CALLUM HEDGE claimed his second career Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship round victory on the Gold Coast, as Harri Jones closed out a title-winning season to take the 2022 championship.
A pair of second-place finishes on Sunday delivered Team Porsche New Zealand / Earl Bamber Motorsport driver Hedge the Round Eight victory over Aaron Love and David Russell.
In yet another tense title finale’, Jones held on to the Aaron Love onslaught to claim the title by 11 points, delivering him a second one-make Porsche title having already claimed the Michelin Sprint Challenge crown in 2019.
Love finished second for the round and won both races on Sunday, coming from 330 points behind following round three to end up within striking distance of the leader heading into the final race.
Jones’ scored finishes of fifth and sixth across Sunday’s pair of races, respectively, more than enough to seal his title, delivering McElrea Racing their third Carrera Cup crown.
The Morris Pro-Am Championship was decided in even more dramatic circumstances as the title had three different leaders across the three races this weekend.
Geoff Emery led the standings into Sunday’s first of two races, only to surrender the lead to Liam Talbot following race two.
A dramatic crash early in race three saw Talbot damaged and shifted the momentum back to Emery – only for him to then face a resurgent Dean Cook.
Cook, yet to win a race in 2022, found himself leading the race and claimed his first race and round win of the season via success in race three.
That tied the championship in Pro-Am, with Emery claiming the title on countback by virtue of having more race victories this season.
Cook’s round win was his first since the Gold Coast in 2017, the second of his career, and saw him lead home Adrian Flack and Liam Talbot for the round eight honours.
Earlier on Sunday a pair of titles were decided in a pulsating Endurance Cup finale.
Starting fourth, Aaron Love wasted no time charging his way to the front and would ultimately grab the race lead before the 10th lap.
He then powered away to win by the largest margin of the season to claim the Enduro title for 2022.
The race was a tough affair behind as Callum Hedge and David Russell completed the top three, with Dylan O’Keefe fourth and championship leader Harri Jones fifth.
The latter was aided by a non-finish by Dale Wood, who had run in the top three early before a mechanical issue forced him out.
Liam Talbot sealed the Morris Pro-Am endurance title with a victory in the Carrera Cup ‘race within a race’.
Dean Cook was second and Matt Belford third in a potentially championship-changing race.
The then class-leader Geoff Emery had contact with Rodney Jane, which tore a rear tyre out of his car, forcing him to pit and lose a lap – ultimately finishing seventh in class.
Race three found itself under Safety Car early following a crash at Turn four, with multiple cars caught up.
On the restart, Love pulled away in front again while Hedge fended off David Russell and a resurgent David Wall.
The Morris Pro-Am battle saw Cook leading Flack and Emery, the latter doing just enough to ensure he returned to the lead of the championship on the eventual countback.
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia champions will be formally crowned on the Gold Coast on Sunday night in the return of the traditional end-of-season awards gala.
Harri Jones, Pro Champion:
“I’m thinking every emotion now, I almost cried coming into pitlane, absolutely over the moon. I just can’t thank the whole McElrea team enough, my family, my partner and commercial partners, I can’t believe it. It was a tough weekend for us and it went down right to the last laps, we just had to keep our heads cool, keep focussed and all the hard work paid off this weekend, I’m absolutely stoked. The thing in this category you have to bully or you will be bullied, that last race I had the Championship in the back of my mind, so I wanted to get the best position possible and come home with a clean car and that’s exactly what we did, so massive thanks to the team, the Porsche Pyramid is fantastic and I hope to continue climbing it next year.”
Geoff Emery, Morris Pro-Am Champion:
“It feels unbelievable, Dean Cook did a very good job all year, he’s been an awesome team mate and a fierce competitor as well, so really happy to equal the points with him and win on the count back. It couldn’t be more exciting, very happy with the Championship. Its been a pretty up and down season to be honest, got into a bit of trouble here and there, but we going to celebrate at the Awards Evening in town with a couple of beers, it will be great looking forward to it.”
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