DALE WOOD has withstood 23-laps of searing pressure to win the opening race in Round 8 of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship today at the VAILO Adelaide 500.
The Victorian started his Ranbuild / EBM Porsche from the outside of the front row of the grid and beat teammate and title contender Callum Hedge into the Senna Chicane – only to then spend the first half of the race defending from the quick young Kiwi.
Wood withered multiple attacks from Hedge before Vidau was the next to have a crack within the final stanza of the race – yet Wood was able to withstand that too. It was his fourth win of the year, sixteenth of his career and first since he took a clean sweep of the Darwin round in June.
Wood led home Callum Hedge, who took points out of championship leader Jackson Walls in both qualifying and today’s 23-lap race.
Trailing by 21 points entering the round, Hedge now needs to find 14 points across the final two races should he wish to win the title.
Walls’ day was a story of recovery after only qualifying his Objective Racing entry in 8th position.
His race, however, was much more fruitful as he took advantage of several incidents in front before making several key overtakes to climb his way to third place at the finish, minimising his points loss.
It was a fighting drive from the Sydneysider who will now start directly behind his closest rival in tomorrow’s sprint.
Alex Davison came through to finish fourth in his Scott Taylor Motorsport entry while Ryder Quinn was fifth aboard the Game Over entry in his best ever Carrera Cup race.
Max Vidau finished sixth, however ran as high as second in another storming drive from the South Australian.
The Tyrepower TekworkX Motorsport driver raced his way to second position in the early stages and was challenging for the lead at turn nine when he spun after riding the inside kerb – spinning through a full 360 degrees before recovering into the fight.
Others with promising if challenging races included Bayley Hall, who ran at the front, copped a 15-second penalty for turning Fabian Coulthard around.
Coulthard was spun while challenging inside the top five, while Hall’s race unravelled further when he was hit from behind by Dylan O’Keeffe – his endurance cup hopes disappearing when he copped a 15-second time penalty before ultimately finishing 9th.
A fired-up Hall recovered to 11th, re-setting the Carrera Cup lap record in the process.
The SP Tools Pro-Am battle was similarly combative, with the result coming down to the final lap when Dean Cook and Sam Shahin clashed while battling for the lead – the result currently under investigation.
Adrian Flack came through that drama to finish second to consolidate his championship lead.
With two races remining, Jackson Walls now provisionally leads the championship and Equity-One Pro class by 14 points, with 120 up for grabs across the final two races.
In SP Tools Pro-Am Flack provisionally leads Dean Cook by just 18 points.
The Endurance Cup titles went the way of Callum Hedge (Equity One Pro) and Adrian Flack (SP Tools Pro-Am) in a double title success for Earl Bamber Motorsport.