Callum Hedge has won the 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship following a conservative drive after championship leader Jackson Walls crashed out at Turn 1 on Lap 1.
With only two points separating the pair entering the race, the winner-take-all fight saw the duo running line-astern over the opening chicane, the Australian driver coming out worse off, spinning into the exit wall, and failing to return to action.
Hedge was slower to get away off the front row as Dale Wood launched clear off pole, and Max Vidau cut across behind the Kiwi to take the outside line into the chicane.
Vidau’s line forced Hedge to hop the kerb and Walls followed his path directly behind, with Alex Davison on the outside of him. The Kiwi kept control of his car, but Walls spun in front of Davison, the pair going into the outside tyre barriers at the chicane’s exit.
Ryder Quinn and Christian Pancione suffered a similar fate, with all four cars resting in the same location, with only Davison able to return to action.
A Safety Car was called, with Wood leading Vidau and Hedge remaining in third, only needing to finish the race to clinch the title.
He did just that, sacrificing track position to avoid the unfolding action and bring the title home in seventh, admitting he had received damage from the Lap 1 incident.
Wood won his third race of the weekend, with Dylan O’Keefe taking second ahead of Vidau.
Hedge’s title success comes despite missing Round 6 at Bathurst.
He claimed 13 podiums in the 2023 series, with four being wins, including a clean sweep of all three races at The Bend. He only failed to finish outside the top six twice this campaign.
The title is his second of the year after he wrapped up the 2023 Formula Regional Americas Championship three weeks ago. In February, he also finished runner-up in the inaugural Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship in New Zealand.
Hedge will head to North America next season, where he’ll compete in an entire Indy NXT campaign.