Race 2 in the Porsche Carrera Cup threw up a challenge to Steven Richards, as Mark Fattore reports.
Championship leader Warren Luff has exacted his revenge on arch-rival Steve Richards, winning today’s Porsche Carrera Cup race at the 2014 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
The duo was again a class above the competition, but this time Luff led throughout as he posted a 1.38-second victory over race one winner Richards, with the top five completed by Nick Foster, Craig Baird and Sam Power.
Richards won the opener by a similar margin over Luff, and the only discernible difference between the two at Albert Park so far is their getaways – Luff was slow to launch in race one, and today it was Richards who compromised his chances.
The eight-lapper lost two of its brightest starters almost at once when an over-exuberant Michael Patrizi cannoned into Shae Davies at Turn 1, with Richards also lucky not to be caught up as collateral damage. Patrizi and Davies finished fourth and fifth respectively in race one.
Luff would have seen the Patrizi/Davies incident in his mirrors, but it certainly didn’t faze him as he got straight down to the business of controlling the race, reprising the form that served him so well in the opening round of the 2014 Porsche Carrera Cup in Adelaide two weeks ago.
Luff has now won four of the five races in this year’s title – the type of insatiable numbers that five-time Carrera Cup champion Baird has so often produced.
“Steve (Richards) took the mantle of having a bad start today, so we’re now even on that score,” said Luff.
“The starts are critical in this category, as if you have a bad one you are at the mercy of your competitors.
“Today, I was a lot happier with the balance of my car, and it was quite a good package.”
Nick McBride was sixth in race two, one spot better than the opener, ahead of Michael Almond and Duvashen Padayachee. The first Elite driver was Roger Lago in ninth position.
Meanwhile, Shane Smollen joined Patrizi and Davies on the DNF list, while Tony Walls was a non-starter after his big shunt against the wall in race one.
The third and final race will be held at 2:05pm on Sunday.