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Apr 7, 2017

Shannons Insurance: Day 1 Wrap Sandown


The Shannons Nationals 2017 season has officially begun, with some of Australia's top series and championships beginning their respective rounds at Sandown International Raceway.

CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series presented by Pirelli

The season-opening round of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series began with opening practice, in what is the beginning of the series' second season.

Victorian Steve McLaughlan was fastest in the session, topping the time sheets with a 1:11.8333 in his Audi R8, while his Audi Sport Customer Racing teammate Rio Nugara was second, three-tenths of a second behind.

Richard Gartner was third fastest outright, and also rounded out the cars in the Trophy class.

In the MARC class Queenslander Keith Kassulke was fastest, ahead of class competitors John Goodacre and Melinda Price.

Scott Hookey was the fastest in the Challenge class, while Justin McMillan made the debut for the newly introduced KTM X-Bow GT4 car.

The CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series returns tomorrow for a second practice and two qualifying sessions.


Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli

Jamey Blaikie Scholarship winner Jordan Love has topped combined practice at the opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli, setting a time of 1:12.1595 on debut in the series.

Love led the way from former Formula 4 teammate Brenton Grove, while Anthony Gilbertson was third fastest ahead of South Australian Sam Shahin.

John Kartytinos was fifth, leading John Morriss and Nick Karnaros.

Former Olympian John Steffenson had a strong debut into the one-make series, finishing eighth on debut.

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge returns on-track tomorrow for qualifying and their first race for the season.


CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship

Last year's championship runner-up Nick Rowe and CAMS Foundation Rising Star Ryan Suhle have secured pole positions for Saturday and Sunday's respective races at Sandown.

In a first for the CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship, two rounds will be held across the one weekend, with three 30-minute races for Round 1 on Saturday and another three for Round 2 on Sunday.

AGI Sport and Rowe claimed the season opening pole award by a staggeringly close .0257 ahead of Liam Lawson.

The top 10 in qualifying were only split by .59 seconds, in a hotly contested season opening qualifying session.

Ryan Suhle will start an impressive third for tomorrow's season opening race, ahead of Cameron Shields and Tyler Everingham.

In the second qualifying session Suhle will start ahead of Lawson, with Simon Fallon third and Josh Denton fourth.

The CAMS Jayco Australian Formula 4 Championship will have three races tomorrow, beginning at 9:10 (AEST).


Radical Australia Cup

Karl Reindler was fastest in today's combined practice sessions, setting a 1:12.4744 for the second round of Radical Australia Cup.

Michael Whiting and James Winslow shared the SR3RS to finish second fastest for the day, ahead of Kim Burke who was fastest in the Australian Prototype Series.

The #1 First Focus Radical also steered by Reindler was fourth, ahead of Oliver Smith and David Crampton.

Radical Australia Cup returns tomorrow for their two qualifying sessions and first race for the weekend.


Australian Prototype Series

Radical racer Kim Burke topped the time sheets in what was the debut for the Australian Prototype Series, defeating Mark Laucke who was fastest in the opening two practice sessions.

Burke set the pace with a 1:12.8161 in the three combined practice sessions.

The third and final practice sessions for the day was declared with four minutes on the clock, when Adam Cranston came to grief on the back-straight after losing the front wing under his front tyres.

Cranston was driving the F1000 in today's sessions, after the plane delivering the Wolf GB08 Tornado CN Prototypes he and his brother Josh will race this weekend was delayed.

At the time of the red-flag, Cranston was fastest for the FL1 class, after Terry Peovitis had earlier topped the class ranks in the previous sessions.

John-Paul Drake was fastest in the Kumho Cup class for the day.

The Australian Prototype Series will hit the track for qualifying and the opening race tomorrow.