Five-time Carrera Cup Australia champion Craig Baird will take over the position of Driving Standards Advisor for the category this season.
The move marks the first time that Baird will not be on the Carrera Cup grid as a competitor since 2005.
Now 45, Baird has won 21 rounds, 60 races and scored 43 round podiums in the category, taking the crown in 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
He has held the role of Driving Standards Advisor for the second-tier GT3 Cup Challenge for the last four years and takes over the Carrera Cup position from Paul Stokell.
The move does not mark a retirement from racing for Baird however, with recent confirmation that he’ll share Scott Taylor’s new Mercedes in the Australian GT Championship.
“Continuing as part of the Carrera Cup championship is an exciting prospect and I’m looking forward to adding to the series from a different angle,” said Baird.
“The championship is home to some of the country’s best semi-professional racers, who I look forward to assisting to help them get the most out of their Carrera Cup experience.
“There are also many young talented racers who I’m sure I could help fast-track their learning in the championship.
“Having watched drivers develop and improve in the GT3 Cup Challenge series has been very rewarding and it will be great to see a similar trend in Carrera Cup this season.”
Porsche Cars Australia Motorsport Manager, Kurt Sakzewski, says Baird’s experience behind the wheel will serve the category well.
“Having Craig as part of our team has a two pronged benefit – his ability to coach drivers in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car is unrivalled while the respect he has from his fellow drivers and extensive experience makes him the perfect candidate to serve as Driving Standards Adviser,” said Sakzewski.
“Craig has added great value to our GT3 Cup Challenge series; his educational approach has increased the quality of racing and therefore, reduced the need for judicial intervention.
“He provided much to Carrera Cup as a driver and he will be greatly beneficial to the championship in his new role.”
The new Carrera Cup season kicks off at the Clipsal 500 on March 3-6.