AARON LOVE has stormed to his sixth win from the last seven races in a wet and wild Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Round 7 opener at Mount Panorama on Friday.
Starting from pole, the Bob Jane T-Marts Sonic Motor Racing driver drove away from the field early before doing it again late in the race following a Safety Car to record his ninth career Carrera Cup win.
In Morris Pro-Am, Liam Talbot battled Geoff Emery for class honours and, in a fight that went down to the final corner, claimed his fifth race win of the season.
The scheduled 15-lap race began behind the Safety Car after torrential rain lashed Mount Panorama from midday on Friday.
The field completed three laps under yellow conditions before the Safety Car was resumed, allowing Love to charge away out in front.
He built a more than eight-second lead before a safety car negated his margin mid-race, after Marc Cini’s car stopped – without damage – following a spin at The Chase.
On the restart, Love pulled away once again and edged out to a four-second margin at the line.
Behind Love, Dylan O’Keeffe held second position for the opening stanza of the race, however was relegated to third position at the finish thanks to the efforts of a hard-charging Max Vidau.
The South Australian had started fifth but quickly worked his way through the field to contend for a spot on the podium by mid-race.
He was involved in a competitive multi-car battle with Dale Wood, Harri Jones, David Russell and Simon Fallon for the final spot on the podium.
He climbed to fourth on lap six, third on lap eight and then squeezed himself past O’Keeffe with three laps remaining to claim his third Carrera Cup runner-up finish.
O’Keeffe finished third to secure another haul of championship points, while Harri Jones recovered to fourth in what was a tense drive for the championship leader.
Dale Wood slipped back to fifth at the finish of the shortened race, while David Russell, Simon Fallon, Callum Hedge, Jackson Walls and Christian Pancione completed the top-10.
In Morris Pro-Am, Talbot was the beneficiary of a mid-race pass on Geoff Emery to claim his class victory.
Talbot started third in Pro-Am however passed Adrian Flack on the opening lap and set out about chasing Emery, before ultimately working his way past mid race.
Emery continued to apply pressure to the Wall Racing driver for the remaining laps with the pair crossing the line nose to tail.
Adrian Flack finished third and Sam Shahin fourth, with a consistent run netting Dean Cook fifth.
The only major incident of the race was caused when both Scott Taylor and Marc Cini spun at the chase, the pair two of several drivers caught out by the rivers of water running across the entry to The Chase.
While Taylor was able to proceed without delay, Cini was stuck just long enough to force race control to deploy the Safety Car, before he was able to recover.
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia field returns to Mount Panorama tomorrow for the second race in round 7, and the 400th championship race in series history.
Tomorrow’s race, set to start at 3:20pm local time, will be live on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and Channel 7 around Australia.
Aaron Love, Pro:
“It was pretty tricky out there, I got a good start after the safety car and pulled a massive gap, which was nice, but then the safety car threw another curve ball at us. I focussed hard and got my head down after the restart and manged to pull a little bit of a gap. I was just happy to come away with no scratches and a clean car and we can press on tomorrow. It got better toward the end of the session because there were more and more cars lapping, but definitely through The Chase there was a river running across there which created some sketchy moments up until lap 4. Its pretty tired over there, but after that we could get down to business.”
Liam Talbot, Morris Pro Am:
“It was hard to describe the conditions other than extreme wet and rivers running across the circuit, we’re aquaplaning and wheel spinning in a straight line, we could not to see anything. We started fourth got to first and the car felt so good so a big thanks to Wall Racing. I got Adrian Flack off the start and the car was really good under brakes with good traction off the corner. Overall car was really fun to drive.”