Shannons Nationals event wrap
EVENT RELEASE: The most controversial finish in the recent history of the Australian Manufacturers Championship has clouded results after Sunday’s three-hour race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
On track to take a strong one lap victory but running on fumes and driving without the benefit of pit-to-car communication or a working dashboard, Stuart Kostera (sharing with car owner, Dylan Thomas) brought the CXC Global Mitsubishi lancer in to pit lane for a desperate splash-and-go fuel stop, at the end of today’s three-hour race.
However, uncertainty surrounding the end of the timed race and the displaying of the checkered flag saw the car classified as a non finisher, due to being in pit lane at the end of the race.
The CXC team believes that they are the rightful victors given their car crossed the control line after the completion of the timed race – even if it was in pit lane.
His nearest rivals believe that because the car was in pit lane and never actually received the checkered flag, the car should not be classified.
The fact that the Kostera / Thomas car was a lap clear of their nearest rivals adds to the confusion.
Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey (BMW 1M) have been classified the winners pending a protest from the Mitsubishi team.
Having led the early running, the Pro Duct Mitsubishi driven by Glenn Seton and Bob Pearson developed a clutch drama in the second hour that saw the team unable to select fifth gear, the team eventually retiring to the garage when the dramas became too severe.
Garry Holt and Ryan McLeod were classified third, the Michael Benton / Geoff Russell FPV GT fourth and the class D Honda Integra of Jake Williams and Brendan Stone scored a remarkable fifth outright.
Results are officially provisional pending a protest lodged by the CXC Global team, with a hearing to be held at Queensland Raceway in three weeks.
Despite having a group of top-flight international drivers thrown at him, Radical Australia Cup dominator Neale Muston continued his command of the sports car class by winning the First Neon 250 endurance event today.
Muston won the opening 45-minute leg comfortably over Ash Samadi and Richard Kimber, and then went on to defeat the pro drivers in the second to wrap up another round victory.
Pro drivers were assessed a drive-through handicap as part of their status this weekend though that scarcely changed the result; when leg two leader James Winslow pitted for his brief visit to pit lane Muston was already running second on the road.
Samadi finished second overall – based on combined points from both legs – whilst SR3 pilot Simon Haggarty finished third.
Winslow smashed the existing Sydney Motorsport Park RAC lap record, lowering the benchmark to a stunning 1m25.7027s in his V8-powered SR8.
Jack LeBrocq today completed a perfect weekend in the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli, sweeping to another victory in his Erebus Motorsport Mercedes Benz SLS AMG.
The young Victorian now has four race wins in a row to his credit, and today he won by nearly a full minute to complete a weekend of domination.
Klark Quinn continues to accumulate championship points – his second place finish today keeping him on course for a second Australian GT title – though it didn’t all go his way.
The Porsche driver was pressured in the closing stages by a charging John Bowe, who only just missed out on scoring second in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari he shared with Peter Edwards.
Tony Quinn finished fourth in his Aston Martin whilst Lamborghini driver Roger Lago bounced back from a non-finish yesterday – a drive-belt broke on the V10 engine – to finish fifth.
Phil Woodbury and John Goodacre were the big winners in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli, the pair taking out the professional and elite divisions of the one-make Porsche category, respectively.
Woodbury won race two today, resisting a charge from Richard Muscat in the closing laps after the series leader started from the rear of the grid thanks to his race one non-finish.
Contact with Jon McCorkindale restricted Woodbury to a 10th finish in the final race – but it was still enough to take the professional class win. Muscat won the third race, continuing his impressive season with another podium.
Goodacre actually won the round outright, and led home Steven Grove and John Morris in the series’ elite division.
John Magro completed a perfect weekend in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, sweeping to victory in today’s 12-lap feature race having won both sprint races yesterday, too.
Tim Macrow and Nathan Morcom completed the podium, Macrow continuing to lead the Gold Star standings ahead of the next round in Queensland.
Ben Grice completed a perfect weekend in the Suzuki Swift series, with pole position and two race wins to his name. Having won yesterday’s sprint race, Grice comfortably led for the entire one-hour distance contested today – taking victory by over eight seconds. Allan Jarvis and Luke Fraser rounded out the top three.