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Albert Park master strikes back

Craig Baird has hit back with a vengeance in race two of the Porsche Carrera Cup program at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

After finishing – for him – a lowly third in race one, today was all about redemption, and the New Zealander’s intentions were clear from the outset when he nipped underneath Steve Richards at turn one seconds after the start.

From there, he wasn’t headed again, although he did have to contend with Nick Percat sitting on his bumper for a fair chunk of the eight-lap journey.

But with Percat easing off in the last few laps to manage a front brake issue, Baird sauntered to a resounding 5.24-second victory – his 12th in the Carrera Cup around Albert Park, and 51st overall in the category.

“As per usual, the start is very important, and I obviously got away very well when I passed Steve early on,” said Baird. “The car was very good and I pushed on quite hard – and there were areas where my car was better than Nick’s, and areas where his was better than mine.

“When Nick had the brake issue I managed to skip away, and then it was all about getting to the chequered flag without writing my acceptance speech in the car and losing concentration!” Warren Luff finished in third position after a race-long ding-dong with Michael Patrizi, while Steve Johnson and Richards were similarly huddled together in fifth and sixth.

Richards, the race one winner, was shuffled back to fourth position early on before his chances of a repeat evaporated completely after he ran off the circuit and dropped back to 11th. Max Twigg was the first Elite driver home in seventh position.

The final race is at 2:10pm tomorrow.

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