Carrera Cup Sepang: Wall dominant in thrilling opening race at Sepang

David Wall has taken victory in race one for Porsche Carrera Australia at the Sepang International Circuit

The pole sitter performed a faultless race in scorching conditions surviving a late race charge from Alex Davison to take his second win of the year. Wall also becomes the first driver to win a race in the series outside of Australia

The podium was completed by Alex Davison and young gun Dylan O’Keefe

“The car was fantastic to drive and I’m really chuffed with not only the win but also pole position earlier in the day. It was great to get my first international win but to also be the first ever international winner for Carrera Cup Australia,” said Wall.

“I did what I needed to at the front of the field to make sure that, if there was a safety car, I could hold off Alex. I could see that he was unbelievably fast and he’s going to be very hard to beat tomorrow. Congratulations to Dylan O’Keeffe too, he’s a good young bloke and it was a great result for him.”

It was a clean start as the seventeen strong field screamed down towards the first corner on Carrera Cup Australia’s maiden tour overseas. Wall executed his start perfectly leading through the first couple of corners as Andre Heimgartner charged through to second place.

A few laps in and O’Keefe began to challenge Nick McBride for fifth. The pair tussled for a number of laps as O’Keefe made multiple lunges up the inside but eventually got by when McBride ran slightly wide at turn one.

Davison started to move up the field arm wrestling third place from McConville. He then had Heimgartner set in his cross-hairs and before he knew it, in his mirrors and was up to second.

Another great scrap unfolded for sixth place, again headlined by Sonic driver McBride as James Abela, Jaxon Evans and Lars Kerns sat on his rear wing. McBride ended up being the biggest loser after he found himself facing the wrong way due to contact with Abela.

McConville set out on his late race charge as the race began to swing back towards him, as did Dylan O’Keefe. The two of them fought back through to the pointy end, both getting past Heimgartner.

Before long, they had each other for company as O’Keefe tried to get by on McConville for third place. They ran side by side out of the last corner and across the start/finish line but the President Limo Australia entry of O’Keefe slid through on the inside to nab third.

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While all of this was happening, a ripper battle for the Tag Heuer Carrera Challenge class had been raging on for a number of laps between Tim Miles and Stephen Grove.

They ran nose to tail, side by side and even traded a bit of paint as the lead changed a total of six times throughout the thirteen lap race. When the chequered flag flew it was Grove who had the upper hand but only just, by a mere 0.016s.

Miles attempted a massive lunge down the inside at the final corner on Grove as they dragged to the line but nothing was going to hold back the #104 of Grove.

“We had a great battle in the last part of the race. The tyres were going off he was getting close and then into the last corner I left one car width and he took it but ran wide. I couldn’t get the car turned and then it was a race to the line. It was fantastic,” said Grove, who is elated with his Sepang experience thus far.

“It’s a great track and Porsche has put on an unbelievable event. It’s a tough track, it’s hot, you’ve got loads of passing with all the great elements that car racing is all about. It was one of the best and most fun races I’ve had in a long time.”

Dean Cook finished third in class, having earlier secured his maiden pole position in the class.

Porsche Carrera Cup Australia will host a second championship race on Sunday at 1255 AEST.

The series will combine with Carrera Cup Asia for two races, with one heat for the professionals and one for the TAG Heuer Challenge Class and Asia’s Pro-Am competitors.

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Images: Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and Edge Photographic’s

 

 

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