Thursday, December 6, 2012

The heat was on for the MPC Audi R8 LMS cars in Sydney

 photo MelbournePerformanceCenter_zpsa0f15eb0.png

Melbourne Performance Centre Press Release

The heat was on for MPC in Sydney
REVIEW: Melbourne Performance Centre, Sydney Telstra 500
Rnd#7 Australian GT Championship (Nov 30-Dec 2), Homebush, NSW

Despite the limited entries into the final round of the 2012 Australian GT Championships at Sydney’s Olympic Park, the competition for the twin Audi R8 LMS GT3s of Rod Salmon (OneWorld Bar) and Peter Conroy (Hankook) was no less intense, but it did provide both Melbourne Performance Centre [MPC] supported drivers with a great opportunity to attack for a podium result in the stifling conditions.

“That was the plan at least,” Rod Salmon reflected post race. “We were on target early, and in fact the lap before my hiccup, MPC’s Lee Burley told me the podium was mine, so I must have gotten over excited (laughs).

“I was on a solid pace and battling with Tony Quinn early, but in the process out-braked myself into one of the blind left-handers. That was okay, I shot down the escape road and as I tried to swing the car around, I ended up nosing into the wall and coming to a heavy stop. What’s worse was that of all the parts of the circuit my family could be on, they were all parked right there waving at me.. I didn’t see them fortunately.. it was one of those things, I thought it would come around quicker than it did.

“I got it going again, because the damage was mostly superficial, and after the race I sold the car on to Dean Koutsoumidis, so I didn’t want to do it any harm and pulled out of race two.

“Honestly, the team would have had the car right for Sunday, but I wasn’t in the championship hunt, and it’s a tricky circuit, with a lot of blind corners, and I didn’t want to do what Peter Hackett did, so I elected to be a spectator instead.”

“The damage is only superficial, we could certainly have fixed it,” MPC’s Troy Russell confirmed, “but Rod wanted us to bring it back to base and go over it in preparation for Dean and Andrew [McInnes] to take over, so he felt happier sitting out Sunday’s race.

“Both Rod and Peter’s cars performed faultlessly all weekend, and they both got through the weekend without serious damage. The track is very bumpy for the GT cars, bumpier than the Gold Coast, so it becomes pretty hard work for the drivers, they just had to get their lines right, because it didn’t take much to throw them off line.”

“I was actually surprised how bumpy it was,” Salmon added. “I often wondered why the cars would run through the ‘bus stop’ chicane when I watched it on TV, now I know. If you’re out just inches on the way in, the bumps can unload the wheels and therefore affect your braking, and around a circuit like that, braking is one thing you don’t want dramas with. In the end I think I went straight on at that part of the circuit four times..”

Audi team-mate Peter Conroy concurred with his view of the circuit, but like Salmon, loved his weekend on the streets of Sydney.

“Whilst we weren’t initially entered for the weekend, I’m so glad we decided to run because we learnt so much about the car. We came in to get miles in the car and tick a few boxes, and in the end we ticked all the boxes we wanted, and a few more in the process.

“Our only slip for the weekend was an equipment failure. After they started race one, officials reduced the time to 20-minutes instead of 30-minutes, so the pit stop window occurred at a different time. My engineer had a broken wire on his headset, so didn’t hear race control’s call, and therefore never told me when I should be pitting, so I just kept circulating till our originally planned window, and found myself excluded as a result. I was a bit disappointed they would do that given that things changed during the race, but the rules are the rules, and we did have a drama with our comms.

“In the end though I was very pleased with how we went. Across the weekend I improved my lap times significantly compared to where they were at the start, and we learnt more about the car ahead of the 12-Hour. I kept pretty clear of the kerbs all weekend, because I didn’t want to do any suspension damage ahead of the 12-Hour which is a very important event for me.”

For the Melbourne Performance Centre team, it’s back to their south-east Melbourne base to prepare for the opening round of the 2013 season at the Bathurst 12-Hour in early February [8-10] where the team will support up to seven Audi R8s, with assistance from the Audi factory in Germany.

“Each year Audi sends not just crew, but all the parts we need to keep the cars running, regardless of what gets thrown at us,” Russell confirmed. “With victory in 2011 and 2012, they will be keen to three-peat and will have some very strong entries in place to do that, including a number of very competitive local teams.”

