Baird seals remarkable fifth Carrera Cup crown
Porsche star Craig Baird secured a world record-equalling fifth Carrera Cup Championship on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
As Steven Richards (Laser) prevented Nick Percat (Coates Hire) from a clean sweep by winning Race 3, Baird had a lonely but untroubled race to finish fifth and seal the crown in the third and final race.
The only other Carrera Cup Championship to be won by a driver five times was in France with Dominique Dupuy successful in 1992-1993, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Baird, recognised as the most successful exponent of the one-make series in the world, kept out of trouble after receiving a grid penalty earlier in the weekend for not returning to parc ferme as he was required to rush to the V8 paddock due to the tight schedule in between events.
The Kiwi expat’s title came as he tackled his 50th Carrera Cup round.
He finished the season with 972.5 points ahead of Percat (937), with Warren Luff (883) third.
“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.”
In the final 13-lap race Richards completed his pass on Percat by out-dragging him going into the beach chicane on lap 7.
Michael Patrizi’s race ended on lap 2 after a coming together with Shae Davies was the pair fought over third position, continuing their feud from the middle heat.
Earlier in Race 2 earlier Percat registered his second for the weekend in a shortened race.
Michael Loccisano suffered race ending damage after a multi-car accident on the opening lap brought the race under caution for five laps.
Percat ended up prevailing in the race which ran to 10 laps, reduced from the original 14, ahead of Steve Richards with Davies surviving to claim third.
Davies came under heavy fire from Patrizi in the closing stages before the later made contact with his fellow Queenslander, effectively ending his attacking run before claiming fourth in his damaged Ausdrill – Onsite car.
Max Twigg completed his third consecutive title in the Elite class.
See below for full results of Race 2
|1||Coates Hire Racing||Nick Percat (SA)||14:38.8287||9|
|2||Laser Plumbing & Electrical||Steven Richards (VIC)||14:38.9546||9|
|3||Davbridge Constructions||Shae Davies (QLD)||14:39.5296||9|
|4||Ausdrill – Onsite Racing||Michael Patrizi (WA)||14:43.2472||9|
|5||No Second Chance/Phase 8||Warren Luff (NSW)||14:44.9712||9|
|6||Jet Travel Insurance||Craig Baird (NZL)||14:45.9691||9|
|7||Team BRM/Rentcorp Property||Duvashen Padayachee NSW||14:51.6495||9|
|8||McGrath Estate Agents||Shane Smollen (NSW)||14:52.3790||9|
|9||Objective Racing||Tony Walls (NSW)||14:56.2139||9|
|10||Porsche Centre Brighton||James Bergmuller (VIC)||14:56.9028||9|
|11||Paul Kelly Motor Group||Paul Kelly (NZL)||14:57.1659||9|
|12||AFS/N2C||Tony Bates (VIC)||14:57.3615||9|
|13||Permagard Automotive||Max Twigg (VIC)||14:58.6428||9|
|14||Fujitsu Racing||Renee Gracie (QLD)||14:58.9186||9|
|15||Rosche Visper||Damien Flack (QLD)||14:54.6414||8|
|16||Grove Group||Stephen Grove (VIC)||14:55.7954||8|
|DNF||Hallmarc||Marc Cini (VIC)||10:19.8387||5|
|DNF||Hallmarc||Michael Loccisano (VIC)|
See below of full results of Race 3
|1||Laser Plumbing & Electrical||Steven Richards (VIC)||16:13.8338||13|
|2||Coates Hire Racing||Nick Percat (SA)||16:16.4181||13|
|3||Davbridge Constructions||Shae Davies (QLD)||16:16.6941||13|
|4||No Second Chance/Phase 8||Warren Luff (NSW)||16:21.9166||13|
|5||Jet Travel Insurance||Craig Baird (NZL)||16:29.7406||13|
|6||Team BRM/Rentcorp Property||Duvashen Padayachee NSW||16:36.0284||13|
|7||McGrath Estate Agents||Shane Smollen (NSW)||16:41.1271||13|
|8||Paul Kelly Motor Group||Paul Kelly (NZL)||16:52.7809||13|
|9||Objective Racing||Tony Walls (NSW)||16:56.1761||13|
|10||Porsche Centre Brighton||James Bergmuller (VIC)||16:59.2003||13|
|11||Hallmarc||Marc Cini (VIC)||17:00.6942||13|
|12||Fujitsu Racing||Renee Gracie (QLD)||17:01.1207||13|
|13||AFS/N2C||Tony Bates (VIC)||17:06.0537||13|
|14||Grove Group||Stephen Grove (VIC)||17:08.3607||13|
|15||Permagard Automotive||Max Twigg (VIC)||17:20.5075||13|
|DNF||Rosche Visper||Damien Flack (QLD)||4:45.1051||3|
|DNF||Ausdrill – Onsite Racing||Michael Patrizi (WA)||1:20.8961||1|