Alex Davison has emerged from a race-long battle with Craig Baird with victory in the opening twilight race of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia championship at the Clipsal 500, with James Koundouris taking Elite Class honours.
Pole-sitter Baird, Davison and Steven Richards battled at the front of the field in the opening laps before Richards’ race ended with suspension issues.
Baird and Davison then pulled clear of the field and were involved in a race-long challenge for the lead, with Baird in front for the majority of the race.
Davison then passed Baird with two laps remaining and went on to take victory, while Baird sustained a puncture soon after and limped to the finish in seventh position.
Rookie Nick Foster finished the first race of the season in an impressive second position ahead of Daniel Gaunt, debutants Andre Heimgartner and Tom Tweedie and Elite Class star Koundouris in sixth.
The victory places Davison in the championship lead upon his impressive return to the Porsche championship.
“I’m really happy with that win and it was quite an interesting race. Craig pulled away a little bit and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do anything about it, but slowly I found a bit of time and reeled him back in and took the win,” said Davison.
“From here I need to improve the car a little bit in the areas where Craig was quicker, but obviously it’s a great way to start the year. It’s been a big effort to get to this race and I’m very appreciative of my sponsors who have supported me enough to get here.”
Koundouris was also happy with his performance in the Elite Class despite having difficulty with vision in the fading light conditions.
“I’m pretty happy with that result. It got dark very quickly out there and as soon as it got dark, it was pretty hard to see. When it was light I was running with the front-runners but when it got dark, that was the end of me; I couldn’t see much at all,” said Koundouris.
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia will hold its second race at the Clipsal 500 on Saturday March 03, with its final race of the weekend on Sunday March 04.
Saturday March 03
9:40am – 10:00am Race 2 (11 laps)
Sunday March 04
1:20pm – 1:40pm Race 3 (11 laps)
Broadcast schedule – Carrera Cup Race 3 (live)
Date: Sunday March 04
Time: 1:15pm (Adelaide), 1:45pm (Melbourne, Sydney), 12:45pm (Brisbane) and 10:45am (Perth)
Times subject to change – please check local guides.