A CHAOTIC and dramatic Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia opener on the streets of Townsville has delivered victories to David Wall and Geoff Emery (MORRIS Pro-Am).
Results remain provisional following a dramatic day that saw the race completed under Safety Car, with several drivers excluded post-race – including Luke Youlden, who had crossed the line first.
Starting from pole – his first since 2005 – Youlden was beaten into Turn one by front-row starter Aaron Love and Dylan O’Keeffe, who started third.
Contact from O’Keeffe at turn two then turned Love’s Sonic entry around, his car pointing in the wrong direction as the 32-strong field fired into the tight right-hander.
The spin caused chaos with more than a third of the field either stopped completely or significantly delayed as they took evasive action – though all were remarkably able to continue, a vast majority of them with little damage.
The action continued at turn two when Simon Fallon, who was fighting for second, also speared up the escape road at turn three after his car suffered radiator damage in the Turn 2 incident.
As the field regrouped, Tony Quinn had a significant impact at Turn 10 aboard his Local Legends 911 GT3.
The heavy crash at the high-speed right-hand sweeper saw the Safety Car called.
Quinn was extricated by the car by Team Medical and taken to the circuit medical centre, and subsequently Hospital in Townsville, following the incident.
Ultimately the lengthy recovery of Quinn’s car saw the field greet the chequered flag behind the Safety Car with 8 laps completed.
Youlden received the flag first, followed by Jackson Walls and Callum Hedge.
However, the trio were excluded post race, with the Motorsport Australia stewards report stating: ‘Based on the Preliminary Results, the last lap of cars 53 (Youlden), 11 (Walls) and 17 (Hedge) was slower than twice the fastest lap lap time of the winner in the preliminary results. Competitors have the right to protest.’
That decision elevated David Wall to the provisional victory with Duvashen Padayachee second and Brad Shiels third – both recording their best ever Carrera Cup race finishes.
Wall’s result is more significant given nearest title rival Harri Jones was caught in the Turn two dramas and could only recover to 10th in the Professional class on the revised provisional results.
Bayle Hall was classified fourth, and Angelo Mouzouris fifth – with MORRIS Pro-Am leaders Geoff Emery, Liam Talbot and Dean Cook next.
Nick McBride and Aaron Love completed the top-10.
O’Keeffe was issued a 10-second time penalty for his role in the Turn 2 contact, dropping him to 12th outright in the final classifications.
Results remain provisional pending further investigations.
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia field returns for a further two races tomorrow with the 28-lap Enduro Cup race set for an 8:30am local time start, ahead of the final race at 12:45pm.
Both races will be shown live on Fox Sports and Kayo, with the finale’ also shown live on the Seven Network.
Earlier, in qualifying, Luke Youlden became the fourth different TAG Heuer Pole Award winner of the season, taking the Pro class pole position with a Townsville-record 1m12.9801s flyer late in the second 10-minute session.
It was Youlden’s first Porsche Carrera Cup Australia pole since the Oran Park round of the championship in 2005 – a gap of 6,174 days.
Aaron Love missed out on scoring his second pole of the year by 0.0974s while Dylan O’Keeffe was third.
Ryan Suhle qualified a career-best fourth outright, while Simon Fallon’s fifth position was also a career best.
Dale Wood, David Wall, Duvashen Padayachee, Jackson Walls and championship leader Harri Jones was only 10th.
The top 13 cars were all beneath the existing Townsville qualifying record, while the entire 19-car Pro field was covered by exactly one second.
In MORRIS Pro-Am, Geoff Emery became the fourth different polesitter from four rounds as he edged out Liam Talbot by 0.2 seconds to grab his first pole of the year.
Sam Shahin and Tim Miles made up the second row of the Pro-Am grid with Adrian Flack and Dean Cook next.