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Extending his lead in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge for the 2010/2011 season, Triple X Motorsport driver Daniel Gaunt finished second for the weekend of race action at Teretonga. CREDIT: Kaptured.com
Defending Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge champion Craig Baird in the ZM Mad Butcher Porsche 997 surged ahead in this weekend's third round of the 2010/2011 season. CREDIT: Kaptured.com
Leader of the pack, Craig Baird won two of the weekend's Porsche races held at Teretonga near Invercargill to narrow the lead to team-mate Daniel Gaunt. CREDIT: SportProMedia.com
The weekend’s third round of the NZ Porsche Cup Challenge series has seen defending champion and Triple X Motorsport driver Craig Baird hunt down the points lead enjoyed by team-mate Daniel Gaunt at Teretonga, near Invercargill.
Finishing second in the weekend’s first of three races around the 2.61 kilometre circuit, Baird in the ZM Mad Butcher Porsche 997 took his first win of the year in the Sunday morning race. Starting from sixth in the final and top-six reverse grid race, Baird stormed past four cars in wet conditions to take an un-challenged second victory.
Finishing third, having started near the rear of the field, Gaunt in the MPD VnC Cocktails car followed Baird’s early passing moves but was unable to catch the Gold Coast based Kiwi. Pounced on late in the race by Jonny Reid, Gaunt was happy to finish with enough points to maintain his series lead.
“The plan for the weekend was to finish, so I was driving at a very comfortable level to finish that last race – there was no need to push in those conditions. It’s still early in the series and we’ve got a lot of racing to do, it’s just about finishing and collecting those points,” said Gaunt, having finished second overall for the race weekend.
Baird’s second victory elevated him to third in the six round series, 134 points behind Gaunt.
“We’re only at the third round; I’m not holding my hat on the championship, but there is always a chance,” explained Baird of his championship status.
“I’ve got to take every opportunity that’s presented to me, race by race. Obviously it’s a bit harder when you’re leading the championship as you don’t know when to push and when to hold. But we’re in a much better position now than when we started the weekend; we’ve just got to keep forging ahead.”
Christchurch’s Paul Kelly had his best result of the season, finishing fourth in his Porsche 997 having started from second position in the final race. A coming-together between team principal Shane McKillen in the VnC Cocktails Porsche 997 and Scott Harrison in the Mad Butcher Carpet One Porsche 997 dropped the pair down the running order. However Harrison earned enough points from his sixth placed finish to secure third overall and join his team-mates on the weekend podium.
Michael Morton in the Outlaws Bar Porsche 997 finished eighth in the Sunday morning race, but had to depart the circuit upon hearing of a family bereavement.
The team now head to Timaru for next weekend’s fourth round of the series, held at the Levels Raceway, 21 – 23 January 2011.