Triple X Motorsport’s Craig Baird MNZM has extended his overall lead after the fourth round of the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge with two wins and a third at Timaru’s Levels raceway
Auckland’s 21-year-old Courtney Letica then took his maiden victory in the afternoon top-six reverse-grid race to make it three from three for the Triple X Motorsport Porsche team.
Driving the #1 ZM Mad Butcher Porsche 997, Baird put a second win on the board this morning during a wet race around the 2.4 kilometre circuit to hold out team-mate David Reynolds in the #8 Hampsta Indian’s bar Porsche 997.
The 39-year-old Queensland-based Kiwi now has 1003 points with two rounds to complete of the six on the 2009/10 calendar season.
“We had a good weekend; both from a championship perspective and having the team win all three races. So everything is good – we’ve got a good point’s extension with 135 to second place now.
“And it was good too for Courtney, the team and his family who are always here supporting him, got a well deserved win. He had pressure from Halliday so I just sat back, knowing I could win the round if I finished where I was, so wasn’t going to risk getting in to anything with Halliday as he’s a fair way back in the championship now. So I just sat there with a grin on my face looking at Courtney leading it.”
Starting from pole position in the final race, Auckland account manager Letica got a perfect start to the 16-lap race to lead the field through the tricky first turns and on to ultimate victory.
“Without question I haven’t been terribly fast here this weekend, but I played a defensive tactic helped by my car engineer Peter Sprague who told me to keep me focused during the race so I could keep ahead of the others,” said Letica who drives the #5 Altherm Porsche 997.
“The place where I wanted the gap the most was where I got the gap the most. Matt Halliday could really only challenge me at one point and that’s where I was well out of his reach.”
Securing a one-two-three finish for the team, Daniel Gaunt in the #3 Placemakers Hampsta Porsche 997 had to battle with team-mates Baird and Reynolds – consistently the runner-up, maintaining his third in the championship chase.
However it was Reynolds who paid the ultimate price in the final race – puncturing his radiator while jostling for position in the early stages.
Finishing the weekend away from the blow-torch battles, team principal Shane McKillen in the #2 VnC Cocktails Porsche placed eighth, directly behind Christchurch car dealer Paul Kelly in the #90 car.
Returning to Auckland to prepare for the series penultimate round, they will journey to Manfeild mid-February for another three race weekend programme.
2009/10 Battery Town Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge points after round three (of six) – top ten
Pos Car No. Name Hometown Total
1 1 Craig Baird Queensland (Triple X) 1003
2 21 Matt Halliday USA 868
3 3 Daniel Gaunt Auckland (Triple X) 835
4 9 Jonny Reid Auckland 781
5 8 David Reynolds Melbourne (Triple X) 718
6 5 Courtney Letica Auckland (Triple X) 563
7 82 Andrew Bagnall Auckland 540
8 32 Mitch Cunningham Auckland 494
9 2 Shane McKillen Auckland (Triple X) 491
10 26 Simon McLennan Wellington 474