HARRI JONES has broken through for his first victory of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia season in an action packed finale on the roads of Albert Park.
After making another storming start, Jones had to survive a pair of safety car restarts en route to victory.
In Morris Finance Pro-Am, Sam Shahin also earned his first class win of 2022.
Following the first event of season 2022, Max Vidau tops the overall Pro standings from David Wall and Aaron Love, with only seven points separating the top three, while in Pro-Am, Geoff Emery leads the way from Shahin and Stephen Grove.
After being victorious in the opening three races, Love won the initial kick away from pole position, but Jones repeated his flying start from yesterday, claiming the lead as the field raced through turn one.
Wall then forged his way into second position, passing Love around the outside of turn four.
The action then came thick and fast after Nick McBride spun into the turn 11 gravel at the end of lap two.
Callum Hedge then spun entering the main straight, lightly tapping the pit wall, before a coming together between Angelo Mouzouris and Jackson Walls saw the latter make contact with the second turn tyre barrier.
Before the safety car was finally called, Bailey Hall spun at turn three.
Upon the resumption of action, Luke Youlden and Love made contact at corner 11, with Love following McBride’s wheel tracks into the gravel, necessitating a second safety car appearance.
With the time certain cut-off looming, a two-lap run to the finish ensued.
On the restart, Ryan Suhle nudged the turn two barrier, while Rodney Jane and Tim Miles spun at turn three, with Miles retiring on the spot.
With the field tightly bunched all the way to the finish, Jones led home Wall, Vidau, Dylan O’Keeffe, David Russell, Simon Fallon, Dale Wood, Michael Almond, Brad Shields, with Duvashen Padayachee rounding out the top ten.
In Morris Finance Pro-Am, Shahin moved his way into the class lead early, and held the position in the run to the chequered flag.
Grove was second ahead of Liam Talbot, Emery and Dean Cook.
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia championship is scheduled to continue at Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway from May 21 to 22.
Max Vidau – Round Winner Pro Class
“It’s pretty surreal looking back two years at the Melbourne Grand Prix when COVID struck, and to be honest, I really didn’t see myself back in a Cup Car,” Vidau said.
“Rob Woods came along and gave me an opportunity to not only work for the team but drive for them, and I’m absolutely stoked to be on the top step of the podium.
“It’s awesome, massive thank you to the boys and everything they do to me as well, as all my sponsors Tyrepower, Bondi Carpets and Exedy.
“I’m ecstatic, but obviously Aaron got a bit stitched up with what happened to him, but we’ve had some awesome battles over the years.
“He’s heading over to Europe, hopefully I’ll see him over there soon.
“We didn’t really do much testing either, we just stumbled across something good and stuck with it.
“Hopefully it works at Winton too.”
Geoff Emery – Round Winner, Morris Finance Pro-Am
“There was a lot going on obviously with the restarts, I had a good run and had built a lead on Sam,” Emery said.
“After the restart I saw Jackson Walls go into the fence, so I rolled out of it thinking there would be a safety car, but there wasn’t, and that allowed Sam to get up alongside of me and Stephen Grove, and I was forced to follow them through.
“That’s racing I guess!”