Matt Campbell has scored his first race win at Albert Park with a flawless drive in the opening race of the Carrera Cup.
After scoring pole position, Campbell’s race was set-up with a great start which saw him lead away from championship leader Nick McBride.
With drivers fighting for position heading into Turn 3, Ash Walsh was squeezed and contact in the left-rear by Alex Davison saw damage to Walsh’s suspension. As he slowed and moved to get out of the way, he was turned by Steve Richards, who also sustained front-end damage.
“I don’t know who it was, but they used me as a brake marker heading into Turn #3,” said Walsh.
“It broke the top arm and punctured the tyre. The damage was done and I was actually trying to get out of the way when Steve Richards hit me and I spun off.”
The resulting jockeying for position saw Dean Fiore move into third, setting up a race-long battle with Davison, David Wall and Fraser Ross.
Davison hounded Fiore all the way, but despite some minor errors, it was Fiore who held onto the position through to the finish.
Up front Campbell eased a gap on McBride and he held that through to the chequered flag. It was his eighth win in the Carrera Cup series, despite it being only his second season in the Porsche championship.
“It was fantastic to be fast all day, including practice and then getting the pole plus the opening race win,” said Campbell.
“The start was good and I saw a few lock-ups behind me. I was glad to steer clear of all the trouble and pull a gap through to the finish.”
In the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge, Tony Bates led early before an error saw him go wide and allow James Bergmuller into the lead. However, with three laps left to run Bergmuller also went wide across one of the gravel traps. That allowed Bates back into the lead from a hard-dicing Stephen Grove and Shane Smollen.
“Nice to follow up from Clipsal with another win and get more points on the board,” said Bates.
“There are three more races this weekend, so bring it on.”
The second of four races in the Carrera Cup will be run Friday afternoon at 3.30pm local time.
RESULTS: Race 1 – Carrera Cup : Albert Park
|1||7||Matt Campbell||Nuveau Construct. Qld/Phase 8||P|
|2||77||Nick McBride||Bob Jane T-Marts||P|
|3||8||Dean Fiore||Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne||P|
|4||25||Alex Davison||Wilson Parking||P|
|5||38||David Wall||Wilson Security||P|
|6||360||Fraser Ross||360 Fly||P|
|7||45||Duvashen Padayachee||Darrell Lea STIX||P|
|8||12||Steven Richards||Laser Plumbing and Electrical||P|
|9||54||James Abela||Horsley Park Gunshop||P|
|11||88||Dylan O’Keeffe||Allstar Equipment/Dexion Supply||P|
|14||4||Stephen Grove||Grove Hire||C|
|16||56||Shane Smollen||McGrath Estate Agents||C|
|17||39||Adrian Mastronardo||Veritas Property Group||C|
|19||777||Ash Walsh||Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend||P|