Day 1: The Bend

Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia

Rookie racer Cooper Murray led today’s field in the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, cementing a 1:54.4382 lap time around the new circuit.

The former karting champion was three-tenths of a second faster than Jimmy Vernon, who held the second fastest time in the combined practice sessions.

Max Vidau was third, ahead of Luis Leeds and Simon Fallon.

Local driver Dan Day was sixth, ahead of The Bend’s Sam Shahin in seventh.

Chelsea Angelo, Brett Boulton and Christian Pancione rounded out the top 10.

The Porsche series returns for qualifying and their first race of the season tomorrow.

CAMS Australian Endurance Championship

Jaie Robson and David Reynolds have set the pace in the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship, setting the fastest lap around the ‘GT’ circuit in wet conditions.

The Mercedes Benz AMG pair set a 3:33.7236 in difficult conditions around the 7.77-kilometre circuit, five-tenths of a second ahead Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto.

The McLaren shared by Tony Quinn and Shane van Gisbergen was third on the time sheets, ahead of the Ash Samadi/Dylan O’Keefe Audi R8.

Fifth was the Mercedes of Scott Taylor and Craig Baird, ahead of the Walkinshaw Porsche of Liam Talbot and John Martin.

Steve Richards and local Michael Almond were seventh, with Jim Manolios/Dean Canto eighth.

Reigning champion Peter Hackett driving with Jake Fouracre was ninth, with Geoff Emery and Garth Tander rounding out tenth place.

The championship returns tomorrow for a further practice, before qualifying tomorrow afternoon.

National Sports Sedan Series 

Steven Tamasi led the 28-car National Sports Sedan Series field today, putting down a 1:52.5291 in his Holden Calibera.

Finishing the day with the fastest time out of three practice sessions, the Victorian finished seven-tenths of a second ahead of young-gun Thomas Randle.

The infamous red Alfa of Tony Ricciardello was third on the time sheets, ahead of John Gourley’s Audi A4 driven by Jack Perkins this weekend.

Fifth fastest was Shane Woodman in the BMW M3 GTR, ahead of Shane Bradford in the Chev Camaro.

MARC cars then filled positions seven to nine with Jake Camilleri, Keith Kassulke and Geoff Taunton behind the wheel, with Phil Crompton rounding out the top 10 positions.

The series returns to the track tomorrow for their qualifying first race of 2018.

Australian Prototype Series

The Radicals were the fastest in today’s Australian Prototype Series practice at The Bend, with Peter Paddon setting the fastest time on the circuit with a 1:53.2514.

Behind him by five-tenths of a second was Kim Burke in his Radical SR3 RSX, while Darren Barlow in the Stohr WF1 clocked the third fastest time of the day.

Chris Perini was fourth in his Radical, ahead of the exciting Wolf GB08CN driven by John-Paul Drake.

Fellow South Australian Mark Short was sixth in the Prince, ahead of Jason Makris, Mitchell Neilson and Chris Medland rounding out the top 10.

The 27-car field will return to the circuit tomorrow for their qualifying before their first race of the year.

Radical Australia Cup

After three practice sessions, Kim Burke clocked the fastest time around the new South Australian circuit in Radical Australia Cup.

The combined practice times saw Burke three-tenths of a second faster than the Radical shared by Peter Paddon and Tony D’Alberto.

Seasoned racer James Winslow was third fastest, ahead of Chris Perini and and Chris Medland.

Sixth and seventh respectively saw Simon Haggarty outrun his father Tony Haggarty, ahead of Brad Neilson, Bill Medland and Peter Clare rounding out the top 10.

The series returns tomorrow for qualifying and their opening race for the round.

Heritage Touring Cars 

Supercars driver Jack Le Brocq has set the fastest time in today’s Heritage Touring Car field, by a whopping seven-seconds in a 1992 Ford Sierra.

It will be a Sierra front-row lock out, with Tony Karanfilovski to share the front row with Le Brocq.

Terry Lawlor will start third in his striking Shell Sierra, alongside Adrian Allisey in his Holden Commodore.

Queenslander Mark Taylor will be fifth, with Mark Eddy sixth in the Nissan HR31.

Seventh was Bill Cutler, with Ed Singleton, Tony Sawford and Dean How rounding out the top 10.

The Heritage Touring Cars will now prepare for their opening race tomorrow.

Group S Racing

Rusty French will start from pole position for tomorrow’s opening Group S race, setting a 2:17.6755 around the new South Australian circuit in his DeTomaso Pantera.

Sharing the front row with French is Doug Barbour, who shadowed the fellow Victorian in his Porsche 911 by seven-tenths of a second.

Fellow Porsche 911 racers James Calvert-Jones and Tony Floreani will share the second-row in third and fourth respectively, ahead of Tom Walstab and Simon Meyer placed fifth and sixth.

David Withers was seventh, with John Harrison, Alex Webster and Peter Boylan rounding out the top 10.

Group S Racing return tomorrow for their first race of the weekend tomorrow morning.


The free live stream begins on Sunday, 15 April and can be viewed at speedseries.com.au

Purchase tickets for the opening Shannons Nationals round at The Bend here.