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Aug 11, 2012


Quick South Australian Michael Almond has taken victory in the opening race of the penultimate Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia round at Queensland Raceway, while series leader Kane Rose secured the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy after a nail-biting 40-lap twilight event.

Rose’s nearest endurance points rival, John Modystach, who started in second position, took the lead of the race early from pole-sitter Philip Woodbury and Brent Odgers.

Modystach and Woodbury then pulled away from the field in the opening 10 laps, before Woodbury claimed the front position and pulled a gap on his rivals.

Behind the leading duo, Odgers, Almond and Jeff Bobik were in the battle for third while John Goodacre, John Morriss and Rose rounded out the top eight.

Having a strong lead at the mid-race distance, Woodbury pulled to the side of the circuit on Lap 24 at the end of the front straight, suffering from a loose fuel pump relay, gifting Modystach the race lead and moving Almond to second.

Soon after, the race was given its third different leader – Almond took the lead on Lap 27 after Modystach spun.

Modystach dropped further down the order when he spun again three-quarters through the race, dropping to fifth - one place ahead of Rose.

Soon after, the safety car was called onto the track when Brendan Cook spun at the final corner, bunching the field together for a five-lap sprint to the finish, leaving Modystach and Rose, who were separated in the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy standings by four points, nose-to-tail with only a handful of laps remaining.

On the restart Almond and Odgers pulled away from the field while Bobik and Goodacre led a battle for fifth between endurance title contenders Modystach and Rose.

Almond ultimate held his position at the front to gain his maiden GT3 Cup Challenge win – the 17th different winner in the category – from Odgers, Bobik, Modystach and Rose, who narrowly beat Adam Marjoram for fifth place after a last-lap battle – a tussle that was the decider for Rose’s endurance title win.

Rob Knight finished a season-high seventh from Goodacre, who received a scare at the start of the final lap, spinning at the exit of Turn 1 and was narrowly missed by several rivals.

However consistency and strong pace were both key to handing Almond his maiden GT3 Cup Challenge race victory after competing at the same circuit one weekend prior in the Touring Car Masters category in a historic Porsche 911.

“I definitely think it was great to come and learn the track. I ironed out and a lot of things and applied a few things to this car that really worked out," said Almond.

“It was fantastic racing here under lights. It’s harder than racing in daylight because it’s difficult to see your reference markers but all-in-all it was a great experience.”

Meanwhile Rose was ecstatic with his Jim Richards Endurance Trophy victory after finishing fifth in the 40-lap endurance race.

“It's fantastic to get the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy; that was definitely the goal heading into that race. We lost a day yesterday [after crashing in practice] so I was still trying to learn the track, and when it gets dark it’s not that easy,” said Rose.

“The Trophy is obviously a great honour to have and it’s a great achievement for us this weekend.”

Sunday’s racing from the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships from Queensland Raceway, including Race 2 and Race 3 of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, will be streamed live at

Jim Richards Endurance Trophy standings (top 10)
1  Kane Rose - 68
2  John Modystach - 66
3  Michael Almond - 64
4  Brent Odgers - 50
5  Jeff Bobik - 47
6  John Goodacre - 44
7  John Morriss - 32
8  Adam Marjoram - 30
9  Robert Knight - 23
10 Stephen Grove - 22