David Russell in Adelaide
IMPRESSIVE PODIUM PLACING FOR RUSSELL IN ADELAIDE
Finance Ezi Racing’s David Russell has kick-started his 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship campaign with an impressive podium placing at the Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit, taking it to the established drivers in the series.
The Hydraulink-backed driver entered the Adelaide round with limited running in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) car, with just a two-hour shakedown at Queensland Raceway pre-season following an impressive Bathurst 12 Hour campaign in a Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 earlier in the year.
The 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season marks Russell’s full-time return to the competitive one-make series, after starring in his two-event appearances in 2014, which netted a sensational race win on the streets of Surfers Paradise and podium at Mount Panorama, Bathurst
Russell impressed right away at the punishing Adelaide street circuit last weekend, setting the fastest time in opening practice and qualifying in fourth place, despite getting just one run in the session due to a red flag.
The Finance Ezi machine jumped off the line in Race 1, slotting in behind reigning champion Steven Richards with Russell protecting his tyres and position to claim the runners-up spot.
Running the same rubber in Race 2, Russell changed the set up of the car to suit the older tyres. However, he ran wide at the infamous Turn 8 on the opening lap and brushed the wall, doing well to keep going and claiming fourth place despite the damage to his 911.
“It bent the rear alignment and I thought it would be best to finish rather than fight hard for positions, as we were very lucky to keep going after that moment to finish in fourth… and to be two-tenths off the quickest time was great, even with a bent rear tow arm,” said Russell.
Starting the third and final race from fourth on the grid, Russell was determined to add to his podium tally by taking a calculated approach into the decider.
“I knew I had to get off to a good start and managed to get Nick McBride off the line,” he said.
“At that stage, I knew if positions finished where they did we had a podium for our first round and would play it smart, apply hard pressure but nothing too risky.
“I had great pace but could not use it as (Craig) Baird in front was quick in some places and I had better pace in others, which made it hard to make a move.”
Russell came home in third place in the race, securing a podium finish for the round behind past Carrera Cup champions Richards and Baird in a strong opening round considering the Hydraulink driver’s limited seat time heading into the weekend.
“I’m proud of our small team, as to have a podium first round is great; now we need to work hard so we are the ones setting the pace,” said Russell.
“But it won’t be easy as the top guys have already had a season in the new 991 Porsche Carrera Cup cars and I’m basically starting fresh.
“Big thanks to Maurie Pickering from Finance Ezi and all our supporting sponsors.”
Russell currently sits in third in the championship standings on 144 points, 36 points behind Adelaide winner Richards.
The 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia championship continues on the Australian Grand Prix weekend at Albert Park, Victoria, on March 12 to 15.