Ace Porsche racer Craig Baird proved invincible after dominating the opening Carrera Cup Australia race in Townsville.
Baird put in another flawless display to lead from flag-to-flag in his Jet Travel Insurance Porsche, leaving Nick Percat (Coates Hire Racing) 1.2s behind after the Bathurst winner started beside Baird on the front-row.
Baird classed it as one of the easiest wins of his career despite Percat remaining a close threat in his mirrors.
“I’ve floundered around in fifth and sixth around here and worked harder than that and then I got out there and the car is spot on. I did adapt my style a little bit before coming here,” Baird told Speedcafe.com “I sort of kept looking in the mirror thinking ‘why are the dropping off’?’
Warren Luff, driving the No Second Chance entry finished third to edge out Michael Patrizi’s Ausdrill car.
Steven Richards (Laser Racing) finished fifth ahead of Shae Davies (Davbridge Constructions), Shane Smollen (McGrath Real Estate), Duvashen Padayachee (Team BRM), Damien Flack (Corporate Cleaning) and Tony Bates (Alternate Freight).
After coming away from the Rennsport round of the Championship with below par efforts by his considerable standards, Baird has extended his points lead in the series.
The race was only four laps old when Renee Gracie’s Fujitsu-backed car ground to a halt at the Coates Hire corner bringing out the safety car.
On the restart Baird kicked clear of Percat, Luff and Patrizi with the order at the time remaining unchanged until the 14th and final lap.
Percat said: ” I was close to Baird on the re-start but didn’t get the run I wanted and as I didn’t quite have the pace today, followed him to the flag.
“We’ll do a bit of fine tuning overnight and hopefully be stronger tomorrow”.
Carrera Cup continues its fourth championship round with the 14-lap Race 2 starting at 10.35am and the final 14-lap heat starting at 1.30pm tomorrow.
See below for full Carrera Cup Race 1 result
|1||Jet Travel Insurance||Craig Baird (NZL)||19:44.6019||1:15.1188|
|2||Coates Hire Racing||Nicholas Percat (SA)||19:45.8235||1:15.3856|
|3||No Second Chance/Phase 8||Warren Luff (NSW)||19:47.6196||1:15.7475|
|4||Ausdrill – Onsite Racing||Michael Patrizi (WA)||19:48.8871||1:15.6156|
|5||Laser Plumbing & Electrical||Steven Richards (VIC)||19:49.9||1:15.7908|
|6||Davbridge Constructions||Shae Davies (QLD)||19:50.9619||1:15.7909|
|7||McGrath Estate Agents||Shane Smollen (NSW)||19:53.1262||1:17.3670|
|8||Team BRM/ Rentcorp Property Gr||Duvashen Padayachee NSW||19:54.0329||1:16.5816|
|9||Corporate Cleaning Services||Damien Flack (QLD)||19:54.7369||1:17.0051|
|10||Alternative Freight Services||Tony Bates (VIC)||19:57.2716||1:17.4768|
|11||Supabarn Supermarkets||James Koundouris(ACT)||19:58.2364||1:17.3098|
|12||Permagard Automotive||Max Twigg (VIC)||19:59.3249||1:17.1187|
|14||Grove Group||Stephen Grove (VIC)||20:03.5562||1:18.0462|
|15||Paul Kelly Motor Group||Paul Kelly (NZL)||20:04.3624||1:17.2788|
|16||Objective Racing||Tony Walls (NSW)||20:05.4248||1:18.7092|
|17||JMC Group||Martin Wagg (VIC)||20:06.3281||1:18.6074|
|DNF||Hallmarc||Marc Cini (VIC)||15:36.0690||1:18.0098|
|DNF||Porsche Centre Brighton||James Bergmuller (VIC)||15:36.7334||1:17.1963|
|DNF||Fujitsu Racing||Renee Gracie (QLD)||4:13.3793||1:19.7427|