Jaxon Evans has strengthened his lead in the Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia championship with victory in race two at Bathurst, while TAG Heuer Pro-Am points leader Stephen Grove capitalised on opening lap dramas to claim the Pro-Am class win and an impressive points haul with just four races remaining for the season.
David Wall started from pole position, though it was Evans who was first into the opening corner with Jordan Love moving from the second row of the grid to second place as the safety car was called to the circuit.
Roger Lago was passing Indiran Padayachee on the run up Mountain Straight when the duo touched, spearing Lago across the circuit and into Dale Wood; both Lago and Wood failing to finish their second race of the weekend.
Evans retained the front position from the restart and, despite challenges from fellow Michelin Junior Love, the Queensland-based New Zealander claimed the race win, his fifth for the season and 10th in the Carrera Cup championship.
“To start on the front row was one thing, but to get the jump on Wall and lead the field on the first lap was pretty special. I’m happy to come away with the win considering where we qualified on Friday,” said Evans, who ended Thursday’s qualifying session in ninth.
“We’re really just trying to build the gap between us and Dylan at the moment and hopefully we take a decent lead into the final round at the Gold Coast in a couple of weeks.”
Love placed just 0.4secs behind Evans in second while reigning champion and race one winner Wall placed third.
Cameron Hill continued his impressive Bathurst weekend with his second fourth place of the weekend from O’Keeffe in fifth, continuing his move through the field after his weekend hopes were dashed with dramas at the opening corner of race one.
Glen Wood placed sixth from Nick McBride, Adam Garwood and James Moffat, who finished ninth from the rear of the grid, while Peter Major rounded out the top 10.
O’Keeffe’s difficult Bathurst round has given Evans a significant advantage in the Outright and Pro class championship race. With four races and 240 points still on offer, Evans now holds a commanding 114-point lead in the Outright points and a 125-point margin in the Pro class standings.
Grove continued his impressive TAG Heuer Pro-Am performance at The Mountain, taking his second class race win at Bathurst.
Grove’s second win for the weekend didn’t come easily with Tim Miles pressuring Grove for the majority of the shortened seven-lap race.
Following Lago’s misfortune in both Bathurst races, Grove now holds a substantial 116-point lead in the Pro-Am standings ahead of the final Bathurst race on Sunday morning.
“This is a really special place to take two wins from two races. Tim Miles just kept coming and coming so I had to just keep my head down and push as hard as I could,” said Grove.
“Miles has a lot of pace this weekend and I’m really pushing, which is pretty close to my limit right around the track. I’ve got no more in me so it’s a real credit for the pressure he’s applied so far this weekend.”
Debutant Dave Stevens scored his first top-three Pro-Am result of his Carrera Cup career in just his second race, finishing ahead of Anthony Gilbertson, Adrian Flack, Dean Cook, Marc Cini, Sam Shahin and Graham Williams, who placed ninth in class.
Just one race remains for the penultimate Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia round at Mount Panorama, held at 9:30am on Sunday.
Race Schedule (local time)
Sunday October 7
9:30am Race 3 (9 laps)
Results: Race 2
1. #7 Jaxon Evans (Pro) 7 laps, 20:32.0
2. #777 Jordan Love (Pro) 7 laps, 20:32.4
3. #1 David Wall (Pro) 7 laps, 20:33.7
4. #111 Cameron Hill (Pro) 7 laps, 20:37.5
5. #88 Dylan O’Keeffe (Pro) 7 laps, 20:39.6
6. #888 Glen Wood (Pro) 7 laps, 20:39.9
7. #8 Nick McBride (Pro) 7 laps, 20:41.1
8. #12 Adam Garwood (Pro) 7 laps, 20:41.5
9. #18 James Moffat (Pro) 7 laps, 20:50.2
10. #14 Peter Major (Pro) 7 laps, 20:51.6
11. #4 Stephen Grove (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 20:51.8
12. #6 Tim Miles (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 20:52.0
13. #15 Josh Hunt (Pro) 7 laps, 20:58.3
14. #50 Dave Stevens (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 20:59.8
15. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:00.0
16. #20 Adrian Flack (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:03.7
17. #22 Dean Cook (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:08.3
18. #9 Marc Cini (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:10.9
19. #13 Sam Shahin (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:11.2
20. #131 Graham Williams (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 21:25.2
21. #35 Indiran Padayachee (TAG Heuer Pro-Am) 7 laps, 22:02.6
DNF #23 Roger Lago (TAG Heuer Pro-Am)
DNF #100 Dale Wood (Pro)