Look back in history Sunday: Baird seals 2012 Carrera Cup title on the GC

Back in 2012 Kiwi driver Craig Baird was able to seal the overall Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title at penultimate round on the Gold Coast.

Baird took victory in the first two races at the GC, and led from the start of Sunday’s Race 3. However, an uncharacteristic error in the opening lap forced Baird down the order, handing Jonny Reid the race lead.

Reid pulled away from the field to claim a two-second victory, with Steven Richards holding off a race-long challenge from Alex Davison to take second place.

Andre Heimgartner finished his round on a high, placing fourth in the final race from Nick Foster, Daniel Gaunt, Shae Davies and Baird, recovering to finish eighth.

Jonny Reid during the 2012 Armor All Gold Coast 600

While Baird’s error handed Reid the round win, eighth was enough to secure him the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title with one round remaining.

Following the GC round, Baird held a 180-point lead in the standings. With 180 points on offer at the Sydney finale it was Baird’s title as he had 10 race wins over the season – compared to Davison’s four wins – meaning the New Zealander would win the championship even if the duo were to finish on equal points.

“I never thought I’d be leaving this round with the championship. I came into this round thinking I’d like to have a race win or two and keep the points gap as it was, or try to extend it,” said Baird.

“I’d go as far as to say that this is the best championship win. There were a solid five or six drivers that were capable of winning the championship at the beginning of the season and we’ve won 10 out of 21 races with more poles than anyone else.”

Reid was ecstatic with his performance in his third round win of the season. “Some people may look at it as though we were handed the round win, but we certainly put the pressure on from the start and made sure Baird had the hardest job possible. It would have been a good battle, the car was fantastic and, even on used rubber, we were setting really good times,” said Reid.

Heimgartner, who finished fifth in the round points behind Reid, Richards, Davison and Gaunt, secured the Michelin Australia Sportsperson of the Year Award.

Craig Baird during the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, round 6 of the 2012 Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia

At the previous round held as a support category for the 2012 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Supercars round, Baird was unstoppable claiming pole position and three race wins. The round win saw Baird heading to the GC with a lengthy 114 point lead in the Outright standings over Davison, with Reid 95 points further adrift.

Baird also was the best placed Carrera Cup driver in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars race, placing eighth with co-driver Lee Holdsworth.

At the final round at Sydney Olympic Park , Reid had the perfect round securing him second in the Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia standings.

After two race victories on Saturday, Reid took the lead from the start of Sunday’s Race 3 ahead of Daniel Gaunt, Steven Richards and 2012 champion Craig Baird.

Reid remained in the lead for the entire race until the chequered flag, ahead of Gaunt and Baird, who held off Alex Davison in a battle for third on the final lap

Jonny Reid, Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia, Sydney Motorsport Park 2012

Benjamin Carrell

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits both talkmotorsport.co.nz and nzmotorracing.co.nz. He writes for a number of Kiwi drivers and motorsport clubs. That's when he's not working in his horticultural day-job or training for the next road or mtb cycle race!

http://nzmotorracing.co.nz

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