Porsche Carrera Cup Australia has concluded a sensational 2013 season on the Gold Coast with Nick Percat and Shane Smollen continuing their round dominance and Craig Baird and Max Twigg sealing the 2013 titles.
After victory in Saturday’s Race 1, Percat was triumphant in Sunday’s Race 2 from Steven Richards, Shae Davies, Michael Patrizi, Warren Luff, Baird and Duvashen Padayachee. Smollen placed eighth in Race 2 from Tony Walls – a season best second in the Elite Class and ninth outright – and James Bergmuller.
Richards then capped his season with victory in the final race from Percat, Davies, Luff, Baird and Padayachee in sixth.
Second place secured Percat his first round win for the season, claiming five race wins and five pole positions for the year.
“We’ve had a fast car in the last few rounds but I haven’t been able to translate it into round wins. I’ve been really happy with the way Team BRM has got the car sorted; without me really as I haven’t been around much the last two rounds with my V8 Supercars commitments,” said Percat.
“It was great to get a round win at the last event of the season, especially for everyone who has supported me during 2013.”
Smollen placed seventh in Race 3 from Paul Kelly, Walls, Bergmuller and Marc Cini in 11th place.
Smollen was pleased with his strong end to the season and now looks forward to the introduction of the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for next year’s championship.
“This was a great way to end the weekend, a great way to end the season and a great way to farewell this car. We’ve had a few ups and downs in it, but I’m very happy with our strong end to the season,” said Smollen.
“There are no secrets about it, I’m going to keep going and we’ll go back to basics to learn the new car. I can’t wait; bring it on.”
Though Baird’s round was vastly uneventful, the New Zealander secured his fifth Porsche Carrera Cup Australia crown and his 11th Porsche one-make-series title from Percat and Luff.
“I really pushed hard at the beginning of the season and got some good results which meant that I could roll off the gas a little bit here,” said Baird.
“Because of the penalty in qualifying I was shuffled back and if I was to try to seal the championship a little bit earlier, I would have had to take a few unnecessary risks. We were so far out in front in the points I was racing no one for the championship but myself. It was just a matter of completing the races and bringing the car back in one piece.”
While Twigg was not towards the front of the Elite Class on the Gold Coast, he was still able to secure the class title – his third consecutive in the Porsche championship from Flack and Gold Coast winner Smollen.
“I never thought I would be able to win three Elite Class championships. The season was so close, especially after the way Winton and this weekend panned out for me,” said Twigg.
“This was without doubt one of the hardest Elite Class title races. Damien Flack and Shane Smollen improved out of sight this season and by the end of it they both had the pace to be at the front of the Elite Class.”
The Gold Coast round was the final round that the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) was eligible for Carrera Cup competition in Australia.
For the coming seaosn, the impressive new Type 991 model GT3 Cup will be introduced, giving a fresh look to an exciting new Porsche championship.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will next compete at the 2014 Clipsal 500 in Adelaide – the first event of an impressive eight-round calendar.