Richards claims third and a big haul of Carrera Cup Australia points at the Grand Prix

SRM-Richards-Carrera_Cup-2016-R2_7342_med2014 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia champion Steven Richards weathered a hectic program and some spirited competition across the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park, to record a solid haul of points with three consecutive second place finishes for the round.

“It’s been a tough couple of weeks to be honest, with Clipsal in Adelaide and the Grand Prix just two weeks apart, but to come to the Grand Prix, battle through some testing conditions in qualifying and the opening races, then recover to be second in races two, three and four behind Alex [Davison] was a great result.”

Thursday saw Richards face just two 20-minute sessions ahead of the opening race, all held in intense heat and humidity, the reigning Bathurst 1000 champion a little behind the eight-ball to kick off the weekend, but from there, the #12 Laser Plumbing & Electrical Porsche was cemented into the front of the field.

“Race one for me was below par, we should have been higher up, but I got caught out wide at the start which is never easy, and from there it was a challenge to work my way forward, but the team worked hard overnight on the setup, and race two was a completely different matter.

In much cooler conditions and with rain threatening, Richards fired off the start to take Dean Fiore early and then David Wall soon after, the #12 Laser Racing Porsche up to fifth as rain started to fall.

That was all the incentive Richards needed as he put together some impressive sectors in the slippery conditions to be the fastest car on the circuit as he and third placed Alex Davison moved past the race leaders as they ran off at turn one. Not long after, Richard’s SRM team-mate James Bergmuller became trapped in the gravel trap at turn one, bringing out the Safety Car which ultimately settled the race.

Saturday’s third race was ultimately a fairly low-key affair, a slow start for the #12 Porsche forcing Richards into defence mode into turn one, but from there he put his head down and charged, shadowing Davison across the full ten lap journey for another solid points haul heading into the final race of the weekend.

Davison once again fired off the start to lead into turn one, but Richards again was stuck to his tail, the two series veterans charging away from the pack to record their third consecutive 1-2 finish of the event.

“In the end we just didn’t quite have Davison’s measure,” Richards admitted. “That said, the focus this weekend was on getting some serious championship points under our belts and we achieved that.

“For now there’s a bit more work to do on the car, as we’re clearly suffering from our pre-season engine setback, so we’re looking to the pre-Rennsport test at Sydney Motorsport Park in April to work on fine-tuning the car. We’re close, but if we want to take the fight to Alex, we need to find something a little bit extra and I’m pretty confident the boys will achieve just that.”

Round three of the 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship sees a return to the Porsche Rennsport Australia Festival at Sydney Motorsport Park on 29 April – 1 May where the series will be contested with two-drivers across two one-hour races.

2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship
Rnd#2 – Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne (17-20 March)

Qualifying (20-minutes) – 17 March
1. Matt Campbell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 1:58.4412
2. Nick McBride (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 1:58.9734
3. Ash Walsh (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 1:59.0547
4. Dean Fiore (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 1:59.1157
5. Steven Richards (Laser Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 1:59.1388

Race#1 (25-mins) – 17 March
1. Matt Campbell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 10-laps
2. Nick McBride (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
3. Dean Fiore (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
4. Alex Davison (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
5. David Wall (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
8. Steven Richards (Laser Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)

Race#2 (25-mins) – 18 March
1. Alex Davison (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 9-laps
2. Steven Richards (Laser Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
3. Matt Campbell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
4. Nick McBride (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
5. David Wall (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)

Race#3 (25-mins) – 19 March
1. Alex Davison (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 10-laps
2. Steven Richards (Laser Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
3. Nick McBride (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
4. Matt Campbell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
5. Michael Almond (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)

Race#4 (25-mins) – 20 March
1. Alex Davison (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) – 10-laps
2. Steven Richards (Laser Racing Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
3. Nick McBride (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
4. Ash Walsh (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)
5. Matt Campbell (Porsche 991 GT3 Cup)

2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia (points after two rounds of eight)
1. Nick McBride (300-points), 2. Matt Campbell (276.5), 3. Alex Davison (276.5), 4. Michael Almond (223.5), 5. Steven Richards (209), 6. David Wall (198.5), 7. Ashley Walsh (178.5), 8. Fraser Ross (170), 9. Dean Fiore (140), 10. Duvashen Padayachee (130)

Source. Motorsport Media

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