Australia’s most prestigious Motor Racing Championships
Jul 14, 2012
SATURDAY: AN ACTION PACKED DAY IN SYDNEY
A DAY OF ACTION-PACKED racing and some unpredictable results has welcomed the return of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils to Sydney Motorsport Park today.
A charging maiden win from Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 pilot Roger Lago and co-driver David Russell highlighted a big day of on-track action as Round 5 of the Shannons Nationals hosted practice, qualifying and racing today - making it a busy day out.
The Lamborghini combo only qualified fifth, but a charging second stint from V8 Supercar ace Russell saw the car hunt down and ultimately pass the race-leading Peter Hackett Mercedes Benz SLS AMG to take the race win.
The Lamborghini won by just under five seconds as the race finished in the Sydney twilight after a bright, sunny day warmed fans and competitors trackside.
But there was no-one warmer than the Lamborghini duo, pleased with their first GT win.
“We’re really pleased,” Car-owner Lago said.
“David sure can set up a car. We played the strategy right and in the end he did the job on the track. It’s a great result but we now have it all to do tomorrow (with additional pit-stop time), but it’s really good to get a win.”
“It’s a great result,” agreed co-driver Russell, who was making his first GT start.
“Once I got into the car I knew it was up to the task of chasing down Peter. I looked after the tyres and then went for it when I needed to. It’s great for Roger, his first stint was fantastic and got us in the position where we could win – and it’s really nice to be able to win on my debut in GT!”
Hackett assumed the series lead with his second-place finish, the Erebus Racing driver moving to a narrow three-point margin over Klark Quinn, who finished the race third in his Porsche.
Neale Muston continued his recent streak of successes in the Radical Australia Cup, but had to survive a spin before he could claim victory in the first of two, 50-minute mini endurance races.
Muston spun with less than a quarter of the race remaining and was forced to hunt down leader Richard Bloomfield in the closing stages before he could take the win – but he did enough to take the lead with seven laps remaining and win by five seconds.
Behind Muston’s ‘spin and win’ effort, Bloomfield finished second and Nic Stavropoulos third, with the one-make Radical series set to tackle another 50-minute race tomorrow.
Kane Rose recorded another Porsche Staff Solutions GT3 Cup Challenge Australia win this afternoon, in the series first 10-lap race of the weekend this afternoon.
Rose ran only third at the end of the first lap, but engaged in an enthusiastic battle with leader Jeff Bobik and second-placed Frasier Ross, eventually passing them both.
“We came to the new track and learnt it reasonable quick,” said Rose.
“The car is set up really well and I was just out there trying to stay out of trouble. We’re not that far ahead of the other drivers; it's just that different people are fast in different stages of the race. We just tried to stay out of trouble, stay clean and remain in front of the other guys.”
James Winslow survived a mid-race restart to take his 25th career win in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship this afternoon, and extend his title lead over Chris Gilmour in the process.
Winslow led early, but found himself under attack from former series winners Tim Macrow and Chris Gilmour before he was able to pull away.
Macrow and Gilmour finished second and third – dicing side-by-side at 200km/hr plus towards the end of the race – with Steel Guiliana finishing fourth. The F3 cars will tackle a further two races tomorrow, including a 14-lap feature.
Tony Ricciardello today took pole position for the third round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan series, leading a 27-car field over two qualifying sessions with a stunning 1m27.9890s lap that saw him a full second clear of long-time rival Darren Hossack.
Four champions filled the top four spots in qualifying in the Kerrick Sports Sedans, Kerry Bailey and Des Wall set to take the start of the first race from the second row, ahead of the first NSW State Championship runner, Chris Jackson.
The Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series held the first race of the day, Reece Murphy taking the flag first, 5.7s ahead of Damian Ward and Allan Jarvis completing the podium.
Murphy ran away at the front, an entertaining battle for the minor positions keeping people entertained, with Jarvis overcoming Brand in the final laps to secure the final podium position. The Swifts tackle a further two races tomorrow.
Round 5 of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils continues tomorrow and will be broadcast live on www.thenationals.com.au and ITV Live.
Tickets are available for $20 at the gate, with racing commencing just after 9:00am.