Craig Baird - Photo Credit: Porsche Cars Australia

Craig Baird - Photo Credit: Porsche Cars Australia

Craig Baird won his third Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia title at the season finale in Sydney, as fellow Kiwi Jonny Reid took the round win.

Britain's Ben Barker had been set to take the round win after claiming his maiden victory in the first race of the weekend and then winning the second race. He was leading the third and final race with two laps remaining, when he made contact with the wall on a wet circuit, bringing his race to an end. Michael Patrizi would inherit the final win ahead of Reid.

Barker began Saturday's first race from pole position, though initially lost the lead to Baird. He would regain it after a safety car period (called to recover the stranded car of Steven Richards after the ex-V8 racer suffered clutch problems off the start), and the 2010 Australian F3 champion would then pull away to score his first win in the series.

Baird finished second ahead of his two nearest rivals, Reid and Daniel Gaunt. Patrizi finished fifth with newcomer Nick Foster in sixth. Max Twigg took the Elite class win in seventh overall.

In the second race of the weekend on Sunday, Barker held on under late pressure from Reid to win again, with Patrizi completing the podium ahead of Richards. Foster was next up, with sixth place for Baird good enough for him to secure the title. Twigg was again the best of the Elite class drivers in seventh.

“I'm really relieved that this championship is over,” said Baird. “I probably let the boys down a bit mid-season but it's great to have recovered and take the series win. Title number three is always nice. The series has been fantastic and I probably haven't enjoyed my racing this much for a long time.”

Behind Race 3 winner Patrizi, Reid's second place not only gave him the round win but also meant that he jumped ahead of Gaunt into second place in the standings. Gaunt failed to finish the final race after contact with a barrier early on.

“I'm absolutely over the moon with the round win. It was challenging out there for all of us. We hit a few speed bumps over the last round in the Gold Coast and lost a chunk of points, so it was great to get this round win,” said Reid.

“It's great to get runner-up in the series too. To come back from the Gold Coast woes to finishing runner up in the championship after this weekend was a massive surprise.”

Richards completed the podium in third ahead of Foster and Twigg, who added another Elite class win to his tally – having clinched the title at the penultimate weekend on the Gold Coast.