Dominant Wall takes out Sepang Carrera Cup opener

Tom Howard

Saturday 22nd July, 2017 - 8:59pm

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David Wall leads the field at Sepang

David Wall produced a faultless drive to take out the opening Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race at the Sepang International Circuit.

The pole-sitter was rarely challenged as Wall powered to a lights-to-flag victory at the 5.5km Malaysian circuit to become the first driver to win a race in the series outside of Australia.

While Wall was imperious at the front, there was plenty of action throughout.

Alex Davison produced an impressive drive from fifth to finish second, while Dylan O’Keeffe secured the final place on the podium.

Wall made no mistakes from the start to hold the lead into the first corner while Andre Heimgartner slotted into second with a textbook pass on front row starter Cameron McConville.

McConville’s race was soon dented, however, after he was issued with a five-second penalty for being out of position on the grid.

Further back Stephen Grove passed Tim Miles for the lead in the TAG Heuer Challenge Class.

After passing O’Keefe, Davison’s surge to the front continued as he slid by McConville for third at the Turn 9 hairpin.

It wasn’t long before he latched onto the back of second-placed Heimgartner, passing the New Zealander on lap six.

Meanwhile, the battle for the TAG Heuer Challenge class raged as Miles found his way by Grove to regain the lead.

As Wall established a healthy lead, the battle for fifth involved a train of cars including O’Keeffe, McBride, James Abela and Jaxon Evans.

It reached boiling point on lap 10 when contact between McBride and Abela resulted in the former spinning at Turn 9.

The incident was investigated by the stewards post race.

At the front Davison closed the gap to Wall but it was not enough to deny the latter from taking a commanding win.

O’Keeffe managed to pass McConville for third after slight contact with McConville at Turn 1 in the closing stages.

Heimgartner came through to finish fourth ahead of Abela, Evans and Lars Kern.

McConville tossed the line in fourth but the penalty demoted him to eighth.

The top 10 was completed by Michael Almond and McBride.

However, Abela was handed a 25 second penalty following a post-race investigation which demoted him to 10th spot.

The TAG Heuer Challenge Class battle went right to the flag as Miles tried a last gasp move on Grove at the final corner.

Miles locked up as he dived underneath Grove at the final corner and ran wide.

As a result, Grove was able to complete a switchback before winning a drag race to line to take the class win by 0.016s.

Simon Ellingham completed the class podium.

In Carrera Cup Asia, New Zealand’s Chris van der Drift took the honours from Philip Hamprecht with Andrew Tang in third.

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will host a second championship race on Sunday at 1255 AEST.

The series will combine with Carrera Cup Asia for two races, with one heat for the professionals and one for the TAG Heuer Challenge Class and Asia’s Pro-Am competitors.

VIDEO: Carrera Cup Australia Race 1 Review