Steven Richards has been crowned the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion following a strong performance in Surfers Paradise, where Nick Foster and Tony Bates finished the season with round honours.
Richards hit the lead of the championship after Saturday’s opening race, entering the final day of the season with a single point lead over Warren Luff.
The turning point of the round came in Race 2 when Luff spun at the Turn 1 chicane after contact with a competitor. While Luff dropped down the order, Richards charged home to place second behind Foster, who claimed the race lead in an impressive last lap battle, with Shae Davies, David Russell and Craig Baird filling the remaining top five places. Luff recovered to finish eighth.
Richards made the most of his 29 point lead entering the final race, driving conservatively to ultimately place fifth behind Race 3 and round victor Foster, Davies, Russell and Baird.
Richards was ecstatic to take the championship win, following in the footsteps of his racing father, Jim Richards – the inaugural Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion in 2003.
“I’m relieved and a bit overwhelmed to win the Carrera Cup title to be honest,” said Richards.
“These achievements tend to mean a lot when you have family and friends involved. We go racing with family and friends so to get results like these is really rewarding. It certainly wasn’t easy and I’m just rapt with myself and everyone in the team; a very satisfying feeling. We just had to tick all the boxes this weekend, and we did.”
Foster was equally as happy with his efforts, winning the final round from Davies and Russell with a third place on Saturday and two race wins on Sunday.
“This is unreal; words can’t describe this. To get the win in Race 2 which was pretty emotional, we’ve had some tough times over the last couple of years. It was awesome to put all that behind us,” said Foster.
“I had my head down in Race 3; built the margin and was pretty comfortable in the car, which was unbelievable this weekend. We plugged away and this is a great reward for our efforts.”
Stephen Grove secured the Elite Class championship in Saturday’s Race 1, which was won by Bates.
Bates continued his impress form into Sunday to claim the Race 2 Elite Class win and placed second behind Shane Smollen in Race 3, taking the round win from Smollen and James Bergmuller.
“We came here to win the round. We’ve booked-ended the year; won the first round and won the last round with a lot of frustration in between, but that’s motorsport. We’ll be back again next year to do it all again.”
Smollen secured second in the Elite Class for the season from Bates, Bergmuller and Tony Walls in fifth.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will return in 2015 for the opening round at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, closely followed by its annual appearance at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.