Matt Kingsley maintains the status quo as GT3 Cup Challenge locals shine at Morgan Park
9/08/2009 at 7:09:26 AM:

MATT KINGSLEY has ensured that the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series status quo was maintained at Warwick’s Morgan Park Raceway, after a competitive weekend of racing saw him extend his already substantial series lead with one round to go.

The Action Tyres & More Porsche 996 GT3 Cup Car driver now heads defending title winner Sven Burchartz by 68 points after Queenslanders dominated proceedings on the all-Porsche series’ visit to the 2.2km circuit two hours inland from Brisbane.

The debut at Morgan Park by the GT3 Cup Challenge was judged a success with competitive racing, lap records and plenty of enjoyment from the racy grid entered this weekend.

Sven Burchartz finished second for the round whilst local Ray Angus scored his career first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series round podium with a terrific third outright. Roger Lago, another of the local contingent, won the 997 Trophy Class round to further extend his class points lead.

“We came into this weekend hoping to build a comfortable buffer ahead of the final round,” Kingsley said on the podium.

“Having said that it’s not over yet. There’s still a lot of racing to go and as we all know in Motorsport anything can happen – and it usually does.

“It’s been a great weekend. We were able to put ourselves in a good position at the front which is so much easier than having to fight our way though the field like we have had to do at times this year. The car was absolutely perfect all weekend and when we had new tyres on in the second race we gave it a real go, as the times show.”

Burchartz’ consistent run this weekend keeps him in the championship hunt, whilst Ray Angus’ stunning performances have seen him close to within one race win of the top five outright.

“I’m over the moon,” beamed Angus.

“It’s a great feeling to come and race with great friends and great competition and I’ve had a terrific weekend. I’ve driven the car harder than I ever have and it’s very rewarding.”

After dominating yesterday Kingsley continued his strong form today, though Lago showed some fight with a stunning drive in race two, held earlier this morning.

The Falcon Property Group 997 GT3 Cup Car got a perfect start and then spent the next 12 laps fending off Kingsley. Pushing hard, both broke the lap record with Lago resetting his rival’s Saturday mark by a few tenths as he ran home the outright winner for the first time this season.

In race three normality was returned when Kingsley passed his weekend-long rival on lap two before streaking away to win the race comfortably.

After bolting new rear Michelin tyres on the car, the Southport (Gold Coast) local further re-set the GT3 Cup Challenge lap record leaving the benchmark – set or re-set three times this weekend – at 1m02.8414s.

Victorian Jeff Bobik had a consistent weekend behind the wheel of his Creative Colour 996 GT3 Cup car to finish the round fourth overall, his trouble-free weekend only threatened by a near-miss in race two when Bob Thorn spun his 997 GT3 in front of him on the first lap of the race.

Sydneysider Shane Smollen proved his round four pace at Eastern Creek was no fluke with fifth overall.

Teammates Terry Knight and Brad Rankin had weekends that didn’t quite live up to their lofty expectations, Knight enduring a spin and a near-miss in race two before recovering to finish the final race in seventh.

South Australian driver Mark Krashos was awarded the Racer Industries Sportsmanship round after making the long trek, solo, from Adelaide to compete at Morgan Park before enduring an horrific weekend with three DNFs.

Behind class winner Roger Lago, Bob Thorn and Jan Jinadasa completed the 997 Trophy Class Podium.

With one round to go there is plenty up for grabs aside from the second Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series title crown. The battle for third in the series, between Jeff Bobik and Terry Knight, sees the pair split by less than 40 points, whilst one slip up from second-placed Burchartz could see either driver snare second overall.

Meanwhile three drivers, from fifth-placed Bolinowsky to seventh Ray Angus, will fight to score the final top five position at the final round.

The final round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series will be held at Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway between November 28 – 29, with the Shannons Nationals.

Action from this weekend will be broadcast on SBS Speedweek at 1PM, next Sunday – be sure to check it out.

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