Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Australian GT: Equity-One prepare to regain ground in Sydney‏

Melbourne Performance Centre Press Release

Equity-One prepare to regain ground in Sydney
Equity-One Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3
Rnd#4, Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli 
Phillip Island, Victoria (24-26 May)

Equity-One Motorsport’s Dean Koutsoumidis and Andrew McInnes continue to maintain a position just shy of the top five in the Australian GT series despite campaigning one of the oldest Championship cars in the field, and they continue to punch above their weight at almost every outing. For the fourth round of the 2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli, they come into Sydney Motorsport Park perhaps better prepared than in any previous round having competed recently in a State Series round at the venue, claiming a podium finish for their efforts. Or rather.. “For HIS efforts..” a frustrated Andrew McInnes added.

“I’m riding to Sydney in the car inside the transporter, that way I get the first practice session,” he laughed with a trace of truth to his jibe at team-mate Koutsoumidis who competed at SMP alone in the short heat races.

“There’s no way I’m buying dinner on Saturday night!” he explained in reference to the penalty that the slowest of the two drivers receives post-qualifying. “I’m over it..!”

During a recent round of the NSW State Series, Koutsoumidis joined fellow Audi pilot Rod Salmon at SMP for some valuable miles ahead of the fourth round of the national championship, running a close second overall to the former owner of the #71 Audi R8 LMS, and beating him in one race in the wet conditions.

“Unfortunately it was wet for the bulk of the weekend, so if it rains, we’re a shoe-in,” Koutsoumidis laughed. “Honestly any miles are valuable, and given that we hadn’t raced at Eastern Creek in the Audi, it was valuable extra miles for me, and to come away with second overall behind Rod was fantastic.”

The weekend also gave the Equity-One crew the first chance to work closely with the Melbourne Performance Centre team who from Eastern Creek forwards will run the team’s Audi R8 in the remainder of the Australian Championship.

“We’ve had a fantastic run with Minda Motorsport over the last few seasons,” Dean Koutsoumidis explained, “and I will be continuing to run with them in various Formula Ford events to keep sharp, but in the end, logistically it was better for all of us to join the MPC team and take advantage of the fact that they’re only running one Audi this season.

“As the Audi Customer Racing representatives in Australia, all our spares and technical support come through them anyway, and with Minda’s burgeoning Formula Ford and V8 Supercar Development Series commitments, it worked for everyone.

“For me I wouldn’t have been competing in GT like this if it wasn’t for all the support that Bruin [Beasley] and the Minda team gave me, so I can’t thank them enough.

“For now though it’s back to Sydney, and I have to say I’m excited. Andrew and I have had some pretty consistent runs this years as other drivers have fallen off around us. With the extra miles I had last month I’d expect to be quicker more consistently, and with no driver seeding penalties for either of us, we might just surprise a few people this weekend..

“That win I had over Rod in the rain too has made me hungry.. I quite liked the taste of victory. Roll on Friday!”

Opening practice begins on Friday, July 12 at 10:25am followed by a second session at 1:40pm and a third at 2:55pm. Qualifying kicks off at 11:25am on Saturday (July 13), with the opening one-hour race scheduled for 1:55pm. Sunday’s second one-hour race will begin at 12:15pm.

2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli
Championship points 
(after three rounds of six)

GT Championship
1. Klark Quinn (195 points), 2. Tony Quinn (141), 3. Roger Lago (135), 4. Craig Baird (133), 5. Edwards/Bowe (118), 6.Koutsoumidis/McInnes (115), 7. Justin McMillan (111), 8. Jack Le Brocq (110), 9. Jim Manolios (70), 10. Christian Klien (70), 11. Rod Salmon (65), 12. Andrew Taplin (59), 13. Van Gisbergen/Kingsley (54), 14. Simonsen/Salo (50), 15. James Winslow (42), 16. Murphy/Capelli (37), 17. Middleton/O’Young (30), 18. Richards/Lilley (28), 19. Slade/Holdsworth/Hackett (26), 20. Mok Weng Sun/Griffin (25), 21. Lowndes/Luff (21), 22. Roloff/Schneider/Jaeger (19), 23. Russell/Kox (16)
Live streaming will be available by; (Sunday, from 9:00am)

Keep track of round four of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli via the AGT website - and via Facebook; AustralianGT

The fourth round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli will be televised on SBS Speedweek on Sunday, August 4 from 2:00pm AEST (check local guides for confirmation).

2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli - calendar
Rnd#1, 8-10 February - Bathurst 12-Hour, NSW
Rnd#2, 28 Feb - 3 March - Clipsal, Adelaide, SA
Rnd#3, 24-26 May - Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#4, 12-14 July - Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
Rnd#5, 2-4 August - Queensland Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
Rnd#6, 8-10 November - Highland Motorsport Park, NZ