News TRT Media Release March 21, 2024 (Comments off) (65)

Jones Smokes ‘Em

RETURNING champion Harri Jones has dominated in Melbourne, taking a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the season-opening Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia race at Albert Park.

Jones was in a league of his own at the front of the field, winning by almost seven seconds, whilst top Michelin Junior Bayley Hall and Dale Wood fought their way to the final steps on the podium.

The win for Jones breaks a long victory drought for Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport, whose last win came in March 2019 on the streets of Adelaide.

QUALIFYING: Jones, Cook score first TAG Heuer Pole Awards of 2024

RESULTS: Race 1

The race for the SP Tools Pro-Am win was just as spectacular, with Rodney Jane claiming the spoils over Adrian Flack and Matt Belford.

There was a slight adjustment to the starting grid prior to the start of the race, as Marcos Flack was handed a three-place grid penalty for pit lane speeding in qualifying, dropping from the front row to fifth.

Fellow Michelin Junior Ryder Quinn was promoted to the front row, the Game Over entry starting alongside 2022 champion Jones.

Jones made the most of his pole position as Quinn lit up the rear tyres off the start, as the 27-car field made it away cleanly from the first start of the season.

Towards the rear of the field, Carrera Cup debutant Harrison Goodman was tagged into a spin at turn one. 

There would be further drama on the opening lap, as Scott Pye’s first round cameo hit a snag after he damaged the right front radiator of his Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport entry, forcing his immediate retirement.

Pye’s teammate Fabian Coulthard also had a hairy moment on lap one, running through the gravel at the exit of turn twelve and ripping the front splitter off his BWT entry.

Whilst two of the Porsche Centre Melbourne Motorsport entries were in trouble, the third entry of Jones had blazed to a two and a half second lead at the end of lap one, as Ryder Quinn was on the defensive from Bayley Hall and Nick McBride.

Dale Wood joined the battle as he threw his Connected Spaces entry down the inside of McBride’s Hallmarc entry for fourth at turn one on lap two.

McBride’s race wouldn’t continue much further, coming to a halt on the outside of turn nine with an apparent mechanical issue, as his bad luck from 2023 carried over into the new year.

The McBride situation was initially handled under a local yellow, before the first safety car of the season was called on lap three.

After a single lap, the green flags came back out and Jones once again put his head down, though this time Quinn was far more aggressive, riding the rear bumper of the 2022 champion before the field was released.

Meanwhile Bayley Hall found himself under siege after running wide at turn one on lap six, with Dale Wood, Marcos Flack, and Marco Giltrap all looking to capitalise on Hall’s poor corner exit.

The battle was once again halted by the second appearance of the safety car after SP Tools Pro-Am runner Daniel Stutterd spun at turn one and was unable to get restarted.

The race went green for the final time with four laps to go, and Jones once again put the hammer down, whilst the battle for the minor placings reached a new level of intensity.

Ryder Quinn’s resistance was eventually undone when Hall got by at turn one on the penultimate lap, with Wood muscling his way by a few corners later at turn five.

In the battle for SP Tools Pro-Am, Dean Cook led the early running from pole position before Rodney Jane made the decisive move in the brief window between the two safety car periods.

The race for the minor positions in Pro-Am also heated up in the closing stages, as Adrian Flack made his way by the pole-sitter with a bold move at turn six off the final restart on lap ten.

Cook then fell off the podium on the following lap, as Matt Belford found his way onto the podium in the I.D Land entry, a position he would hold to the finish as Cook found himself overtaken by a couple of Equity One Pro entries.

Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia returns to Albert Park for Race Two tomorrow afternoon at 6:25pm AEST.

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