CALLUM HEDGE has extended his Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia title lead following an interrupted opening sprint race on the Streets of Surfers Paradise.
The young Kiwi started from pole and led the field into turn one before surviving two Safety Cars and ultimately claiming his fifth race win of the season in the Equity One Pro class.
In SP Tools Pro-Am, Liam Talbot jumped polesitter Adrian Flack at the start to claim his third successive race win in the race within a race.
Race one was punctuated by several Safety Cars as the busy Surfers streets were their usual brutal best.
Hedge made the best start from pole, however second-placed Luke Youlden was slower away, gobbled up by a fast-starting Dylan O’Keeffe who rocketed from fourth to second by the time the field slowed for turn one.
The first pause in racing came after Pro-Am runner Matt Belford spun and made light contact with the barriers at the exit of the Beach Chicane on the second lap of the race.
That followed an unfortunate incident at turn two that saw Harri Jones, Angelo Mouzouris and Thomas Maxwell three wide, the contact ultimately ending the race for all three.
Following the restart, Hedge led the field back to green with O’Keeffe and Wall following the Team Porsche NZ entry.
Fabian Coulthard and Dale Wood then made contact at turn four, the resulting contact dragging in an unfortunate Max Vidau’s TekworkX entry.
The South Aussie ace was tipped across the circuit and into the barriers, while Alex Davison also copped damage while taking evasive action.
That forced all three out of proceedings and deployed the Safety Car once again.
Ultimately the field finished under yellow, Hedge leading O’Keeffe and Wall to the line.
Provisionally, it builds his six-point series lead to 35 heading into tomorrow’s pair of races.
The result was also significant for Wall: the third-placed result the best finish for the former champion since Townsville earlier this year.
Youlden finished fourth with Bayley Hall fifth and Jackson Walls sixth.
The latter moved up one spot from his qualifying position following a full-send move at turn eleven on the opening lap, slicing down the inside of the left hander to gain the position prior to the Safety Car deployment.
Alex Davison limped his car home in seventh, ahead of Christian Pancione, Nick McBride and Courtney Prince.
The BWT / Porsche Centre Melbourne driver scored her first top-10 finish of the season in today’s race.
SP Tools Pro-Am saw Talbot win from Flack, with Shahin third – moving up one spot from his qualifying position.
As opposed to the outright fight, it further closed the margin in the Pro-Am title race heading into tomorrow’s two races.
Sunday will see a pair of races complete round 7 of the championship with the Enduro Cup race starting at 8:30am local time.
The final sprint will then commence at 12:55pm, with both races live on Fox Sports and Kayo, and the latter race also live on the Seven Network around Australia.