Ricardo Baptista Takes Porsche Cup Victory At Curitiba

by James Broomhead

Ricardo Baptista converted pole position into a win in the first of the two Porsche GT3 Cup races at Curitiba.

After the opening three laps of the race were conducted under the safety car he eased away from the battles behind to win by eighteen seconds at the ends of the 17 laps squeezed into the timed race.

Constantino Junior, in the no.00 Porsche was the man to emerge in second, taking the place by passing Daniel Paludo and Marcelo Franco in the first laps after the safety car was withdrawn. Paludo slipped down the order – a spin on lap nine dropping him out of the top ten – though he climbed back to seventh by the end of the race.

Sixth place starter Cristiano Piquet was another to hit trouble. Having moved up a place at Paludo's expense he suffered a puncture which forced a pitstop for repairs that dropped him down the order.

That left Franco, Clemente Lunardi and Marcel Visconde in a terrific three way scrap for what was now the final step on the podium. Lunardi, who had started the race from 11th got the better of Visconde for fourth, but could only follow Franco across the line a tenth behind, unable to deprive him his best Porsche Cup result.

Mark Barros finished sixth ahead of a recovering Paludo. Charles Reed finished eighth, and so claimed pole position for the second race of the day, holding off Sergio Ribas in the closing laps for the place.

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