Craig Baird has capped a successful round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship with victory in Race 3 at Albert Park, while Max Twigg finished strongly to take a clean sweep of Elite Class race wins.
Starting from pole position, Baird gapped his rivals early in the race and claimed an uninterrupted five-second victory – his second win for the weekend after taking second place in the opening race.
Baird’s result placed him on the top step of the round podium, his fourth straight round win in the Porsche championship at Albert Park. Baird has now also won 10 of the last 13 races at the Melbourne circuit.
“It was nice to notch up another race win, especially with Jet Travel Insurance sponsoring the round,” said Baird.
“The race was pretty uneventful for me. I got a good start and put my head down, got into a rhythm and just kept pushing on.”
Championship newcomer Warren Luff claimed second for the race, placing him second for the round, ahead of Race 1 winner Steven Richards, who filled the final step on the Professional Class podium.
Luff was pleased with his performance and maiden round podium, however the Queensland based racer suggested that he needs to bridge the gap between himself and points leader Baird.
“It’s a great result for us and most importantly we’ve got more points in the championship,” said Luff.
“Again, when you see Baird streak off down the track ahead, you realise that we’ve probably got to have a bit of a re-think as to how we go about things. It’s great to be second but we need to close the gap a fair bit if we want to start challenging for wins. We’ll come back fighting stronger at Eastern Creek in May.”
Matt Kingsley, who suffered from illness early in the weekend, finish fourth from Steven Johnson and Karl Reindler, who started from the rear of the field after gearbox issues put him out of Race 2 contention.
Shae Davies finished the race in seventh, passing Elite Class race and round winner Twigg late in the race.
Twigg was rapt with eighth place and the Elite Class round win, finishing ahead of James Koundouris and Damien Flack in the Albert Park Elite Class points.
“Three from three; I’m rapt with that. I got a beautiful start in that last race and I was feeling comfortable for a couple of laps but when Percat went off I lost the gap I had to some of the Professional drivers. I knew I had ground on James so I just drove it home firmly and made sure I got the win,” said Twigg.
Duvashen Padayachee scored his best Carrera Cup result to date in ninth, placing ahead of Koundouris, Flack, Michael Patrizi, who spun on the opening lap, James Bergmuller, Shane Smollen, Paul Kelly, Renee Gracie, Tony Bates, Tony Walls and Marc Cini in 19th.
Three drivers failed to finish the eight-lap race. Michael Loccisano and Stephen Grove made contact late in the race at Turn 3, ending both their races, while Nick Percat was forced out of the race after experiencing drivetrain issues.
Baird now leads the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship by 40 points over Steven Richards and Nick Percat in third.
Max Twigg leads the Elite Class standings by 24 points from Koundouris and Flack.
The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 25-26, 2013.