Reigning Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia champion Craig Baird claimed victory in the first of the Australian Grand Prix support races at Albert Park.
The Kiwi took the lead from compatriot and polesitter Jonny Reid at the beginning of the race and went on to win ahead of Reid and Alex Davison despite locking his brakes and flat-spotting a tyre.
“The car was sensational,” said Baird. “I was absolutely cruising and gapping the field before I flat-spotted the tyre. I dropped the right front onto a damp patch going into turn six and peeled a tyre, so it had a flat spot for the rest of the race. But sometimes you get the car right, and it was absolutely spot-on. I'm not touching it for tomorrow.”
Guest driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen snatched fourth place from Davison's cousin James on the final lap.
“It was a very nice experience and great racing; it was good fun to drive here in Melbourne,” said former Grand Prix driver Frentzen.
“It was an exciting race. I saw that James Davison had some difficulties after the safety car to get his tyres hot enough. I put pressure on him straight away and he had to go very defensive; that was my chance. I finished fourth, that was a good result.”
Elite Class driver Max Twigg got the better of V8 Supercar legend Mark Skaife to make it home in sixth.
James Koundouris and 16-year-old New Zealander Andre Heimgartner took eighth and ninth places respectively. They finished just ahead of Daniel Gaunt and Steven Richards, who both recovered from an opening lap incident.