Sep 21, 2013
MUSCAT AND MORRISS WIN FAST-PACED PHILLIP ISLAND OPENER
Porsche pace-setter Richard Muscat has dominated a fast-paced opening race of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli at Phillip Island for the series’ final round, with stablemate John Morriss taking the Elite Class race win.
Muscat claimed pole position early on Saturday, followed by a largely unchallenged victory in the nine-lap opening race.
Muscat led from the start and slowly gapped the trailing battle-pack, which consisted of Michael Almond, Peter Fitzgerald, John Goodacre, Phil Woodbury and Morriss.
Muscat eventually took the chequered flag with ease, in doing so posting a new lap record, an incredible three seconds quicker than the previous benchmark lap. To add to this feat, 11 of the GT3 Cup Challenge racers posted fastest laps under the previous lap record.
Muscat was pleased with his performance after sealing the GT3 Cup Challenge title at the penultimate round at Queensland Raceway.
“Obviously we got pole position, a new lap record and the win; I’m rapt with the race pace and the result,” said Muscat.
“I don’t have as much pressure on me as I would if I was fighting for the championship this weekend. I’m here to have fun but I always take my racing serious.
“It was great I was able to pull away from the field. This track is pretty hard on the tyres so I could afford to take it a bit easier, save the tyres and have a good bank for tomorrow.”
Almond finished second for the race from Fitzgerald, Elite Class race winner Morriss, Woodbury and Jon McCorkindale, who recovered from a slow start to finish sixth.
With teammate Muscat winning the opening race, Morriss was happy with his top-four performance.
“We’re really pleased on how Richard has done this year and it’s nice to come to a track where both GT3 Factory cars have performed well. My car was okay in the first four laps but then after that I got a bit tired,” said Morriss.
“It’s great to be the first of the Elite Class to the finish. I’m stoked with that and it’s has been a great weekend so far.”
Stephen Grove finished in seventh, reducing the Elite Class points lead with two races remaining after class leader Goodacre failed to finish following contact with Woodbury on the second-to-last lap; the latter receiving a 10-point penalty for the contact.
John Karytinos finished eighth from Tim Miles, Jack Falla, Michael Hovey, Steve McFadden, Scott Taylor, Sam Shahin, Andrew Macpherson and Grant Sparks.
The non-finishers list featured Goodacre and Fraser Ross, who was unable to re-join the circuit after an opening lap spin.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will hold two races on Sunday, including its 100th race on Sunday morning.
To watch Sunday’s racing from the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals, visit www.thenationals.com.au to view the live stream.Race Schedule
Sunday September 22, 2013
11:00am Race 2 – 9 laps
2:40pm Race 3 – 9 laps