Race Tailem Bend: Saturday Wrap

Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS

The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS has continued to showcase its fierce competition amongst the different manufacturers, with Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Peter Hackett and Declan Fraser claiming the opening win of the weekend.

Following a consistent start from Hackett, Fraser had the responsibility of bringing the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 home and successfully took out the win over the two Arise Racing GT Ferraris, with Chaz Mostert and Liam Talbot in second place ahead of teammates Jaxon Evans and Elliott Schutte.

The Mercedes victory marks the third different manufacturer to win a race this season, after Ferrari and Audi shared the spoils at last month’s Ford Mustang 60 Years Race Phillip Island.

Fraser crossing the line first came after some hard work from both drivers, with the key moment in the race coming during a max pit stop from all the contenders, which resulted in the Queenslander taking advantage of an error from Paull Stokell.

Stokell had done a brilliant job to get to the lead in the OnlyFans Team MPC Audi he shared with Renee Gracie, having earlier charged up the field from the back of the field to sixth within the first 15 minutes of the race.

In the other classes, Zalloua and Sergio Pires rounded out the outright top 10 and picked up the Amateur class win in their Audi R8 LMS.

Photos: Speed Shots Photography

Trico Trans Am Series

The Trico Trans Am Series produced two brilliant races today with honours being split by James Moffat and Todd Hazelwood.

With Moffat having scored pole position yesterday, the reigning series champion had his hands full in today’s opening race with Hazelwood constantly applying the pressure on the race leader before eventually making a move stick with three laps to go.

Hazelwood went on to take out the win over Moffat, but was later penalised for a safety car breach, giving Moffat the victory.

Making up the top three was Jackson Rice, who beat Edan Thornburrow and Nathan Herne by a couple of seconds to pick up his best result of the season.

There would be no question over the result in the series’ second race of the round as Hazelwood enjoyed a tough win over Moffat after the two battled hard in the 14 lap affair.

Starting the race from second place, Hazelwood wrestled his way into the lead early on in the race and held on – defending well after the race’s brief safety car period and eventually building a solid gap over Moffat, while Nathan Herne finished the race in third place.

Precision National Sports Sedans Series

The Precision National Sports Sedans Series opened up the day’s proceedings with an epic qualifying session that saw Geoff Taunton edge out Tom Randle to pole position by two tenths of a second.

However, when it came to the category’s sole race of the day, it was Randle who had the last laugh as he picked up a three-second victory over the pole sitter in a chaotic race.

Interestingly, it took Randle quite some time to get to the front of the field after Peter Ingram got the jump early on the two frontrunners to charge to top spot on the opening lap – a place he held for the opening stint of the race where there was an early safety car period.

Taunton then regained the lead with a brilliant move on the fourth lap where he remained for another three laps before Randle’s pressure on the Queenslander paid off, replacing him in top spot with just three laps to go.

While the trio had spent much of the entertaining race trading places, once Randle gained the lead, he didn’t relinquish it – eventually crossed the line ahead of Taunton.

Behind them, Ingram found himself under siege from a fast charging Steve Tamasi, who had made up a handful of positions in the race, only for the two to make contact with two minutes to go. While Ingram held on for third, Tamasi was forced to retire.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

The first of three Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series races for the weekend belonged to Jordan Cox after the New South Welshman showcased a brilliant defensive display.

Starting on the front row alongside Tony D’Alberto after being promoted a place post-Qualifying, Cox managed to get the jump on the polesitter right off the line before leading the field to the chequered flag 19 laps later.

However, there was no point during the race to rest for Cox, who had D’Alberto at his rear bumper for the much of the race looking to pounce. Unfortunately for the Victorian, he couldn’t find a way past Cox and had to settle for second place.

Finishing in third place was reigning champion Josh Buchan, who did an outstanding job to work his way into the top three after starting from seventh due to a five-place grid penalty, which he received for switching cars/engines.

For much of the race, the front three had broken away from the rest of the field where there was plenty of fighting, as Dylan O’Keefe enjoyed a stellar run to make up seven places and finish in fourth ahead of Aaron Cameron.

Behind the outright top five, Ryan Casha, Brad Harris and Clay Richards finished between sixth to eighth respectively, while a slow start to Zac Soutar saw him drop from fourth to ninth.

Rounding out the top 10 was Ben Bargwanna, who will start tomorrow’s reverse-grid race in pole position.

Monochrome GT4 Australia

Buchan and D’Alberto were again in action straight after TCR for Monochrome GT4 Australia, with Buchan starting the category’s one hour race from pole after a brilliant qualifying session in the McLaren Artura.

And the New South Welshman put in a decent shift behind the wheel – leading the field from lights out to when he brought the car into the pits for the mandatory switch with co-driver, Jason Yu.

Unfortunately, Yu was unable to continue the good work of Buchan and ended up dropping down multiple positions to finish the race in seventh.

In the end, it was another McLaren Artura entry who took out top honours with Tom Hayman and Marcos Flack victorious over George Miedecke and Rylan Gray.

Hayman picked up the lead on lap 30 after a brilliant pass on Tom McLennan and held firm for the remaining 10 laps – eventually crossing the line four seconds ahead of the Ford Mustang.

McLennan ended up rounding out the race podium in the McLaren he shares with Nathan Morcom, crossing the line one second behind.

In fourth place was Lachlan Mineeff and Shane Smollen who won the Pro-Am class, while Jacob Lawrence won the Am class, finishing 10th overall.

Porsche Sprint Challenge Australia Series

A brilliant start from Clay Osborn has helped him take out the first race of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series.

The Queenslander started the race from second alongside polesitter Brick Gilchrist but found himself in the lead almost instantly after a lightning quick start at lights out.

Osborne then led for the rest of the race and held onto top spot despite multiple safety car restarts and pressure from drivers behind.

Splitting Osborne and Gilchrist in the top three was Oscar Targett, who had replaced the polesitter on the third last lap and did his best to close in on the leader – coming to within half a second.

Finishing just inside the outright top 10 was the highest ranked Amateur driver in Ramu Farrell, who finished four seconds ahead of Brett Boulton, while Daniel Stuttered rounded out the class top three a further 10 seconds.

Finishing just four tenths of a second behind Stuttered was Bradley Carr, who claimed top honours in Class B.

Meguiar’s Australian Production Cup

The Meguiar’s Australian Production Cup had two races today and there were different drivers to enjoy victories across each.

One of the first sessions of Saturday’s action overall, Grant Sherrin cruised to the win in the second race of the round, having got an early jump on yesterday’s race winner, the BMW M2 of Cameron Crick and Dean Campbell.

Replacing Campbell on the third lap, it was a fairly straight forward run for Sherrin, who led the race up until his mandatory pit stop and then regained the lead once all the cars ahead of him had pitted.

At the conclusion of the 35 laps, Sherrin ended up beating Chris Lillis by 30 seconds, with the BMW M2 of Crick and Campbell making up the top three.

Sherrin and Crick ended up switching positions for the day’s final race of the day as the latter stormed home to a 36 second victory over Lillis, who split the two drivers.