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Baird goes back-to-back

Gold Coast-based New Zealander Craig Baird has made light work of the field to win the third and final Porsche Carrera Cup race at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

There’s always a sense of inevitability when Baird hits the lead in a Carrera Cup race at Albert Park, and so it was again today when he led from start-to-finish ahead of Warren Luff and race one winner Steve Richards.

Baird has now won four consecutive Carrara Cup rounds at Albert Park.

McLaughlin takes first win, Coulthard takes overall honours

Nineteen-year-old rookie Scott McLaughlin has performed like a seasoned professional to win his first V8 Supercar race at Albert Park this afternoon, as the MSS Security-backed V8 Supercars Challenge at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix came to a close.

The New Zealander didn’t put a foot wrong in race four as he streaked to a 1.658-second victory over Craig Lowndes, who just got the better of Fabian Coulthard. All three drivers were in Commodores.

Lyons rampant

British teenager Michael Lyons has run away with victory in the Total Oil International Sports Cars race at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

The 19-year-old took his thumping 8.8-litre March 717 – which is owned by his father -- to a 24-second victory over Victorian Alex Davison (Porsche 936-81) in the five-lap race, with Russell Kempnich (Porsche 956C) in third position.

Lyons has enjoyed a dream fortnight in Australia, after also clean-sweeping the sports car races at the Phillip Island classic event last weekend.

Mixed reactions: what they said about Qualifying

Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne blamed his Toro Rosso team for an incorrect call to use slick super-soft tyres in Q2, a decision that he said cost him a place in Q3.

"Qualifying was going quite well on my first run," said Vergne. "When I came into the pits after the long first run on intermediates, I was expecting to fit the same type of tyres, but the team opted to put me on slicks.

"I believed they had a better picture of the situation than I did, but it turned out to be the wrong choice and cost me a chance to get into Q3, which is a shame."

Easy for some!

“It looked easy,Seb,” said an inquisitive English journalist after Sebastian Vettel had mastered the damp and blustery conditions at Albert Park to seize pole here for the third time and for the 37th time in his Formula 1 career.

“Well then, you should do it next time!” was the World Champion’s retort. “Definitely not easy in these conditions,” he said firmly.

“I had two good runs, one on inters, one on dry tyres and on the dries I got into the groove. The car felt very similar in balance to what I had on Friday so I was happy and ready to push in the lap.

Red Bull roar again with front-row lock-out

Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber showed their champion qualities on Sunday morning when they locked out the front row of the grid for the Rolex Australian Grand Prix – just as they did in 2010.

Seventeen and a half hours after it began on a rain-hit and windswept Saturday, the normal hour of qualifying was finally completed with defending triple World Champion Vettel on pole for the 37th time in his career.

The shape of things to come

Okay, let’s take a deep breath… and have a think about where we are.

Yes, we’re at Albert Park and it’s race day for the 2103 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix – but there the familiarity ends.

F1 veterans will feel it’s just like old times, when qualifying was split into two sessions over Saturday and Sunday and we aggregated the lap times.

Whiting recommends a postponement

Formula 1 Race Director and Safety Delegate Charlie Whiting was the man who on Saturday advised stewards at the Rolex Australian Grand Prix to admit they were beaten by the rain and to reschedule the completion of qualifying for Sunday morning, six hours ahead of the race.

Whiting said he took the decision after consultation with his FIA colleagues and was at no time put under any pressure to do so from teams or drivers. He said it was a simple, pragmatic decision taken without consideration for any commercial considerations.

Pole position still up for grabs as weather plays havoc with the program

There used to be engines in Formula 1 called Coventry Climax, but for everyone at Albert Park it was anti-climax as Melbourne’s weather put paid to the eagerly anticipated opening qualifying session of the 2013 season.

While the first 20-minute segment of the one-hour qualifying period did take place, race officials eventually decided it was too wet and dark to risk any further running on a rain-soaked track and the second and third segments will now take place – weather permitting – at 11am on Sunday.

GP Breakfast

The stars of Formula One, past and present, walked the red carpet at the inaugural Australian Grand Prix Breakfast on Saturday 16 March at Crown Palladium.

Over 1,000 motorsport fans packed the ballroom for the event that featured special guest appearances from Formula One drivers including Kimi Räikkönen, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez and Australian motorsport legends Sir Jack Brabham and Alan Jones.


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