by Andrew van Leeuwen
The world’s most successful Porsche GT3 racer – Craig Baird – has taken out the Porsche Carrera Cup round at the 2011 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.
The Albert Park round was the first for the re-born Carrera Cup, which has been on hiatus in this country since 2009. And Baird did it reasonably easily, winning two of the three races to win the round by a whopping 30 points.
Behind him, Daniel Gaunt and Steven Richards finished equal second for the round, having finished second and third respectively in today’s final race.
Interestingly, it was a New Zealand 1-2-3 for the round, with Baird and Gaunt renewing rivalry that has been in full swing during the NZ Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge over the summer.
“I am ecstatic with this result, as Bairdo is no slug in these things so to get beaten by him is no disgrace,” said Gaunt.
“We have been getting more and more competitive as the weekend goes on, which is a huge relief for the team after just a few days of preparation.
“I hope to be competing in the rest of the rounds – I’ve just got to find a few more bucks to make it happen.”
Behind the three leaders, the final was a straightforward race. Mark Skaife was fourth, while Michael Patrizi capped off a remarkable comeback after his massive Friday crash to finish fifth. Behind them, Max Twigg continued to be the best of the non-professional drivers, finishing sixth.
Race 1 winner Jonny Reid’s bad luck continued in the final, with him and Ben Barker getting together on just the second lap of the race.
The incident took Reid out of contention for the race and the round, dropping him to 16th at the end, while Barker recovered to finish eighth.