Three wins for Foster; Baird maintains second on points table

Nick Foster was unstoppable at Porsche Carrera Cup Australia’s fourth round in Townsville taking three dominant race wins while Shane Smollen claimed his second straight class round win.

After victory in Saturday’s opening race, Foster quickly found the front in race two and eventually claimed the race win from David Russell, Steven Richards, Richard Muscat and Craig Baird.

Foster then took control of the final race of the weekend, leading into the first safety car period – brought on to recover the car of Scott Taylor from turn one – and then when the safety car joined the circuit for the second time to recover the car of Adrian Mastronardo. Foster’s race win was confirmed when the race was declared under safety car, taking the win from Richards, Baird, Muscat, Matt Campbell and John Martin. The dominant performance was the first clean sweep of race wins in Townsville since Dan Gaunt’s 2011 success.

“It doesn’t get much better than that. We’ve had a well-documented tough start to the year so this is a good way to bounce back. It was great to get the Professional Class victory at Phillip Island along with a race win and then to string all three races here in Townsville is awesome. We won comfortably in the first two races and then made a change in the last race and improved even further; my fastest lap was towards the end of race three when the tyres were at their oldest. The team is doing a great job and I’m really happy with the way I’m driving. Three out of three is amazing.”

Fourth for Muscat, following a second and fourth result in the opening two races, was enough to secure him second for the round in the Professional Class and a career best Carrera Cup round result.

“I wanted to be in the top five in the championship after the first three rounds and had hoped that I would start to push up the field. This weekend proved that we can run with the front guys,” said Muscat.

Richards placed third for the round from Baird and Russell, who looked set for a round podium until receiving a pit lane drive through penalty for a restart infringement in race three.

Smollen and Tony Bates shared TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge race wins. Smollen claimed victory in the opening two races however damaged suffered in the third race placed him third in class behind Bates and Stephen Grove, however it was enough to hand the Sydneysider the round win from reigning class champion Grove and James Bergmuller.

“Across the board the two prior races, and the three sessions before, we had great pace and it certainly gives us plenty of confidence going into round five. It’s given us a good gap over a few of the guys and a small gap over Grove, and he’s always there banking points as he always does so well, but I’m confident with the tracks ahead,” said Smollen.

Richards extended his championship lead at Townsville, enjoying an 82.5 point buffer to Baird, while Muscat has moved to third in the standings from McBride and Foster.

Smollen retains the lead of the TAG Heuer Carrera Challenge class by 11 points from Grove and Bates.

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will return to the race track on August 21-23 at Sydney Motorsport PArk to kick off the second half of the Porsche championship.

Overall Standings (Top 5) after four rounds
1    Steven Richards    558.5
2    Craig Baird    476
3    Richard Muscat    422
4    Nick McBride    415
5    Nick Foster    374

Media: Daniel Jordon 13 July 2015

Benjamin Carrell is a freelance motorsport writer and currently edits 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!

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