Saturday, November 29, 2014

Prodsports NSW: Victory and podiums for MPC Audi squad in Island Magic sprint races

By Johan Laubscher

The Island Magic was hosted at Phillip Island in Australia this weekend. This annual motorsport event hosts a number of categories at the end of the Australian motorsport season, including the final round of the NSW Production Sports Car Championship.

Melbourne Performance Centre entered three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the Sports Car races, which included the one-hour CUE Victorian Tourist Trophy for Sports Cars.

The weekends NSW Production Sports Car competition consisted of three races for the Sports Cars division. Two individual sprint races for the two drivers of each car on Saturday, followed by the one-hour CUE Victorian Tourist Trophy for Sports Cars on Sunday.

The Melbourne Performance Centre squad consisted of three Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars. Peter Fitzgerald was driving his #2 EVA Racing/Fitzgerald Racing Services Audi R8 LMS ultra (2012 specification). The second Audi R8 LMS ultra (2013 specification) was the #75 JAMEC PEM Racing entry shared by the driving duo of Steven McLaughlan and James Winslow.

Peter Conroy was behind the wheel of the blue #5 Skwirk Audi R8 LMS, the same car with which Rod Salmon won the 2014 Australian GT Trophy class title. Rod Salmon leased this car from Peter Conroy during 2014, following Jason Bright's accident during the Bathurst 12 Hour qualifying session in February, which resulted in Salmon's Audi R8 LMS ultra heading to Germany for repairs.

Qualifying for the two sprint races was highlighted by an Audi 1-2 for the second race. James Winslow set a dominant pole position with the #75 Audi for the second race, ahead of the #2 Audi of Peter Fitzgerald. The qualifying results for the first race saw Peter Fitzgerald in third and Steven McLaughlan in fourth.

Peter Conroy qualified fifteenth and thirteenth for the two races respectively.

The two sprint races were held over five laps each on Saturday. Race one concluded with a double Audi podium. Peter Fitzgerald piloted his #2 Audi to second position, finishing ahead of Steven McLaughlan in the #75 Audi in third.

The second sprint race saw a 1-2 Audi victory. James Winslow in the #75 JAMEC PEM Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra took victory ahead of Peter Fitzgerald.

Sunday's track action will feature the Victorian Tourist Trophy. The Audi squad will be aiming to make it three out of three for Audi in this one-hour event. Mark Eddy won the event in 2010 and Steven McLaughlan won in 2013, the only two previous editions where an Audi R8 LMS was entered.

We wish the best of luck to the MPC Audi squad and drivers at Phillip Island.

Photo credit: Australian GT