Porsche Carrera Cup Australia front-runner Craig Baird has ended his winning streak of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia round at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, taking second place behind Rennsport co-driver Earl Bamber.
Having won at the event the past two seasons, Baird was beaten to the chequered flag by his countryman, Bamber.
Bamber, 23, claimed pole position from Baird before claiming victory in the dramatic single race on the Marina Bay street circuit.
As the lights went out for the start of the showcase race, the 25-strong field hurtled off the grid with Bamber getting away well pursued by Baird. Behind the pair, Alexandre Imperatori and Martin Ragginger were battling for position, going two abreast into the chicane with the pair making contact and Ragginger moving up to third in the running order.
At the start of the second lap, Bamber led Baird by just under a second, when Alif Hamdan hit the barriers bringing out the Safety Car.
A long clean-up meant only a further two lap dash to the chequered flag. At the restart, Bamber again got away well from Baird, but Imperatori was immediately looking to find a way past Tung. The Chinese driver slid wide, hitting the barrier and spinning into Imperatori. Tung retired, while Imperatori kept going keeping an eagle eye on the gauges. Just a lap from the finish line though, he retired, pulling over after a water pressure warning.
“It’s an incredible feeling, especially for the team,” said Bamber, who teamed with Stephen Grove at the Porsche Rennsport Australia event, where the duo scored an Elite Class podium finish.
“It’s our first time in Singapore and the team provided me with a fantastic car. We had a good tussle at the start and then a great fight before the long Safety Car period. I knew the restart would be important and I managed to jump him and maintain the gap. It’s more than what we expected this weekend. It’s been great to race against Craig, he’s a fantastic competitor and we had a really good battle out there.”
After winning the Singapore round in both 2011 and 2012, Baird was full of praise for Bamber’s performance.
“We didn’t get the best start. Earl is a deserving winner, he had good speed,” said Baird.
“We broke away a bit but then the Safety Car bunched everyone up. I think it would have been difficult to get by Earl. I always enjoy coming back here, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is so professional.”
Baird’s next appearance will be at the penultimate round of Porsche Carrera Cup Australia at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, on October 11-13, 2013.