Alex Davison has secured a ‘satisfying’ lights-to-flag domination of race three at Albert Park following a chaotic opening lap, while Stephen Grove overcame early crash damage to claim an intense TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge victory.
Davison took his first win of the season on Friday’s race two after the leading duo, Matt Campbell and Nick McBride, ran off the circuit in variable weather conditions, with Davison inheriting the race lead and, ultimately, victory. Today, however, the former series champion led from the start and pulled away from his rivals to claim an emphatic race win from quiet achiever Steven Richards, who scored his second consecutive second place finish.
“That win was very satisfying. I also won yesterday but it didn’t feel quite as good because the other guys speared off before the safety car. To dominate from start to finish today is very satisfying; we had really good pace and managed to get a safety buffer, which is not always easy in a one-make championship like Carrera Cup. For me, that was the first proper win of the season,” said Davison.
“It’s been so tough watching everyone else race and improve for the last couple of years and you’re sitting on the couch, where you don’t really improve your driving very much. To be back racing Carrera Cup again is awesome and to get our first proper win is also fantastic.”
McBride and Campbell, who sit first and second in the standings, placed third and fourth, from Michael Almond, who held off a fast-finishing Ash Walsh during the closing laps for fifth place.
Fraser Ross placed seventh, his first result outside the top six this season, from David Wall, Duvashen Padayachee, Garth Walden and Dylan O’Keeffe in 11th.
The battle in the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge was the highlight of the race – a four-way battle for the lead in the closing laps was won by Grove, his second straight class win.
“To back up yesterday’s win with another victory today is really good, but they made me work for it. I worked hard,” said Grove, who sustained rim and tyre damage after contact on the opening lap.
“I was driving with a vibration the whole race and I was hanging on for dear life. Dear life! Especially through the high speed corners because the rear of the car wanted to let go, but I had to stay on the gas or else James Bergmuller would pass me. They just kept coming. I was hoping Tony Bates would give Bergmuller a harder time and give me a jump but it just didn’t happen. I worked hard. That was a hard, hard race.”
Bergmuller placed second in class from Adrian Mastronardo and Bates.
James Abela was well placed in eighth early in the race though he received a mechanical black flag due to an unsecured rear bumper, which forced to 17-year-old to the pits to remove.
The safety car was called to the circuit after the opening lap following a turn one accident involving Marc Cini, Dean Fiore and Shane Smollen – all sustaining race ending damage from the turn one contact.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia presented by Pages will hold its final race of the weekend at 1:50pm on Sunday, which will be broadcast live on Ten.
Race Schedule (local time)
Sunday March 20, 2016
1:50pm – Race 4 (25 minutes)
Race 3 Results
1. #25 Alex Davison – Wilson Parking – 10 laps, 22:10.0133s
2. #12 Steven Richards – Laser Plumbing and Electrical – 10 laps, 22:11.8307s
3. #77 Nick McBride – Bob Jane T-Marts – 10 laps, 22:13.1501s
4. #7 Matt Campbell – Nuveau Construct. Qld/Phase 8 – 10 laps, 22:15.2579s
5. #26 Michael Almond – Stone’s Original/Copyworld – 10 laps, 22:16.2634s
6. #777 Ash Walsh – Bob Jane T-Marts/Infants Friend – 10 laps, 22:16.6076s
7. #360 Fraser Ross – 360fly – 10 laps, 22:20.8751s
8. #38 David Wall – Wilson Security – 10 laps, 22:26.2053s
9. #45 Duvashen Padayachee – Darrell Lea STIX – 10 laps, 22:28.2873s
10. #21 Garth Walden – Commercial Interior Projects – 10 laps, 22:30.3035s
11. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe Allstar Equipment/Dexion Supply Centre – 10 laps, 22:30.6860s
12. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Hire – 10 laps, 22:48.5013s
13. #13 James Bergmuller (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) pricepressure.com.au – 10 laps, 22:48.7066s
14. #39 Adrian Mastronardo (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Veritas Property Group – 10 laps, 22:52.5236s
15. #24 Tony Bates (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Moveitnet/A.F.S – 10 laps, 23:19.8466s
16. #54 James Abela – Horsley Park Gunshop – 10 laps, 24:06.4826s
DNF #56 Shane Smollen (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) McGrath Estate Agents
DNF #8 Dean Fiore – Saint/Porsche Centre Melbourne
DNF #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc