IT WAS all about racing among the supports at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne with race three for both the Porsches and GTs, race two for F4 and the first clash for the one-make Ferraris.
PAYCE PORSCHE CARRERA CUP
A BRILLIANT lift-off from Jordan Love was the catalyst for him to take out the third race of round two. Love beat Dale Wood to the first corner and showed the race one and two winner the way to the chequered flag.
Warren Luff slotted in behind the leading duo and withstood the challenge of Cameron Hill for several laps. The latter was relegated to fifth when he was passed by David Wall. Just behind Hill were Cooper Murray who overtook Thomas Maxwell on lap two.
Maxwell came across the line in seventh as he held off the closely pursuing Duvashen Padayachee, Michael Almond and Josh Hunt. Nick McBride was busy holding off Dylan O’Keefe who was eventually passed by Steve Richards.
Liam Talbot led TAG Heuer Pro-Am until he pitted which put Tim Miles in front before he slipped up on lap eight. Roger Lago slipped past and took the win while Miles was able to hold second, barely in front of Stephen Grove.
BP ULTIMATE AUSTRALIAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP
RACE THREE of the opening round of the championship produced its third winner at the AGP. Peter Hackett took line honours ahead of Max Twigg and Kenny Habul and made it a Mercedes AMG trifecta.
Pole sitter Twigg held the lead from the start where the grid was based on the results of race one, until lap eight (of nine) on which Hackett grabbed the lead. Habul came from the rear of the grid to snare third while Ryan How (Audi R8 LMS Ultra) finished fourth and was also the first of the GT Trophy cars.
Behind the 17-year-old came Geoff Emery (Audi R8 LMS) and Fraser Ross (McLaren 720S) who started ten grid spots further back – a penalty for contact with Habul in race one.
Audi drives Tony Bates and Nick Kelly had contact late on the first lap which put the latter out. Bates was able to continue and took seventh ahead of John Morriss (Porsche GT3-R) who maintained eighth despite a 5.0-second penalty. He was second in Trophy ahead of Richard Gartner (Lamborghini R-EX).
Tenth place Nick Karnaros (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) was the first of the Challenge class cars while the GT4 class went to 12th Ryan Simpson (McLaren 570S), just in front of Glen Wood (KTM X-Bow).
FERRARI CHALLENGE TROFEO PIRELLI ASIA PACIFIC
IT WAS Japan’s Kazuyuki Yamaguchi who came through to take out the first of two races. He led from the outset through to the emergence of the safety car, deployed when Makoto Fujiwara crashed at turn 3.
At the resumption, Yamaguchi lost the lead when American James Weiland shot past at turn 1. Pole sitter Philippe Prette (Italy) was outpointed off the start and held third until spun out by Japan’s Go Max at the same corner.
Weiland had the race in his keeping until he stopped on lap seven with suspension damage. That allowed Yamaguchi to take the win ahead of Max with Hong Kong drivers David Pun and Michael Choi finishing third and fourth ahead of Irishman Hector Lester and Prette.
PAYCE AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 4 CHAMPIONSHIP
TWO SAFETY car periods shortened the second race of the opening round where AGI Sport’s Antonio Astuti pulled off a bravado maneuver on Team BRM’s Tom Smith at turn 15 on the last lap.
Smith led after the start while behind at least five cars went off, including Jayden Ojeda (AGI) and Josh Smith (JRD) both of whom couldn’t continue. At the restart, Josh Smith looped and hit the tyres and brought about the second safety car.
When the race went green again, it was a one-lap dash to the flag. Astuti pulled off his move at the second last corner and won. Tom Smith ran wide which allowed the New Zealanders teammates Ryan Yardley and Taylor Cockerton (MTEC) to sneak through for second and third.
Smith was next in front of his Team BRM teammate Lochie Hughes, Patrizicorse’s Jackson Walls, Tank Motorsport’s Dylan Thomas, BRM’s Ryan Suhle, and Luis Leeds and Jackson Burton from AGI.
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