Alex Davison has dominated the opening Endurance Cup race of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season to conclude the Sandown Raceway event, as Nick McBride and Stephen Grove were the ultimate round victors.
Placing third and second in Saturday’s two races, Davison moved into the lead early in the 24-lap endurance race and pulled away to ultimately claim a five-second victory from teammates Andre Heimgartner and McBride, who held Jaxon Evans at bay after a challenge for position in the final laps.
McBride’s third place secured him his second round victory in what was his 30th Carrera Cup round start, with the Melbourne based racer thrilled to star at his home event.
“It’s been a long time since my last round win. I was disappointed at the Grand Prix where I was equal on points but was relegated to second, so this feels pretty special,” said McBride.
“The car has been really strong from practice one this weekend. Overall it’s been a really positive weekend and a big thanks to the team who has helped turn around what has been a bit of a form slump over the previous two rounds.”
Davison’s race three victory placed him second for the round ahead of Heimgartner, who stood on the final step of the outright round podium.
Grove, meanwhile, jumped to the lead of the Endurance Cup standing in TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge with class victory in race three.
Grove was third in class for Saturday’s race one and inherited the class win in race two after Tim Miles, along with 10 other drivers, received a five-second time penalty for weaving once the race two safety car had turned off its lights ahead of the restart.
Thereafter Grove was the Challenge pacesetter in the final race to finish on equal round points with Miles by the end of the weekend, though Grove’s race three victory handed him the round win.
“This is normally a good track for me, but I struggled in practice and had a poor qualifying session so to work my way back to win race three is really good,” said Grove. “I’ve just got to continue accruing points and trying to make sure I’m finishing every race for the remainder of the season.”
Miles placed second in class for the weekend from third placed Dean Cook.
Series leader David Wall had a quiet Sandown round, finishing fourth, sixth and sixth in the three races, and takes a 62 point lead into the penultimate round, while McBride’s impressive Sandown performance moved him to second in the standings ahead of Heimgartner in third.
Grove retains his TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge stronghold with two rounds remaining from Marc Cini and Miles.
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia returns for the penultimate round of the 2017 season on the first weekend of October at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, to continue its Endurance Cup.
Race 3 Results
1. 888 Alex Davison (Outright) President Limo Australia – 24 laps, 28:36.9556s
2. 777 Andre Heimgartner (Outright) Bob Jane T-Marts/Money Now – 24 laps, 28:42.1860s
3. 77 Nick McBride (Outright) Sonic/Bob Jane T-Marts – 24 laps, 28:42.8423s
4. 7 Jaxon Evans (Outright) Hungry Jacks – 24 laps, 28:43.1711s
5. 88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Outright) APB Group/President Limo Australia – 24 laps, 28:44.9421s
6. 38 David Wall (Outright) PAYCE/Wilson Security – 24 laps, 28:45.3272s
7. 5 Cameron McConville (Outright) Repair Management Australia – 24 laps, 28:49.1975s
8. #136 James Abela (Outright) Horsley Park Gun Shop – 24 laps, 29:05.6673s
9. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Grove Group – 24 laps, 29:29.8490s
10. #23 Brenton Grove (Outright) Porsche Centre Melbourne – 24 laps, 29:30.6534s
11. #70 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Miles Advisory Partners – 24 laps, 29:33.9335s
12. #33 Simon Ellingham (Outright) Peak Marketing – 24 laps, 29:41.0714s
13. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Hallmarc – 24 laps, 29:42.2631s
14. #79 Jordan Love (Outright) Sonic Motor Racing/Quintis – 24 laps, 29:44.1878s
15. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) HTFU – 23 laps, 28:51.9822s
16. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) Zonzo Racing – 23 laps, 29:00.2560s
17. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge) WRA – 23 laps, 29:19.4095s
DNF #34 John Morriss (Guest) Motorsport Leasing/Race Ramps – 6 laps, 7:31.8805s
DNF #26 Michael Almond (Outright) Copyworld