May 25, 2014
CHAMPIONS DEFEND GREAT SOUTHERN CROWN
GLENN SETON and Bob Pearson have successfully defended their 2013 Great Sothern Four Hour victory, taking a repeat win in style at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in today’s Australian Manufacturers Championship enduro.
The Pro Duct Racing Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X led for a bulk of the race and survived a late-race safety car to take their second Phillip Island victory ahead the Beric Lynton / Tim Leahey BMW 1M and the class B-winning Iain and Grant Sherrin BMW 135i.
Seton forfeited a one-minute lead when the race’s only Safety Car, called on lap 96, having just taken the wheel of the Pro Duct car following the final round of stops.
However, the former Australian Touring Car Champion was able to establish a margin once racing resumed with 36 minutes remaining, eventually holding out a fast-finishing Beric Lynton to take the outright and Class A victory by just 1.1 seconds.
Seton was held up by lapped traffic in the closing stages but never really looked like missing the victory in the closing stages. The ProDuct Mitsubishi completed 121 laps and a total of 539km en route to victory.
Lynton, sharing with co-driver Tim Leahey, passed Grant Sherrin following the late-race restart to secure the second-place outright finish, rebounding well from their dramas at the opening round that saw them classified only 11th outright.
The Sherrin brothers replicated their class B-winning efforts from twelve months ago, their main class rivals (from their teammates and the GWS Motorsport BMW 335i) striking mechanical dramas early on, leaving them to focus on the outright battle with the Mitsubishis and Lynton / Leahey BMW 1M.
Sandown 3-hour winners Rob and Shane Marshall finished third in Class A and fourth outright, while the Donut King (McLeod / Alford) and Kintyre Holdings (Crimp / Cherry) BMW 1Ms both struck dramas and were removed from the running early on in the race.
The Garry Holt / Stuart Kostera Mitsubishi Lancer was a contender early, however dropped a lap from the leaders with a second stop soon after their first to tighten a suspected loose wheel. The car then suffered a mechanical failure during the race's only safety car period - ending their day.
Colin Osborne and Rick Bates scored the Class C victory for Mazda, taking their 3MPS to a two-lap win over the sister Nick Lange / Brock Giblin entry in an emphatic Osborne Motorsport 1-2. Rick Shaw and Michael Sloss were third in class in the GWS Motorsport BMW 130i.
The Class D lead changed hands within the final 30 minutes of the race, the Conroy Motorsport Honda Integra crew of Kevin Herben and co-driver Luke King taking the class win less than 30-seconds ahead of the Pedders Bendigo crew of Andrew Turpie and Grant Phillips.
Daniel Stuttered and Mike Eady finished 12th outright in the sole invitational-class entered MINI Cooper S.
The next round of the Australian Manufacturers Championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park with the Shannons Nationals, between July 11-13.Click here to read a recap of Sunday's Porsche Carrere Cup Australia and Radical Australia Cup races..