Familiar names atop APC/GT4 at SMSP

Shane Smollen and Justin Ruggier continued their dominance in the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia Series last weekend at the Sydney Motorsport Park, while Nash Morris also found himself on the winners’ list.

The combined series played part of the inaugural Shannons Trophy Series round at SMSP last weekend, lining up on the grid for four races across two days.

Securing pole position on Friday for the first one hour race was Smollen and Ruggier, with the duo going almost one second faster than Mark Griffith in the Mercedes AMG GT.

The pair then started off strong Saturday’s opening race of the weekend, producing strong stints in their Porsche Cayman to cross the line 40 seconds ahead of Griffith at race end.

Griffith himself had a solid finish to race, going 10 seconds faster than series debutant Renee Gracie, who put in a good shift to seal third by 52 seconds over Steve Jukes.

It was a far closer outing in the evening, as Morris switched with Griffth behind the wheel to cross the line behind Ruggier by less than two seconds after an impressive showing.

Gracie was unable to replicate her success from the opener, dropping down below Jukes and then behind Paul Morris – the latter of whom finished third.

In the Australian Production Cars, it was Iain Sherrin who led the field in both races, as he finished fifth and sixth overall.

In race one, his biggest challengers came in the form of Cameron Crick and Tyler Mecklem while race two saw Grant Sherrin and Coleby Cowham make up the top three.

Nash Morris then put an end to Smollen’s dominant run in the series after winning the final race of the weekend on Sunday.

Morris managed to take the lead twice during the category’s fourth and final 24-lap race, with his second pass on lap 16 his last move required as he held onto the lead for the remainder of the encounter.

Morris eventually finished nine seconds ahead of Smollen and Ruggier, while Jukes finished third as the only other driver to finish on the lead lap.

Smollen and Ruggier may not have picked up a clean sweep, but they were still dominant all weekend; they picked up three wins throughout the round, including a shortened race three.

The leading pair had developed a big gap to Griffith, only for the race to be red flagged due to a big crash with 20 minutes to go.

In the Australian Production Cars, Sherrin once again dominated the day, taking out victories in both races, while the #25 Ford Mustang of Lindsay Kearns and Coleby Cowham finished both races in second place.

The next round of Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars & Monochrome GT4 Australia Series will be part of the Shannons SpeedSeries at Queensland Raceway on 11-13 August.