Alex Davison continues his run as the most successful Porsche Carrera Cup Australia racer at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway with victory in Saturday’s eventful opening race, while Tony Bates took the provisional TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge win from Shane Smollen and James Bergmuller.
Matt Campbell and Steven Richards traded the race lead in the opening laps before Davison joined the battle and soon trailed pole-sitter Campbell for the lead. When Campbell lost control on turn five coolant, Davison capitalised and cruised to a seemingly easy race win, beating David Wall to the chequered flag by 3.5 seconds, with Campbell in third a further 0.2secs behind in third.
The race win was Davison’s fourth for the season and his fifth at the Hidden Valley circuit.
“I’m very happy, especially after crashing the car in qualifying, but we really snuck through in the race. I got a good start, Ash [Walsh] ran off the circuit at turn five on the opening lap and, as Matt and Steve were squabbling, I was able to get by Steve and, Matt having a spin, allowed me to take the lead. From then on I maintained the gap pretty comfortably,” said Davison.
“It was a great way to bounce back from a difficult qualifying session and, it goes without saying, we want to keep it up tomorrow.”
Equally impressive as Davison’s form at the front was the pace of series rookie Dylan O’Keeffe who, in just his fourth round in the category, placed fourth in the race from Richards, teammates Nick McBride and Walsh, Dean Fiore, Fraser Ross and James Abela in 10th.
The outright battle was action packed, though it was not to be outdone by the scrap for positions in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge.
Bergmuller looked set for the class win after a strong performance throughout the 18 lap race, though Bates was in a position to challenge for the class win in the final stages. Then, as the pair entered the final corner, they made contact, resulting in Bergmuller dropping down the order and Bates taking the provisional class win; with a post-race investigation continuing.
Smollen finished second in class from Marc Cini, Bergmuller, Adrian Mastronardo and Scott Taylor in sixth.
Duvashen Padayachee was the final placed driver, forced to pit after sustaining damage in a crash after the opening corner, which also ended the race of Stephen Grove.
Michael Almond and Garth Walden both failed to finish after separate incidents at turn five, the former’s race ending from contact with Fiore while in fourth.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its second and third races for the weekend on Sunday, both to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 5.
Race 2 – Sunday June 19, 12:25pm, Fox Sports 5
Race 3 – Sunday June 19, 4:30pm, Fox Sports 5
Sunday June 19, 2016
12:25pm-12:50pm Race 2 (18 laps)
4:30pm-4:55pm Race 3 (18 laps)
Race 1 Results
1. #25 Alex Davison (Outright) Wilson Parking, 18 laps – 20:50.1619s
2. #38 David Wall (Outright) Wilson Security, 18 laps – 20:53.7036s
3. #7 Matt Campbell (Outright) Nuveau Constructions/Phase 8, 18 laps – 20:53.9449s
4. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) Allstar Equipment/Dexion Supply Centre, 18 laps – 20:56.3993s
5. #12 Steven Richards (Outright) Laser Plumbing and Electrical, 18 laps – 20:57.0977s
6. #77 Nick McBride (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts, 18 laps – 20:58.1945s
7. #777 Ash Walsh (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend, 18 laps – 20:58.5596s
8. #8 Dean Fiore (Outright) Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne, 18 laps – 20:59.6353s
9. #360 Fraser Ross (Outright) Preston Hire, 18 laps – 21:04.0093s
10. #54 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop, 18 laps – 21:15.7273s
11. #24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Moveitnet/A.F.S, 18 laps – 21:20.8170s
12. #56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents, 18 laps – 21:21.4918s
13. #13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) pricepressure.com.au, 18 laps – 21:28.5744s
14. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc, 18 laps – 21:44.3997s
15. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Veritas Property Group, 18 laps – 21:54.5204s
16. #222 Scott Taylor (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Scott Taylor Motorsport, 18 laps – 21:55.0180s
17. #45 Duvashen Padayachee (Outright) Darrell Lea STIX, 17 laps – 21:32.3334s
DNF #21 Garth Walden (Outright) CIP/GWR, 6 laps – 7:11.2299s
DNF #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Stone’s Original, 5 laps – 5:56.3900s
DNF #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire