Jul 13, 2013
SHIFT IN LUCK GUIDES WOODBURY TO IMPRESSIVE RACE 1 VICTORY
Sports car ace Philip Woodbury has experienced a vast shift in luck to claim his maiden victory of the 2013 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli season at Sydney Motorsport Park, while Elite Class winner John Goodacre and series debutant Jon McCorkindale rounded out the top three.
Woodbury qualified on pole position earlier in the day however lost the lead at the start of the opening 30-lap endurance race to fellow front row starter and series leader Richard Muscat.
Muscat dominated in the opening 20 laps until he pulled into the pits at two-thirds race distance, retiring from the race due to a broken ball joint.
Woodbury inherited the lead to eventually claim his first win of the season after a horror past round at Winton, where his weekend was hampered by a broken gearbox on the Race 1 warm up lap.
Woodbury led the remaining laps to claim a convincing victory in Race 1; a welcomed change in luck for the quick youngster.
“It’s a great way to start the round. Richard certainly pushed early in the race with a pretty fast pace. I tried to tag along but once he started to pull away I backed off and tried to conserve my tyres a little bit. Unfortunately he pulled into the pits but it was a great result in the end for us,” said Woodbury.
“We’d rather forget about the last round at Winton. It’s a nice change of form and a step in the right direction. We knew we had the pace; we just had to put a full race together.”
Goodacre crossed the finish line in second position, four seconds adrift of Woodbury and 16 seconds ahead of McCorkindale.
“I was on the dirty side of the track at the start of today’s race with Woodbury and we both lit up the tyres. I’m looking forward to starting off the clean side of the circuit for tomorrow. It’s only a short race so hopefully I can get a good start and remain at the front. Woodbury is a great driver however we’ve won here before so we’ll try to do it again.”
McCorkindale built a lengthy 11-second gap on fourth-placed Peter Fitzgerald, with Stephen Grove in fifth, who closed the gap to Fitzgerald in the latter part of the race, and John Morriss in sixth.
Though McCorkindale’s racing talents were crafted on dirt; the former Sprint Car driver was pleased with his tarmac transition to the Porsche category, surprised with the impressive result after the race.
“I didn’t realised Richard had pulled into the pits until I had crossed the finish line. I asked Dad what he was so happy about over the radio and he told me I finished third. I ran through the drivers I thought had finished in front of me and that’s when he told me the news,” said McCorkindale.
“We were hoping for a top five result but that was at the absolute best, so to get third is pretty cool.”
Series rookie Jack Falla won a race-long battle with Indiran Padayachee to claimed his best result of seventh, followed by Padayachee, Scott Taylor, Grant Sparks and newcomer Ben Foessel in 11th.
Absent from the race were regular pace-setters Michael Almond and Fraser Ross. The duo came together in the qualifying session earlier in the day, causing round-ending damage to both Porsches.
Elite Class driver Anthony Skinner also failed to make the Race 1 grid following clutch issues prior to the race.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will hold two nine-lap races on Sunday, both available to be viewed online, along with the entire on-track schedule of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals from Sydney Motorsport Park, via the live stream at www.thenationals.com.au.