Rnd#7 Australian GT Championship
Qualifying - Friday, November 30, 2012
1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) - 1:40.1102
2. John Bowe (Ferrari 458 Italia) - 1:41.8429
3. Peter Hackett (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) - 1:41.8805
4. Klark Quinn (Porsche Type 997 RSR) - 1:42.9643
5. Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 1:45.1267
6. Peter Conroy (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 1:48.0485
7. Tony Quinn (Ferrari 458 Italia) - 1:48.8496
8. Nicholas McBride (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) - 1:49.8559
9. Scott Taylor (Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup) - 1:52.5094
10. Dean Koutsoumidis/Andrew McInnes (Lamborghini LP520) - 1:53.7305

Rnd#7 Australian GT Championship
Race One - Sunday, December 1, 2012
1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) - 11-laps
2. Klark Quinn (Porsche Type 997 RSR)
3. Edwards/Bowe (Ferrari 458 Italia)
4. Tony Quinn (Ferrari 458 Italia)
5. Dean Koutsoumidis/Andrew McInnes (Lamborghini LP520)
6. Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 10-laps
7. Scott Taylor (Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
DNF. Peter Hackett (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) - 2-laps
DNF. Nicholas McBride (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) - 2-laps
EXC. Peter Conroy (Audi R8 LMS GT3)

Rnd#6 Australian GT Championship
Race Two - Sunday, December 2, 2012
1. Bernd Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) - 17-laps
2. Klark Quinn (Porsche Type 997 RSR)
3. Edwards/Bowe (Ferrari 458 Italia)
4. Peter Hackett (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG)
5. Tony Quinn (Ferrari 458 Italia)
6. Peter Conroy (Audi R8 LMS GT3)
7. Dean Koutsoumidis/Andrew McInnes (Lamborghini LP520) - 16-laps
8. Scott Taylor (Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
DNF. Nicholas McBride (Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) - 9-laps
DNS. Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS GT3)

2012 Australian GT Championship - calendar
Rnd#1, 1-4 March - Clipsal, Adelaide, SA
Rnd#2, 25-27 May - Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#3, 22-24 June - Winton, Victoria
Rnd#4, 13-15 July - Eastern Creek, Sydney, NSW
Rnd#5, 21-23 September - Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#6, 19-21 October - Gold Coast, Queensland
Rnd#7, 30-2 December - Homebush, Sydney, NSW

2012 Australian GT Championship - series points
(after round seven of seven)

1. Klark Quinn (Porsche) - 186 points [Champion]
2. Peter Hackett (Mercedes-Benz) - 173
3. Peter Edwards (Ferrari) - 128
4. Nick O'Halloran (Ferrari) - 56
5. Greg Crick  (Dodge Viper) - 56
6. Ben Eggleston (Aston Martin) - 54
7. Roger Lago (Lamborghini) - 52
8. Tony Quinn (Mosler) - 51
9. James Brock (Mercedes-Benz) - 47
10. Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 43
11. John Briggs (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 35
12. Ash Samadi (Mosler) - 34
13. Jim Manolios/Rod Wilson (Corvette) - 22
14. Martin Wagg (Aston Martin) - 18
15. Peter Conroy (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 17
16. Kevin Weeks (Ford GT) - 15
17. Mark Eddy (Audi R8 LMS GT3) - 15

Melbourne Performance Centre is proudly supported by One World Bar, Pirelli Australia, The Audi Race Experience, PH Motorsport Trailers - supplier of the new Audi Sports Customer racing transporter, BluFi Wireless Australia, Questek Australia,  and Top Gun Restorations.

Melbourne Performance Centre
Since 2004, Victorian motorsport enthusiasts Lee Burley and Troy Russell have operated Melbourne Performance Centre [MPC], a professional motorsport operation dedicated to ‘gentleman’ [and lady] racers. 

Their business model is simple; to provide fellow enthusiasts and competitors a range of services [that includes a Mainline AWD1500 4WD dynometer] that will enhance their experience with the sport, from the build, preparation and engineering of race cars, to transportation and support at the circuit.

Audi Driving Experience
Get behind the wheel yourself to discover a new level of excitement with the Audi Driving Experience. Refine your technique, develop more skilled control at higher speeds and pursue the ultimate in performance.

From advanced programs, right through to the Audi race experience, there is a program to suit every kind of driver.

The Audi Driving Experience makes use of a range of Audi’s vehicles, from sports road cars right through to their Bathurst winning race vehicles. From Audi’s advanced driving courses, you can move through to the Audi sportscar experience and finally, the Audi race experience where you can slip behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 racecar that holds the mantel of Australian GT and Bathurst 12-Hour Champion.

To find out more, call Melbourne Performance Centre today.

Melbourne Performance Centre
521 Mountain Highway,
Bayswater VIC 3153
Phone: 03 9738 2294
Fax: 03 9738 2296