Townsville 400 Friday support wrap

Friday 8th July, 2011 - 5:25pm


Steve Richards at the Townsville circuit today

Steve Richards at the Townsville circuit today

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia title leader Steven Richards has topped the times in the opening day of practice at the Townsville street circuit today.

Richards showed his experience by posting the fastest outright time after Friday’s two practice sessions.

While Richards was the class of the field, he wasn’t expecting to set the pace at the 2.86km track.

“I’ll admit I’m a bit surprised with my pace today,” said Richards.

“I really wasn’t expecting anything from practice. I said to the boys that they shouldn’t be too worried if we’re fourth or fifth in practice given the condition of our tyres. For tomorrow, all we’re going to do is put on new tyres and go even faster, as will everyone else.

“We’re definitely not struggling, so we’re looking forward to qualifying.”

Richards posted his fastest time in the second practice session for the day (1m14.9008s), finishing ahead of West Australian Michael Patrizi, Jonny Reid, Daniel Gaunt and reigning champion Craig Baird in fifth.

Behind Baird, Damien Flack secured his best session result for the season with the day’s sixth fastest time and fastest of the Elite class drivers.

Flack, who recently competed in the Nurburgring 24 Hour race in Germany, was pleased to be placed among the more experienced Professional Class competitors.

“Being the quickest Elite driver definitely gives me confidence for the weekend, especially given the gap we have on the other Elite drivers,” said Flack.

“It’s great to have a few of the Professional guys behind me too. The other Professional drivers aren’t that far in front either, so if I get the chance to sit on the back of them then who know what can happen.”

Meanwhile, Mark Noske made a solid start to his Carrera Cup debut, finishing ninth overall. The former V8 Supercar driver will race the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car after the ill Jason Richards was unable to make it to Townsville.

In the other classes at Townsville, the Auto One V8 Utes Series saw David Sieders top the combined practice times ahead of Andrew Fisher, Jack Elsegood, Ben Dunn, Ryal Harris, Grant Johnson, Ryan Hansford, Brad Patton, Chris Patton, series contender Chris Pither and Craig Dontas.

In the Vodka O Australian GTs, Klark Quinn (Mosler MT900) has qualified on pole ahead of Mark Eddy (Audi R8), Peter Hackett (Mercedes), Kevin Weeks (Lamborghini) and Tony Quinn (Aston Martin).

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