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Carrera Cup vies for slice of Bathurst action


Leading into Round 6 of the championship this weekend, drivers and teams are vying for the prestigious Overall Championship in 2006 as well as a host of other awards at this weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

With a race per day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), the event uses the full 6.231km Bathurst circuit.

Five drivers in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup will 'double up' by driving in the V8 Supercar enduro at Bathurst as well. They are Craig Baird (#10 WPS Racing with Jason Bargwanna), Anthony Tratt (#15 HSV Dealer Team with Tony D'Alberto), Alex Davison (#18 DJR with Grant Denyer), Jonathon Webb (#20 PCR with Marcus Marshall) and Jim Richards (#22 HRT with Ryan Briscoe).

In addition to those five drivers, another five V8 Supercar drivers have driven in the Carrera Cup in previous seasons - Matt Halliday, Fabian Coulthard, Alan Gurr, Marcus Marshall and Luke Youlden.

Alex Davison, Craig Baird and Anthony Tratt jumped out of their full-time V8 Supercar seats from last year to get into the left-hand drive seats of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars this year.

This is the fourth time that the all-Porsche racing series has been staged at Bathurst in NSW. Last year, Fabian Coulthard claimed pole and won two races en route to the overall round win. In 2004, Jim Richards started from pole, but Alex Davison won two races and Fabian Coulthard the other, for an overall round win to Davison. While in 2003, Jim Richards was the pole sitter and won all three races for the overall round win.

A field of 22 drivers will race in the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 997) cars at Bathurst. This new model has enhanced aerodynamics - a new front section and a larger rear wing produces 40 percent more downforce than the previous 996 model. The six-speed sequential gearbox makes gear shifting faster and more failsafe, while the ABS brakes are replaced by tandem racing master cylinders and an in-car brake bias adjustment control. VIP Petfoods driver Craig Baird continues to lead the race for the overall championship. Despite finishing runner-up at the previous two rounds at Oran Park and Sandown, Baird has extended his lead to 176 points over Alex Davison. So far this season, Baird has won nine of the 15 championship races, and three of the five rounds. Yet he has not snared a pole position. He will also back up to contest the V8 Supercar 1000km enduro with Jason Bargwanna for WPS Racing.

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