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Sep 21, 2013

FORM DRIVERS ON TOP IN DAY OF RECORDS AT THE ISLAND

THE DOMINANT drivers of the second half of the 2013 season have brought their A-game today to the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit today, dominating proceedings as round seven of the Shannons Nationals kicked off today.

Four of the five classes racing today broke existing lap records on the high-speed Victorian circuit, while John Magro, Ryan Simpson, Neale Muston and Richard Muscat – all drivers who have done plenty of winning in recent months – were the drivers on top of today’s racing.

Sydney driver Neale Muston continued his nearly-unbeatable form in the Radical Australia Cup series, beating home John Corbett and Peter White in today’s round-opening 45-minute enduro.

Muston was only topped during the races compulsory pit stop phase and re-assumed the lead with seven laps to go to take another victory. Oliver Smith edged out Simon Haggarty in the battle for the four-cylinder SR3s.

The race finished under Safety Car when Ash Samadi crashed heavily in the closing laps of the race.

On the eve of their 100th race, Richard Muscat put an exclamation point on his Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli championship season by taking out the first race of the weekend.

Starting from pole, Muscat stormed to an early lead and was never threatened for the win while Michael Almond and Peter Fitzgerald diced for the remaining podium positions behind – finishing in that order.

The all-Porsche series will contest their 100th ever race tomorrow morning, with the class winners of the nine-lap sprint to score the use of a road-going Porsche 911 for a week should they taste success in the milestone affair.

Rookie Ryan Simpson has smashed the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series lap record on his way to victory in today’s opening race of Round 5.

The Parramatta Smash Repairs Falcon driver qualified on pole position – his third from three round starts – and went on to smash the lap record by nearly four seconds – leaving the new benchmark just two-tenths of a second slower than Craig Lowndes’ Phillip Island V8 Supercar record set last year.

Simpson chased down the fast-starting Matthew White in the early laps, eventually making the move to take the lead at the start of lap four.

Simpson led White home by 2.57s at the end and set a new lap record of 1m33.6832s, ripping nearly four seconds from the existing record of 1m37.5416s set by Justin Garioch in 2011.

Ironically, Simpson’s car is one of Lowndes’ ex-Vodafone Falcon BFs from the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

501 Performance driver Tony Evangelou finished third, holding off series leader Shae Davies on the final lap.

John Magro stormed to victory in the opening race of the sixth round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship today, on a day when Tim Macrow scored pole and the entire grid pulverised the existing category lap record.

Magro got a near-perfect start and out-dragged Macrow to the first corner before resiting the championship leader for the following nine laps to take his seventh career win and his fourth of the year with Jack LeBrocq completing the podium finishers.

Crucially, in beating Macrow, the FNQ Larger Team BRM driver edged a tiny bit closer to the championship leader in the race for the 2014 Australian Drivers Championship award; After today’s qualifying and race, Macrow leads Magro 173 - 137 with five races to go.

Darren Hossack continued his domination of proceedings in the Kerrick Sports Sedan series, going quicker than his stunning lap in practice yesterday to take a commanding pole position for the first of tomorrow’s three races.

After Ricciardello laid down a 1m27.90s benchmark in qualifying one, Hossack replied strongly in the second and smashed out a 1m26.71s lap that put him on the top spot by a full 1.2 seconds. Kerry Baily was third in his Aston Martin and Shane Bradford fourth in his Chevrolet Camaro but neither could come close to the flying Audi-Chev. The Kerrick series will tackle three sprint races tomorrow.

A trio of Victorian-based Holden’s dominated qualifying for the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car series, Gavin Ross snaring his first pole position of the year by just 0.1 seconds over Travis Lindorff and championship leader, Simon Tabinor.

Wayne King qualified fourth to make it a Holden sweep of the first two rows of the grid, with Ryan Millier the first of the Ford’s in fifth. Like the Sports Sedans, the Saloon Cars will tackle three races tomorrow.

Russell Jaimeson took pole position for the Australian Superkart Championship before going on to take the race victory in the series’ first seven-lap affair. Remarkably, the tiny karts were four seconds quicker than their existing lap record, lapping in the 1m28s at Phillip Island.