Kiwi Craig Baird has finished the first event on the 2010 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia third overall after two races supporting the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai in the weekend
Driving a brand-new 2010 specification Porsche GT3 type 997, Baird faced tough opposition from 22 other teams also contesting the series.
The first time the 39-year-old Queensland based Kiwi has raced the 5.451 kilometre circuit in China, crucial setup changes did not work as calculated. Instead Baird could do little more than chase the time difference having qualified to start the first race from fourth position.
“We’re still trying to establish the setup window of these new cars – and while a wrong choice puts you on the back-foot, it’s the fastest way to learn a lesson,” said Baird.
Fourth in the first race and third in the second, the overall points currently award Baird third place in the title standings of the eleven round series.
“They’re solid points and while it’s not the result we’d expect, we’ve got a lot more to come from the car. It’s going to be a tough season and if it’s one thing Kiwi’s do well – is tough.”
Supported by New Zealand made brand VnC Cocktails, Baird also had two mechanics working with him from his championship winning Triple X Motorsport team.
“Looking for bigger gains we’ve learned some tough lessons, so as a team we’re a lot stronger – now we’ve got a month to turn that information in to better results,” he added.
Trailing series leading and defending champion Christian Menzel (Germany) who won both the weekend races, Baird also sits behind former champion Darryl O’Young (Hong Kong). Returning home in the interim, the team travel back to China in May for the second event on the calendar: the Beijing Goldenport circuit, 21-23 May.
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Championship – overall points (after two of 11 rounds) – top-five
1. C Menzel (GER), 41
2. D O’Young (HKG) 36
3. C Baird (NZL) 30
4. M Sun (SIN) 24
5. R Chong (SIN) 20