Craig Baird to drive Porsche’s RS Spyder in Sydney

The Porsche RS Spyder at Mount Panorama recently

The Porsche RS Spyder at Mount Panorama recently

Recently-crowned Porsche City Index Carrera Cup champion Craig Baird will receive a special award at the Sydney Telstra 500 – a drive of Porsche’s iconic RS Spyder.

In recognition of his unprecedented success in Porsche racing and his role as a Porsche ambassador, Baird will driver the 353 kW (480 hp) prototype Sportscar in demonstration laps at Sydney Olympic Park, in addition to his Carrera Cup racing duties.

The Sydney event will be the second time the RS Spyder will visit an Australian race track following its appearance at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event, where it was driven by Dutchman Jeroen Bleekemolen.

Baird secured the 2012 Carrera Cup Australia title at the penultimate round of the one-make championship in Gold Coast – his 10th Porsche Cup championship victory in a career that also includes 125 Porsche one-make championship race victories.

“It’s an honour to be selected to drive the RS Spyder at Sydney and I’m absolutely looking forward to it,” Baird said.

“Anyone who has driven the RS Spyder or has been around it has always said that it’s a phenomenal car. I’m sure it will be a pleasure to drive.

“I’m looking forward to experiencing the car’s technology and the way it handles. Admittedly, I’ve driven cars with a lot more power, but I would say that the way its ground effects work along with the tyre technology, brakes and many other components means it’s probably one of the most technologically advanced cars that you could drive outside of Formula 1.

“I’ve followed the Porsche RS Spyders for a long time and I’ve been in races where sports cars like that have been around you; they’re just so fast and exciting and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to drive one around Sydney Olympic Park.”

The creation of the RS Spyder was the first new project built by Porsche for racing since its successful 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign with the Porsche 911 GT1. The result was a LMP2 legend that was best known for its success in the American Le Mans Series against its more powerful LMP1 class rivals.

The RS Spyder that Baird will drive at Sydney Olympic Park competed in 11 races over the 2005 and 2006 American Le Mans Series, in which time it claimed four LMP2 race victories, never finishing outside the top three positions in its class, and won the 2006 LMP2 Championship.

See below for video of the RS Spyder driving around Mount Panorama.

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