It proved a solid opening day for Melbourne driver Alex Davison in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup as he collected pole position and the opening race spoils during round seven action in today’s Lexmark Indy 300 program on the Gold Coast.
Leading into the penultimate round of the series, Davison (Glenfords Tool Centres/ DeWalt) knew he needed to graft as many checkered flag finishes as possible to stay in touch with current championship leader Craig Baird.
It was the two Porsche heavyweight contenders filling the front row of the grid for the eight-lap feature and although Baird (Team VIP Petfoods) gained the ascendancy off the start line, Davison pushed hard to regain his lead and was never headed.
With the gap widening between first and second place, recent back-to-back round winner David Reynolds (Bob Jane T-Marts) joined the tussle and a gutsy manoeuvre on lap two saw him overtake Baird and make a play for top spot.
Further back it was just as intense between Davison’s team mate Jonathon Webb (Glenfords Tool Centres/ DeWalt) and Jim Richards (OAMPS Insurance Brokers) for fourth place, with the latter able to hold out until the end.
The duel at the pointy end between Davison and Reynolds reached a whole new level as each swapped lap record times on the 4.47 kilometre Gold Coast street circuit. Reynolds notched the quickest 1:54.64 second effort, but it wasn’t enough to steal the day as Davison held on for victory.
A fifth lap incident approaching turn three saw Ash Samadi (Roock) backwards into the wall and suffering rear bar damage.
Three laps were completed under local yellow flag conditions with drivers facing one final screaming lap at the resumption to complete the race.
While Davison, Reynolds and Baird settled into their places among the top three finishers, further back a heavy coming together between Dean Fiore (Landscape Developments) and Klark Quinn (Team VIP Petfoods) meant they were left casualties of the late scramble.
It may prove a late night for Fiore’s Sonic Motor Racing pit crew in particular as they look to remedy severe front end damage, while Quinn will need to replace front guard suspension parts and radiator mounts.
Victory was a great confidence booster for Davison as he tries to keep his championship aspirations alive.
The 2004 series champion driver will be looking to continue to chip away on Baird’s lead in the championship, with valuable points of offer during the remaining two races to be contested tomorrow afternoon at 4.10pm before the third and final encounter at 10.20am Sunday.