Thursday, August 20, 2015

Australian GT: The series moves to Sydney Motorsport Park for round 4

Australian GT Press Release

A full field of 34 spectacular GT cars is set for Round 4 of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli to be run at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Last year saw current championship leader Tony Quinn take the round win with eventual 2014 champion Richard Muscat suffering mechanical issues in the first race, only to emphatically win the action packed second race from the rear of the field.

This year again will feature two one-hour races with a huge number of teams in contention for outright honors.

Second in the championship, only 12 points behind leader Tony Quinn’s Darrell Lea McLaren 650S is Nathan Antunes, the Skwirk Audi driver who has always performed well since his Australian GT debut at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2013. Antunes will undoubtedly be looking to use every bit of home-town knowledge to his favor.

Following the shock retirement from racing of 2006 Australian GT Champion and Phillip Island 101 round winner Greg Crick, superstar team mate Christopher Mies will have a new co-driver in the JAMEC PEM Audi R8, Ryan Millier. Millier impressed in 2014 when co-driving with Jim Manolios in the Trofeo Motorsport Ferrari; but there will be plenty of pressure on him to help Mies improve on his third place in the championship.

Following a record equaling run of three consecutive Pole Positions, the Kiwi Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari 458 pair of Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth will be hoping their undeniable pace will finally yield the solid results that have eluded them so far this year.

Other contenders in the Championship class to watch out for include the super fast pairing of Townsville Round Winner’s Tony D’Alberto and Grant Denyer in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458. After missing the first round the pair are bagging points rapidly and are in the championship hunt. Double Australian GT champion Klark Quinn in the sister Darrell Lea McLaren 650S is always a threat and Michael Hovey’s Ginetta G55 should be quick around Sydney Motorsport Park, Hovey again co-piloted by the rapid Matt Campbell who impressed at the Phillip Island round.

The mighty pair of Erebus Mercedes AMG SLS GT3s will again feature in Sydney along with a trio of Porsche 911 GT3-Rs, bolstered by the new entry of Scott Taylor and Aaron Seton. The 17 year old is the son of former V8 Touring Car champion Glenn and has shown impressive form in other categories.

Tim Miles has taken over the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 campaigned successful by Tony Quinn in 2014 and Justin McMillan has moved back into the Lamborghini Gallardo he campaigned in 2014, alongside Glenn Wood. This leaves 2013 Sydney Motorsport Park round winner Jack Le’Brock in the sole Camaro. He’ll be hoping that alongside Natham Morcom the potential of this crowd thrilling 8.3 litre V8 can finally be unlocked after a problem-plagued season.

In the competitive Trophy Class points leaders Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer will be hoping to increase their lead over past GT4 class champion Mark Griffith, both in Audi R8s. Behind, Theo Koundouris’ Porsche, Townsville Round winner Jan Jinadasa’s Lamborghini and the thundering Ford GT of Kevin Weeks and Steve Owen look set threaten.

Challenge Class leader Tony Alford holds a 20 point lead over Michael O’Donnell’s Porsche; the gap closing substantially in Townsville with Richard Gartner also in a Porsche only a further 14 points behind.

First Practice at Sydney Motorsport Park will commence Friday August 21st at 8:25am. Qualifying 1 will follow at 10:30am with Qualifying 2 at 3:00pm

Race 1 will be held Saturday at 12:45pm and Race 2 Sunday at 9:20am, both an hour in duration.

Photo credit: Australian GT