Porsche Carrera Cup Australia held its opening race of the 2014 season as the sun set on Adelaide this afternoon, where Warren Luff and Tony Bates claimed outright and Elite Class honours, respectively.
Shae Davies was the pace-setter earlier in the day by taking the TAG Heuer Pole Position Award from Steven Richards and Luff.
Davies then made the most of his front row start, taking the early lead of the race, however his time at the front ended on Lap 7 when impeded by a lapped car, enabling Richards to pass for the lead and dropping Davies down the order.
Richards held the lead of the race for only two laps before spinning at Turn 9 on Lap 9, handing Luff the lead.
Luff was challenged by Davies in the closing laps, however Davies ran wide and lost time on Luff late in the race then came into contact with the Turn 11 barrier, which dropped him down the order while trying to resume in the race.
Luff claimed the opening victory of the season ahead of a strong and consistent performer Nick Foster and Porsche newcomer Nick McBride.
Richards, who posted a new lap record, recovered several positions after his earlier spin to place fourth from Duvashen Padayachee, Sam Power, Michael Patrizi and Craig Baird in eighth.
Luff was pleased to begin the season with success and hopes to continue his strong form into tomorrow’s Race 2.
“I’m ecstatic, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. It was a bit of a crazy race with lapped traffic playing a hand in the race. I certainly felt sorry for my team-mate Shae Davies and had a great dice with Richards, though it was made pretty easy for me in the end,” said Luff.
“It’s a great way to start the year. We’ll be looking for similar results in the next two races and start our championship as best we can.”
Bates placed ninth for the race, holding off a late-charging Shane Smollen for the Elite Class victory.
“I was pretty happy with that race. I was in a good groove, I felt comfortable and the car is great. It’s a fantastic way to start the season,” said Bates.
“Smollen was putting a bit of pressure on me towards the end of the race but I was pretty confident I’d hold him out on the last two laps. He took a massive dive into Turn 9 and I saw him sail right by so I switched back and on I went.”
Davies recovered to finish 11th from Roger Lago, Tony Walls, Stephen Grove, Ash Samadi, Marc Cini, James Bergmuller, Renee Gracie, Maurie Pickering, Brenton Ramsay and Dean Koutsoumidis.
Adrian Mastronardo failed to finish while Michael Almond didn’t start the race, unable to make the necessary repairs in time after a qualifying accident earlier in the day.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will hold its second race for the weekend tomorrow and the final race of the round on Sunday.
Saturday March 01, 2014
1:35pm Race 2 15 laps
Sunday March 02, 2014
1:55pm Race 3 10 laps
Race 2 (delayed)
Date: Saturday March 01, 2014
Time: 2:30pm AEST
Race 3 (live)
Date: Sunday March 02, 2014
Time: 2:25pm AEST