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Aug 4, 2013

HOLT/McLEOD STRIKE BACK IN SECOND AMCHAMPS FIGHT



Garry Holt and Ryan McLeod avenged a narrow Saturday night defeat to score overall victory in the second running of the Australian Manufacturers' Championship's 'Fight in the Night' at Queensland Raceway.

McLeod, who had been overtaken by Glenn Seton in the closing laps of the previous night's race, took the team's Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to a comfortable 25 second victory over Beric Lynton's BMW 1M on Sunday afternoon.

Holt and McLeod had proven the survivors of the much fancied Mitsubishi horde, with the three other Evo entries all striking mechanical problems.

Seton led the early laps before losing significant time in the pits with a turbo problem, while the sister Pro-Duct entry of Steve Glenney and the Dylan Thomas/Stuart Kostera CXC Global Evo failed to even take the start after Race 1 dramas.

“Our car didn't miss a beat all weekend, which is a credit to our crew, but we've still got work to do because we aren't happy with the handling of it, particularly compared to Glenn's,” said Holt post-race.

“We're hoping to do a test day before Wakefield Park and come out even stronger for the rest of the season.

“It's such a fantastic format, racing into the dark on Saturday night is a real highlight of the year,” he added.

“Racing in the dark, you've really got to concentrate and get the apexes right. You can't afford to make a mistake and that makes it very rewarding.”

The Australian Manufacturers' Championship was one of eight categories at Queensland Raceway as part of a packed Shannons Nationals weekend.

In the Australian GT Championship, an electrical gremlin ultimately proved the difference between father and son duo Tony and Klark Quinn.

Having taken a win apiece on Saturday, Tony appeared destined to secure the round with a comfortable Race 3 victory before slowing in the closing minutes with his car stuck in gear.

Klark Quinn's Porsche swept by to take the race and round honours, while stopping to 'reboot' the Aston Martin ensured Tony could go on to finish in third.

Greg Murphy split the pair in Jim Manolios' ageing Corvette. The four-time Bathurst 1000 winner had led the early stages before succumbing to the superior speed of Quinn's Aston and later lost further ground due to the category's compulsory pitstop time-based driver seeding parity system.

The race was run in the absence of two of the weekend's fastest cars, with Roger Lago's Lamborghini withdrawing after gearbox problems in Race 1, and Maranello Motorsport's John Bowe-driven Ferrari damage in a brush with the pitwall during Race 2.

Sydneysider Ryan Simpson proved the class of the field in just his second Kumho V8 Touring Car Series appearance, securing a clean sweep of the weekend's three races.

Driving an ex-Triple Eight Ford prepared by Sonic Motor Racing Services, Simpson was able to ease away from second-placed Morgan Haber in the pair of Sunday races to become the season's fourth different round winner in as many events.

Haber took the flag second on both occasions but was later demoted to third in the Race 2 result, behind points leader Shae Davies, thanks to a five second penalty for a jump start.

A third in Race 3 cemented Davies a podium position, with the Fernandez Racing Ford driver now enjoying a healthy 82 point lead in the series over Terry Wyhoon after a crash for the veteran on Saturday severely hampered his weekend.

Long-time V8 Supercars team owner Matthew White endured a difficult debut in the series as, after running as high as second early in Race 2, engine gremlins put paid to his day.

Domination was also the word of the weekend in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship as Tim Macrow extended his points lead with three victories.

Macrow's Team BRM team-mates Nick Foster and Jordan Oon ensured a podium lock-out for the South Australian team.

Foster proved the only man capable of truly challenging Macrow. A slow start in Sunday morning's race ensured Foster could do no better than fifth in Sunday morning's race, while a touch with Oon in the afternoon damaged the former's front wing.

Oon had to survive a second round of contact, this time with Ben Gersekowski, during a heated battle on the way to his first feature race podium.

Tony Ricciardello was denied his own hat trick of wins in Round 3 of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series when he was forced to pit while leading early in the final race due to loose bodywork.

Ricciardello and his menacing Alfa GTV had proven too strong for Darren Hossack's Audi A4 in the day's opening race, resetting the lap record in the process.

Hossack proved his speed in the closing stages of the final, however, lowering the record further on his way to victory.

The consistency of Kerry Baily was enough to see the series leader score second for the weekend, while Ricciardello mounted the lowest step on the podium despite a lowly 11th in the final.

Richard Muscat will enter next month's final round of the GT3 Cup Challenge with an unassailable points lead after recording two wins on the way to Round 5 honours.

Having wrapped up the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy crown by following Michael Almond to the finish in Saturday night's opening race, Muscat stepped up his attack on Sunday.

Passing his South Australian rival mid-way through Race 2, the Victorian would not be headed for the remainder of the day.

Almond pushed hard to finish just over a second adrift on both occasions, while John Goodacre recovering from dramas on Saturday to be third by the end of Race 3.

Steven Grove had earlier taken his first outright top three finish in Race 2 on his way to the overall Elite Class victory.

Reigning series winner Simon Tabinor again proved an unstoppable force in the Saloon Car Series, adding two lights-to-flag Sunday successes to his Race 1 win from Saturday.

Marching towards a second straight title with two rounds remaining, Tabinor's Holden led home the Ford of local driver Lindsay Kearns in all three races.

A consistent weekend for West Australian Travis Sharpe sees the Ford driver move to second in the series standings, albeit some 235 points adrift of Tabinor.

The Swift Racing Series completed the weekend's action and saw second-generation racer Ben Grice walk away with the biggest trophy.

Grice extended his series lead to 27 points over Luke Fraser, whose strong weekend ended with a seventh place finish in the final after encountering brake problems.

The next round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will take place at Phillip Island on September 19-22.

Action from Round 6 at Queensland Raceway will be broadcast on SBS Speedweek and SPEED TV Australia in coming weeks.