West Australian Michael Patrizi’s fortune has changed for the better with victory in the opening Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race in Townsville, with Roger Lago taking his third Elite Class race win of the season.
Patrizi was the quickest performer from early Saturday, narrowly taking the TAG Heuer Pole Position Award from Warren Luff, Nick Foster, Sam Power and Shae Davies.
Patrizi then made the most of the front row start in Race 1, leading into the opening corner and maintaining a strong gap to second-placed Luff until the chequered flag. Luff secured second while Richards passed Davies on Lap 10 to take third.
Davies placed fourth from Power, Foster, Craig Baird and Duvashen Padayachee in eighth.
Patrizi’s race win follows a horrid round at Phillip Island when his Porsche hit the tyre barrier at high speed with his co-driver at the wheel. The damage to his race car meant a complete replacement chassis was required, with Patrizi finishing the construction of his 911 GT3 Cup car just days prior to the Townsville round.
“What a feeling. I’ve spent two weeks with my uncles, 12-15 hour days, seven days a week putting this car together. It was hard work the last couple of days to get through it but we’re here and we’re winning,” said Patrizi.
“We have a long weekend ahead of us now but we’ve hit the ground running and there’s no reason why we can’t continue this success tomorrow.”
Roger Lago placed ninth, a mere 0.25secs from Stephen Grove by the finish following a lengthy battle for the Elite Class race lead.
“I didn’t get a good start while Tony Bates, Grove and James Bergmuller had a great start and I was lucky to get through the first couple of corners unscathed,” said Lago.
“I managed to get in front of Grove and get a gap on him. I then locked up at Turn 2, flat spotted a tyre and struggled from there. To Grove’s credit he could have tapped me a few times and elected not to, which is sporting of him. It will be interesting to see how we go tomorrow.”
Bates placed 11th from Tony Walls, Bergmuller, Marc Cini, Renee Gracie, Michael Almond – who received a 25 second post-race penalty following Lap 1 contact with Nick McBride – Ash Samadi, Brenton Ramsay, Adrian Mastronardo, Maurie Pickering and Shane Smollen in 21st.
McBride was the only non-finisher due to the opening lap contact.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia has two races remaining for the round, with Race 3 to be broadcast on 7mate at a delayed time of 12:45pm (local time).
Sunday July 06, 2014
8:50am Race 2 17 laps
11:30am Race 3 17 laps
Carrera Cup – Race 3 (delayed)
Date: Sunday July 06, 2014
Time: 12:45pm AEST (12:15pm, SA/NT; 10:45am, WA)