Porsche Carrera Cup entertains record crowds in Townsville

2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Championship | Townsville

Article and Images by Rhys Vandersyde

Porsche Carrera Cup | Wrap Up -

In stark contrast to the previous round of the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Championship at Victoria’s Phillip Island Raceway, Townsville in Queensland Far North provided much warmer and inviting conditions for teams and fans alike.

Making up the fourth round of the 2015 Carrera Cup Championship, the cars took to the Townsville Street Circuit for qualifying and three 20 lap races across the weekend.

Qualifying

With 25 minutes on the clock, the drivers had plenty of time to lock in a quick lap time tight street track although qualifying was cut short early when the No. 23 JBS Australia Porsche of Roger Lago crashed heavily on the back side of the circuit.

As a result a number of the key championship contenders hadn’t banked a fast lap time so when the Red Flag ended the session, David Russell had the fastest time in the Finance Ezi No. 10 Porsche with a time of 1:14.26. Second fastest was the Phase 8/Nuveau Construction No. 7 Porsche of Matt Campbell who narrowly beat the Darrell Lea Stix No. 45 entry of Duvashen Padayachee.

Lago wasn’t the only driver to come to grief during the qualifying session with the Bob Jane T-Marts No. 77 Porsche of Nick McBride finding the wall also during the session with both drivers sitting out Race 1 after failing to make repairs in time.

Race 1

David Russell made the most of his pole position with Nick Foster closing in with the No. 777 Bob Jane T-Marts Porsche after a brilliant start, launching from the second row into second place.

Russell and Foster battled it out over the length of the race with Richard Muscat (No. 22 Wilson Security/Payce Porsche) joining the battle. However Russell would make a small mistake on Lap 12 allowing Foster and Muscat to pass.

Forster would take out the win with Muscat second and Russell hanging for third in the Professional Class. Shane Smollen in the No. 56 McGrath Estate Agents Porsche took the TAG Heuer Challenge win, in twelfth outright.

Race 2

Starting in their finishing position from the previous race, Richard Muscat took an early lead with Forster trailing close behind in second place.

Fraser Ross (No. 65 Porsche Centre Brighton Porsche) and Duvashan Padaychee (No. 45 Darrell Lea Stix Porsche) made contact before the end of the first lap, spinning both cars with both playing catch up for the rest of the race.

Foster not content with second place saw Muscat struggling for pace and challenged him for the lead with Russel and Steven Richards (No. 1 Laser Plumbing & Electrical) following his lead.

With a straight forward finish to Race 2, Forster took the chequered flag making it back to back wins with Russell in second place and defending series champion Richards claiming third after a disappointment result in Race 1.

Shane Smollen also went back to back wining the TAG Heuer Challenge category to finish eleventh outright in his No. 56 McGrath Estate Agents Porsche.

Race 3

Keen to make amends in Race 3, Russell jumped the start and was penalised with five seconds being added to his race time with Foster making a clean start on his way to three class wins for the weekend.

Further back in the pack it was complete carnage with several cars making contact. Mark Cini spun into the pit entry while Scott Taylor made heavy contact with Shane Smollen. Smollen would continue with a damaged car however Taylor would be left stranded forcing the Safety Car onto the track.

The race soon resumed with Foster leading and Russell again jumping the restart and received a drive through penalty putting an end to his race weekend.

The Safety car would be called upon again when Adrian Mastronardo spun and stranded his No. 39 Veritas Porsche on one of the kerbs. With time ticking down, the race finished under the control of the safety car with Foster claiming three wins to close out the weekend.

Richards claimed second after benefiting from Russell’s race penalties while Craig Baird returned to the podium in third.

Championship

Steven Richards maintains his lead over Craig Baird in the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Championship with Richard Muscat moving into third after a successful weekend. Nick Forster’s four wins in the last four races has helped him recover into fifth position after an earlier DNF this year.

The 2015 Australian Carrera Cup Championship continues at Sydney Motorsport Park joining up with the V8 Supercar round in Sydney in August.

Next Round

The next round of the Porsche Carrera Cup continues at Sydney Motorsport Park with the V8 Supercars Championship round in 21st – 23rd August, 2015.

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For details on the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, click > www.carreracup.com.au

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