CALLUM Hedge was counting his lucky stars after being able to limp home in a dramatic Porsche Carrera Cup Australia decider.
Hedge entered the final race of the season just two points behind Jackson Walls, with the duo positioned second and fourth on the grid.
A wild first-corner moment saw both contenders lose control and get airborne through the Senna Chicane.
The left-rear tyre of Walls’ Porsche tore, sending him spinning into the Turn 3 fence – and all of a sudden meaning Hedge merely needed to finish to be crowned champion.
The Kiwi was fortunate to continue and while he slipped back to seventh by the time the chequered flag flew, that was plenty enough to complete an impressive 2023 championship double.
“I took one look at the wishbone after Alex (Wilkinson, #1 mechanic) took the left rear off and I’m surprised it didn’t snap,” said Hedge,
“There was a lot of damage and the car wasn’t feeling good so I made sure I got it home safely.
“Someone was looking down on me… I was just grateful to make it to the end.”
While the 20-year-old is heading to the United States next year to race in Indy NXT, he looked back fondly on his Porsche journey.
“I want to thank Porsche for an amazing championship, I’ve really enjoyed my last two years here. They’ve been two of the best years of my life,” said Hedge.
“Thank you to my team for all the hard work and a thanks to Jackson. We’ve come a long way since the Grand Prix last year where we smacked into each other at every opportunity we could! It’s pretty cool to be racing you and it’s been awesome to be racing you all year.
“I do need to make special mention to Bruce (Jenkins, engineer), his help since Townsville last year has been a turning point where I stopped crashing the car, stopped wrecking gear and gained a bit of maturity. I can’t thank all the people that made this possible enough.”