Nick McBride has taken a popular maiden victory in the opening Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Hallmarc race at Albert Park as misfortune struck two in-form drivers – Nick Foster and Shane Smollen.
Teammates McBride and Foster took early control of the race until a safety car was called to the circuit on lap two after a turn one incident involving Fraser Ross, Roger Lago, James Bergmuller, Adrian Mastronardo and Simon Hodge, who was the only driver in the incident not to continue in the race.
McBride and Foster retained the top two positions on the restart until Foster, who was pressuring for the lead, sustained radiator damage and was force to withdraw from the race. This left McBride with a lengthy lead to second placed Steven Richards, who had Cam McConville and Matt Campbell in close pursuit.
Richards closed on the leader, eventually reducing the gap to under a second but was unable to stop McBride taking his maiden victory in the competitive Porsche championship, the 29th driver to achieve the feat.
“It feels really nice to get a win because it’s been a while since my last victory. I really feel for my teammate Nick Foster; he must have broken a few mirrors as he’s having some really bad luck at the moment. I saw Richards coming and coming and I made a few little mistakes towards the end but I think he did as well,” said McBride.
“I’m really ecstatic for the team, all the Sonic guys and especially the two guys on my car as we worked really hard over the summer. It wasn’t a great summer for me personally but I’m really glad someone was looking down over me for that race win.”
Richards placed second and extended his lead in the standing while McConville finished third from Campbell, David Russell, Craig Baird, Shae Davies, Richard Muscat, Duvashen Padayachee and Michael Almond in 10th.
Max Twigg continued his impressive form in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge, taking a dominant race win while competing among the Professional Class drivers. Twigg won the class and finished 11th outright ahead of Spike Goddard, Stephen Grove, Ross, Tony Bates and Marc Cini, who finished an impressive fourth in class.
Much like Foster, Shane Smollen was the hard charger of the Carrera Challenge class. Radiator issues in qualifying forced Smollen to start the race from the rear of the grid and, after working his way up the order, the Sydneysider spun while challenging Grove for second in the Challenge class.
“We had a great start and managed to avoid the carnage on the second lap. I was challenging for second in class but clearly I went a bit deep into turn one and spun. From then on it was all about survival. I had no splitter and the alignment was out so it was all about getting to the finish. At least we have pace and we’ll come back through the pack in race two and race three,” said Smollen.
Smollen ultimately finished fifth in the Challenge class and 17th outright ahead of Bergmuller, Scott Taylor, Ash Samadi, Mastronardo, who lost his rear wing in the earlier accident but managed to reach the finish, and Roger Lago in 22nd. Foster and Hodge were the only two drivers to not finished the race.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Hallmarc will return to the track on Saturday for its 250th championship race, with race three to be held on Sunday before the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
Saturday March 14, 2015
12:45pm-1:10pm – Race 2
Sunday March 15, 2015
12:55pm-1:20pm – Race 3
Date: Saturday March 14, 2015
Time: 12:45pm (AEDT)
Date: Sunday March 15, 2015
Time: 12:55pm (AEDT)
Race 1 results
1. Nick McBride (Professional) 10 laps – 21:54.9
2. Steven Richards (Professional) 10 laps – 21:55.7
3. Cam McConville (Professional) 10 laps – 21:56.0
4. Matt Campbell (Professional) 10 laps – 21:56.4
5. David Russell (Professional) 10 laps – 21:58.7
6. Craig Baird (Professional) 10 laps – 21:59.1
7. Shae Davies (Professional) 10 laps – 21:59.9
8. Richard Muscat (Professional) 10 laps – 22:05.5
9. Duvashen Padayachee (Professional) 10 laps – 22:06.8
10. Michael Almond (Professional) 10 laps – 22:08.2
11. Max Twigg (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:09.1
12. Spike Goddard (Professional) 10 laps – 22:14.1
13. Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:21.5
14. Fraser Ross (Professional) 10 laps – 22:21.9
15. Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:32.9
16. Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:39.9
17. Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:40.4
18. James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:40.9
19. Scott Taylor (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:49.8
20. Ash Samadi (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 10 laps – 22:50.4
21. Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 9 laps – 22:30.7
DNF Nick Foster (Professional) 4 laps – 09:53.7
DNF Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) 4 laps – 13:14.2
DNF Simon Hodge (Professional) 1 lap – 02:15.9