Finance-Ezi Racing’s David Russell has ended the 2015 Australian Porsche Carrera Cup Championship with three second places across the three races at the Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600 over the weekend.
The podium sweep enabled Russell to vault into second place in the championship standings, just 64 points behind title winner Nick Foster and ahead of former series champions Steven Richards and Craig Baird.
Russell showed his affinity for the punishing Surfers Paradise street circuit with pole position in qualifying, setting a blistering 1:12.6448s lap in the Finance Ezi-backed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
“Fantastic to take the Gold Coast pole position and continue my form from last year at this event,” said Russell.
“The car is very strong here and I am enjoying running on the limit and getting the benefit of that with the top qualifying result.
“As is always the case here, I kept finding traffic on each of my flying laps, so that last one was a now or never effort.”
In the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon, Russell held the lead from pole position. However, a struggle with his brakes saw him relinquish position to Matt Campbell on the second lap, leaving Russell to consolidate second place.
“I got a great start but had too much brake bias towards the front, which caused the fronts to lock up at turn 11, that then let Campbell past,” said Russell.
“Once I adjusted that I started to catch him again towards the later stages and had a strong gap over Foster and the rest of the field.
“While a win was what I wanted, it was a strong second place and we are positioned well and have a strong and fast car for the remaining races of the round.”
In the second race on Sunday morning, Russell was unable to get the jump on pole-sitter Campbell off the line. However, he had the pace to hold off champion-elect Foster for a second consecutive second place.
The third and final race on Sunday afternoon also saw Russell maintain second place off the start, pulling away from Foster and keeping Campbell in check for second place.
Campbell and Russell traded fastest laps throughout the race, though Russell maintained the outright lap record of 1:12.8643s from last season.
“A strong end to a strong season in the Finance-Ezi Porsche,” said Russell.
“While it was my goal to win the round, it was closely fought against two of the strongest teams and drivers in the series.
“I got off to a strong start and managed to shake off Foster behind and keep Campbell honest at the front. The track temperature increased a lot during the race and that brought its grip challenges, but overall it was a fast and strong race to end the season.”
Russell’s Carrera Cup campaign included victory at the famed Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst, podiums at street circuits in Adelaide, Townsville and the Gold Coast with 11 top-three finishes in total, earning the runners-up championship position.
“It is a credit to our small team to also take second in the championship – I’m very proud of that given the quality of the field this season.
“Thanks to all of my sponsors for their support in what has been a great year in Carrera Cup.”