Finanze Ezi’s David Russell has jumped up to fourth place in the Porsche Carrera Cup standings following a string of top five placings over the course of the Wilson Security Sandown 500 weekend in Melbourne.
Russell qualified fourth at the challenging Sandown Raceway, battling to get his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car settled over the circuit’s infamous kerbs.
In the opening 14 lap race, Russell made one place off the start and held third for much of the race, losing a position to Richard Muscat in the closing stages to finish in fourth place.
“It was good to qualify in fourth and jump into third off the start with pretty good pace in those early laps,” said Russell.
“But we were still struggling over the kerbs given we couldn’t carry the speed over them as well as other competitors. It’s something we worked on all weekend, to try and make the car nicer to driver over the kerbs.
“To finish fourth with some of our key title contenders having dramas, my focus was on banking some good points by not doing anything too silly.”
Race two later in the afternoon on Saturday saw Russell race to fourth place having been unable to capitalise on a strong start, maintaining position to the end of the race.
“We got a good start in race two but just couldn’t get a position into turn one,” he said.
“We hadn’t, though, corrected the problems we faced in the opening race with the track conditions changing. So it was important to maintain position and focus on the championship points.”
In the final race of the weekend, Russell once again started from fourth place and held position until lap 17, when he lost out to Steven Richards before consolidating fifth place.
The Finance Ezi Racing entry finished in fourth place for the round, ahead of former World Endurance Championship driver John Martin and former Carrera Cup champions Richards and Craig Baird.
“I got off to a pretty good start again, unfortunately so did all of those ahead of me!” said Russell on the third race.
“For the championship, we needed a top-five finish to make some gains in the standings and set us up for the final two rounds.
“But we need to work on the car further to make sure it’s in a position to win races with the right setup, especially heading into two events where I was very strong at last season, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.”
Russell now has gained 616 points in the standings, in fourth place and 106 points adrift of the championship leader with two events remaining for the 2015 season.
The Porsche Carrera Cup is next in action at the famed Mount Panorama Circuit over the course of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend from October 8 to 11.