CALLUM HEDGE has stolen the victory from Dylan O’Keeffe in the final corner of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia enduro cup race at Sandown Raceway.
Starting third, Hedge played for time in the 28-lap race before picking off Bayley Hall for second within the final 10 laps.
He then set about early leader Dylan O’Keeffe, who had controlled the pace from the outset and had established a handy lead before Hedge moved himself into second position.
Hedge flew in the final laps, cutting O’Keeffe’s 1.9 second lead to nothing by the time the pair started the final lap.
The Race 1 winner defended into the Turn 9 passing opportunity, but had to watch as the Team Porsche New Zealand driver sliced up the inside into the final corner in a last-ditch effort to grab the win.
He crossed the line just 0.1 seconds in front of O’Keeffe to spectacularly win – making amends for his race one start-line penalty that dropped him from first to third in the final standings of the Sandown opener.
The win – coupled with a non-finish from Jackson Walls – also provisionally sealed a ticket to Europe as Carrera Cup Australia’s representative in the Porsche shootout.
O’Keeffe finished second and leads the round points heading to Sunday’s race three decider, while Bayley Hall finished on the podium for the second time today.
The battle for the minors was just as intense for the leading fight with Dale Wood edging out David Russell for fourth – solidifying third place in the championship in the process.
Fabian Coulthard was sixth, while Max Vidau charged 10 spots from his starting position to finish seventh following his race one non-finish.
Simon Fallon – missing a front splitter – Angelou Mouzouris and Thomas Maxwell completed the top-10.
Jackson Walls’ Michelin junior hopes ended when he and David Wall made contact at Turn nine on the opening lap.
Walls’ was penalised for the contact, however never made it back to pit lane as radiator damage forced him to shut his car off on the back straight, ultimately classified a non finisher. Wall made it back to the pits however was unable to resume.
The fight for SP Tools Pro-Am honours was just as tough as Adrian Flack was another to complete a Saturday comeback to claim the win.
He stormed from the back of the grid to win the race over Dean Cook, who lead a good chunk of today’s race before Flack slipped past.
The Pro-Am fight evolved into essentially a four-car fight by race’s end with Sam Shahin and Liam Talbot all in the mix in a competitive battle.
Shahin leads the Pro-Am battle by a single point heading into tomorrow’s decider, with Cook and Talbot in close company.
O’Keeffe leads Hedge and Hall in the Equity One Pro round standings prior to tomorrow’s race, while Callum Hedge has extended his lead in the championship to more than 100 points going into the final race.
That final race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ on Sunday.