A perfect weekend has propelled Matt Campbell to an extended lead in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship following two races at Sydney Motorsport Park, while Stephen Grove snared the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge class round victory.
Campbell’s perfect weekend – he scored pole and two comfortable victories in his McElrea Racing Porsche – has returned him to clear leadership at the top of the championship table with three rounds remaining.
The young Queenslander now leads Alex Davison and Nick McBride, who are tied on points in second place, by 73.5 points heading into the next round at Sandown. He led the series by 4.5 points prior to the pair of races in Sydney.
Campbell’s perfect Sydney Sunday started with a lights-to-flag victory in the second championship race of the round, before he defeated the best of the professional drivers from Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship in the joint Asia/Australia race later in the day.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend. We were quick in practice, got pole and had two race wins so we couldn’t ask for anything more,” said Campbell.
“In the races it was all about the first few laps and being able to build a lead before containing it to the finish. The pressure was still there, for sure, but thankfully we got there at the end.”
David Wall scored his second consecutive round podium, while Nick McBride finished third overall thanks to a pair of thirds this weekend.
Wall now has four seconds and a win from the last five championship races, while McBride’s solid weekend saw him draw level with Alex Davison in the battle for second in the championship.
Davison finished fourth in race two on Sunday afternoon, with Dean Fiore completing a competitive weekend in fifth place – having grabbed fourth in race one on Saturday.
Ash Walsh finished sixth, having stormed through the field from 11th following his off-track excursion yesterday, while Steven Richards, Michael Almond, Dylan O’Keeffe and James Abela completed the top-10.
Sydneysider Shane Smollen won the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge battle today, while Stephen Grove executed a strong last-lap pass on Adrian Mastronardo to elevate himself to second on the final lap – enough to ensure he won the round.
Grove becomes the first repeat winner in the Carrera Cup ‘race within a race’ this year and now trails class leader Tony Bates and Shane Smollen in the standings.
Grove also won the first of two races that pitted the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Australia competitors head to head. The Victorian narrowly edged out Yuan Bo in the race for Carrera Challenge/Class B runners, Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak finishing third.
In the later race for Professional drivers from both series, Campbell led from lights to flag but faced serious pressure from Nick McBride for much of the race.
McBride had started from the third row however rocketed his way to the front of the field and pressured Campbell, though he was unable to work his way past and ultimately settled for second.
Alex Davison raced his way to third and Ash Walsh to fourth from even further down the grid.
Frenchman Maxime Jousse, the current Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship leader, battled Campbell early before dropping to fifth place.
Dean Fiore, Carrera Cup Asia round winner Mitchell Gilbert, Martin Ragginger, David Wall and Dylan O’Keeffe completed the top-10.
The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship will see the series return south of the border to Sandown Raceway in Melbourne, the start of a frantic end to the championship that will see the final two rounds contested in October at Bathurst and the Gold Coast, respectively.