Championship rookie Ash Walsh has claimed his maiden Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Michelin victory in the second race of the season at the Clipsal 500, while Tony Bates continued his Adelaide domination in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge.
Walsh’s teammate, Nick McBride, led from the start and was helped at the front by a turn four incident involving race one winner Matt Campbell and Alex Davison – contact that was later deemed a racing incident – which dropped the duo to the rear of the field.
McBride was slowly hunted down by Walsh, who stole the lead in the closing laps and eventually claimed the race win.
“I wasn’t expecting that today. Off the second row, I had a bit of a bad start again but the Campbell/Davison incident really played out well for us. I just missed the Davison car as I came through but, by then, Nick had pulled away. He was fast and I really pushed at the start to try to catch him. I started reeling him in as my tyres increased in temperature and had a couple of attempts to pass and managed a really good run into turn four and got the job done,” said Walsh.
“This is my second year in a row as a rookie. I’ve got a great team behind me and it’s making my job easier as a newcomer to the championship.”
After finishing second in Friday’s race one, McBride was again the runner-up in race two from Adelaide racer, Michael Almond in third.
“That was fantastic,” said Almond. “The car was great and I was lucky enough to get through the turn four incident and pull a bit of a gap. I’m very happy; it is my first top-three finish in Carrera Cup and to do it in front of my home crowd is amazing.”
Steven Richards and David Wall moved up the order in the 18 lap race to place fourth and fifth, ahead of Fraser Ross and Dean Fiore in sixth and seventh.
After dropping to the rear after the turn four incident, Davison recovered to finish eighth, ahead of ninth placed Campbell and 10th placed Tony Bates.
The final laps consisted of a spectacular battle between the leading TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge drivers Bates and Shane Smollen, and the charging Davison and Campbell, resulting in a late-race, four way battle.
Bates was the ultimate victor in the class results, claiming his eighth straight Challenge race win at the Clipsal 500.
“I’m ecstatic with the win, but I’m also ecstatic that it was earnt. Shane pulled a move on me and was good enough to get it done, and then it was game on. Then two pro drivers decided to get in the mix in Alex and Matt, and that was exciting. I think it shows how far the semi-pro drivers have raised the bar once again to be able to mix it with those drivers. I’m over the moon to take the race win,” said Bates.
Newcomers Garth Walden, Dylan O’Keeffe and James Abela placed 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively, from Stephen Grove and Marc Cini, who placed third and fourth in class.
Duvashen Padayachee, James Bergmuller and Adrian Mastronardo placed 17th, 18th and 19th in the 18 lap race.
Teammates Walsh and McBride are now tied on 108 points at the top of the standings from Campbell (83), Almond (80) and Ross (68).
Bates is ahead in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge standings on 120 points from Smollen (108), Grove (96) and Cini (84).
The final Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Michelin race in Adelaide will be held on Sunday at 2:10pm.
Sunday March 06, 2016
2:10pm-2:40pm Race 3 (20 Laps)
Broadcast Schedule (local time)
Race 3 – 2:10pm, Sunday March 06
Channel: Fox Sports 5 (Channel 506)
Race 3 – 2:10pm, Sunday March 06
VIDEO – Race 2 interviews: https://youtu.be/m8Sr6sDp6So
Race 2 Results
1. #777 Ash Walsh, Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend – 18 laps, 25:05.0
2. #77 Nick McBride, Bob Jane T-Marts – 18 laps, 25:08.5
3. #26 Michael Almond, Copyworld – 18 laps, 25:12.8
4. #12 Steven Richards, Laser Plumbing and Electrical – 18 laps, 25:15.5
5. #38 David Wall, Wilson Security – 18 laps, 25:18.0
6. #360 Fraser Ross, 360fly – 18 laps, 25:19.7
7. #8 Dean Fiore, Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne – 18 laps, 25:20.5
8 #25 Alex Davison, Wilson Parking – 18 laps, 25:41.4
9. #7 Matt Campbell, Nuveau Construct. Qld/Phase 8 – 18 laps, 25:42.4
10. #24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Moveitnet/A.F.S – 18 laps, 25:45.7
11. #56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents – 18 laps, 25:46.4
12. #21 Garth Walden, Commercial Interior Projects – 18 laps, 25:46.7
13. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe, All Star Equipment Sales/Dexion Supply Centre – 18 laps, 25:50.5
14. #54 James Abela, Horsley Park Gun Shop – 18 laps, 25:52.9
15. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire – 18 laps, 25:56.7
16. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 18 laps, 25:59.3
17. #45 Duvashen Padayachee, Darrell Lea STIX – 18 laps, 26:06.3
18. #13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) pricepressure.com.au – 18 laps, 26:21.7
19. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Veritas Property Group – 18 laps, 26:27.2