second post-race penalty for failing to leave racing room for Jaxon Evans during a mid-race pass.
The penalty handed Almond his second Carrera Cup race victory; ironically, the Adelaide based driver’s maiden win also came courtesy of a post-race penalty at the 2016 Adelaide 500 event. The win also marked the seventh different race winner from the championship’s past seven races.
“We managed to piece a lap together in qualifying and then had a great start to race one. It’s not the way you want to win but I’m happy for the team to get another win on the board,” said Almond.
“It’s great to win at your home event; my first victory came at the Adelaide 500 and now my second came at The Bend. There’s something about racing in front of your friends and family that pushes you along. I feel for David for the penalty, but I’m stoked with the win and I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow.”
Wall led from the start until the Safety Car was called to the circuit on the opening lap after Adrian Flack speared off the circuit and made heavy impact with Nick McBride at the following corner. Both drivers were uninjured by the impact, however both will be unlikely starters for Sunday’s two races.
On the restart, Wall was passed by local Michael Almond, Dale Wood and Jaxon Evans. Wall then started his charge back through the field, moving past Evans and Wood late in the race before moving by Almond with two laps remaining. The move on Evans, however, would ultimately lead to Wall’s post-race penalty.
Wall was therefore relegated to second place from Wood, Evans, Dylan O’Keeffe and Cameron Hill in sixth.
One of the highlights from the opening race was Shahin’s charge through the TAG Heuer Pro-Am field to claim the class victory in the championship’s first ever race at the venue he founded.
After tireless work behind the scenes creating the venue, Shahin was thrilled to claim success on track in Carrera Cup’s first ever race at The Bend.
“This is surreal. I’m just ecstatic. I’ve been out of the car for a while and completely messed up the start and didn’t have the balls to carry the pace into turn one. It was like swarming bees into turn one; the boys all got in on the act,” said Shahin.
“Those who didn’t pass me into turn one passed me in turn three and by turn five there was no one left behind me. I had to do it the hard way and I’m absolutely thrilled. I really didn’t think I was good enough to do that.”
Shahin’s win came after passing Tim Miles on the final lap to take the class lead, with Miles ultimately placing second in class from Anthony Gilbertson, Stephen Grove, Roger Lago and Dean Cook.
After four races now complete in the six-race Endurance Cup, Dale Wood holds a 26-point lead from Dylan O’Keeffe, with Michael Almond in third. Meanwhile, Stephen Grove leads the TAG Heuer Pro-Am standings for the Endurance Cup by 54 points from Roger Lago and Anthony Gilbertson.
Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia will hold two eight-lap sprint races on Sunday to conclude round six of the championship. Both Sunday races can be viewed live on Fox Sports 506.
Race Schedule (local time)
Sunday 26 August
9:50am Race 2 (8 laps)
12:35pm Race 3 (8 laps)
Channel: Fox Sports 506
Race 2 – 9:50am, Sunday 26 August
Race 3 – 12:35pm, Sunday 26 August
Results: Race 1
1. #77 Michael Almond (Pro) 20 laps, 42:13.5277
2. #1 David Wall (Pro) 20 laps, 42:16.3363
3. #100 Dale Wood (Pro) 20 laps, 42:16.7082
4. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) 20 laps, 42:16.9036
5. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) 20 laps, 42:17.1500
6. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) 20 laps, 42:19.1029
7. #888 Glenn Wood (Pro) 20 laps, 42:26.1580
8. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) 20 laps, 42:26.4713
9. #18 James Moffat (Pro) 20 laps, 42:31.3831
10. #14 Peter Major (Pro) 20 laps, 42:35.6631
11. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) 20 laps, 42:42.1925
12. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:46.3385
13. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:47.3491
14. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:48.1541
15. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:51.5015
16. #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:53.8719
17. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:54.3843
18. #80 Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 42:54.8039
19. #15 Ben Stack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 43:02.6700
20. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 44:03.9701
21. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 20 laps, 44:08.9026
22. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 19 laps, 42:29.2080
DNF #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am)
DNF #8 Nick McBride (Pro)