Craig Baird has put on a masterful display of driving to win the opening Carrera Cup race after coming through from seventh place on the grid.
It was only Baird’s second race win of the season. The other coming at the mini-enduro event at Phillip Island in May.
With the afternoon wet in Western Sydney continuing, Baird made the most of the tricky conditions to make his way to inside the top-3 by just the third of 14 laps.
He passed the pole sitter Warren Luff for second on lap #7, before getting by Michael Patrizi for the lead one lap later; just after a yellow flag zone for the stranded Greg Taylor Porsche.
A safety car was called, and even after the field was bunched, Baird was able to pull away from Patrizi. Joint-championship leaders Luff and Steve Richards had a great battle for third. Richards got a run around the outside to grab third and take a narrow points lead in the title chase.
A great run from Tony Bates was rewarded with eighth place overall and first in Elite, with Stephen Grove and Tony Walls taking the minor placings.
The Carrera Cup has two more races tomorrow.
VIDEO: Baird and Bates speak after the race
RESULTS: Race 1 Carrera Cup – Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||1||Bonaire/Wilson Security||Craig Baird (VIC)|
|2||29||Onsite Rental Racing||Michael Patrizi (SA)|
|3||12||Laser Plumbing & Electrical||Steven Richards (VIC)|
|4||7||No Second Chance/Phase 8||Warren Luff (QLD)|
|5||27||Childhood Cancer Association||Sam Power (SA)|
|6||88||Davbridge Constructions||Shae Davies (QLD)|
|7||77||Bob Jane T-Marts||Nick McBride (VIC)|
|8||24||Alternative Freight/All Star||Tony Bates (VIC)|
|9||55||Fujitsu Racing||Renee Gracie (QLD)|
|10||56||McGrath Estate Agents||Shane Smollen (NSW)|
|11||777||Bob Jane T-Marts||Nick Foster (VIC)|
|12||11||Royal Purple Oil/Garth Walden||Ash Samadi (NSW)|
|13||26||Copyworld||Michael Almond (SA)|
|14||4||Grove Group||Stephen Grove (VIC)|
|15||5||Objective Racing||Tony Walls (QLD)|
|16||23||JBS Australia||Roger Lago (QLD)|
|17||22||V.I.P Homes Services||Brenton Ramsay (SA)|
|18||13||Porsche Centre Brighton||James Bergmuller (VIC)|
|19||10||Finance EZI/Foxtel||Maurice Pickering (QLD)|
|20||39||Veritas||Adrian Mastronardo (NSW)|
|21||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Scott Taylor (QLD)|
|22||38||Taylor Motorsport/Adina Apartm||Greg Taylor (NSW)|
|DNF||45||VIP Petfoods||Duvashen Padayachee NSW|