Thursday, November 6, 2014

Australian GT: Army of MPC Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars in New Zealand

By Johan Laubscher

Melbourne Performance Centre is out in full force in New Zealand this weekend. The Australian GT Championship is hosting its final round at Highlands Motorsport Park on Saturday this weekend, followed by the special Highlands 101, a 101-lap endurance race on Sunday.

The Australian Audi Sport customer racing squad arrived in New Zealand with six Audi GT3 machines for their customers, three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars and three Audi R8 LMS cars. A set of team photos were published on Friday and the six-strong Audi line-up looks extremely impressive.

Five of these have been entered for the Australian GT races. The GT Championship class for newer GT3 specification cars will see two Audi R8 LMS ultra cars from MPC. Steve McLaughlan will be sharing his #75 Audi R8 LMS ultra with Warren Luff. The second Audi R8 LMS ultra is the #2 debuting entry of Peter Fitzgerald and Michael Almond.

The GT Trophy class will see the championship battle being decided this weekend. Rod Salmon currently leads the points chase in the #6 Audi R8 LMS with a total of 507 points. The Equity-One Motorsport squad of Dean Koutsoumidis and James Winslow in the #71 Audi R8 LMS are lying second in the points, 32 points behind Salmon. The third R8 LMS entry is the OLOF Racing #72 Audi with Ockert Fourie John Magro.

The Highlands 101 will be taking place on Sunday and all six of the MPC Audis will be lining up at the start. Rod Salmon and Nathan Antunes will be behind the wheel of the recently repaired #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra and vacant #6 Audi R8 LMS will be driven by Mark Griffith and Dale Patterson. The remaining four entries from MPC will be the same as seen in the Australian GT races on Saturday.

Audi entries at Highlands Motorsport Park:

GT Championship class
#2 Evolve Technik Audi R8 LMS ultra (2012 spec) - Peter Fitzgerald and Michael Almond *
#5 Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013 spec) - Rod Salmon and Nathan Antunes ***
#75 JAMEC PEM - Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013 spec) - Steve McLaughlan and Warren Luff *

GT Trophy class
#6 Audi R8 LMS - Rod Salmon and Nathan Antunes **
#6 Audi R8 LMS - Mark Griffith and Dale Patterson ***
#71 Equity-One Audi R8 LMS - Dean Koutsoumidis and James Winslow *
#72 OLOF Racing Audi R8 LMS - Ockert Fourie and John Magro *

*Entered for both Australian GT and Highlands 101
**Only entered for Australian GT
***Only entered for Highlands 101

We wish the best of luck to Melbourne Performance Centre and all of their customers and drivers.

Photo credit: 
Melbourne Performance Centre
Michael Almond
Warren Luff