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May 24, 2015

MITSUBISHI EDGES BMW IN FOUR HOUR SHOWDOWN

THE SECOND ROUND of the 2015 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals has concluded at Phillip Island with another day of great racing on offer as the Porsche Carrera Cup, Formula 3 and Formula Ford fields again delivered spectacular racing.

The Great Southern 4 Hour went to the Seton family for the third time in a row – Aaron Seton taking victory with Rick Bates after his father Glenn took victory with Bob Pearson driving for the ProDuct in the last two years.

The tense four-hour affair ended with a close battle between Mitsubishi and BMW with the pair of key AMChamp brands split by less than five seconds at the line for the second time in two years at the Island.

The next round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will see the series travel up the Hume to Winton Raceway, near Benalla, on June 12-14.

7 categories, including the Dial Before you Dig Super Six Touring Cars, Kumho V8 Touring Cars, Australian Formula 3 Championship, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Australian Formula Ford, Sports Racer Series and the debut of the IROC Challenge Series, will be on the substantial program.

Once again all the action will be streamed live at thenationals.com.au on Sunday, June 14.

AMCHAMP GREAT SOUTHERN 4 HOUR


AARON SETON and Rick Bates won the Great Southern 4 Hour enduro in a race long battle with the Sherrin Rentals BMW of Grant and Iain Sherrin this afternoon.

Both cars had a share of the race lead throughout the four-hour enduro however the ProDuct team Mitsubishi Lancer EVO emphasised their position at the pointy end of the field in the closing stages following the final round of pit stops and narrowly won in a tense race finish.

The Sherrins – who won Class B - remained in contention throughout thanks to the BMWs superior fuel economy however the Bob Pearson Evo Lancer was too strong in the end – delivering the Sydney-based team victory by just four seconds.

A lengthy safety car in the final hour set up a 12-minute dash to the flag with Aaron Seton holding out a pursuing Grant Sherrin to edge the BMW out for victory in the final laps.

Both cars set their respective fastest laps of the race in the closing dash to the flag as they battled for the victory. It was the third straight victory for the ProDuct team following victories by Bob Pearson and Glenn Seton in the last two years.

The race was slowed in the final hour when Matt MacKelden (BMW 1M) crashed heavily on the exit of turn one, necessitating a lengthy repair of the tyre barrier on the exit of the high-speed corner.

The subsequent safety car period lasted longer than anticipated as race officials attempted to re-order the field prior to a restart.

Sandown 3 Hour classic winners Rob and Shane Marshall continued the family theme on the podium, the father and son combination finishing third in their Mitsubishi.

Jake Camilleri and Scott Nicholas survived a major tyre delamination to win Class C in their Mazda while the Pedders Racing Toyota won Class D.

The return of the Jim Pollicina / Dean Lillie HSV GTS began with another showing of the cars potential performance – Pollicina leading the first eight laps before he was passed by Rick Bates in the Mitsubishi.

The car later suffered a hole in the exhaust – a similar issue to what caused the fire at Sandown in the series opener – with the team electing to retire after 63 laps.

The combo did establish a new Phillip Island AMChamp lap record, however, the new benchmark set at 1m43.7316s.

PORSCHE CARRERA CUP


SHANE SMOLLEN and Nick Percat won the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Pro Am at Phillip Island by virtue of a win and a second in the two, one-hour races this weekend.

Meanwhile, Nick Foster and Dylan Thomas spectacularly won the second race after a late-race charge by Percat fell agonisingly short of snaring a rare double race victory.

Percat assumed control of Shane Smollen’s car mid-race and began a thrilling charge through the field, working his way into the top three within the closing five laps of the race.

He got to the rear bumper of Dylan Thomas – leading the race in Nick Foster’s Sonic Porsche – on the final lap and made several attempts to pass but ultimately fell just short.

A post-race five second penalty for rolling on the start didn’t change their second position behind the winning Porsche, the second place more than enough to secure the overall victory.

Following a horrible start to the weekend, former GT3 Cup Challenge winner Richard Muscat and co-driver Sam Walter finished third outright in race two.

Adrian Mastronado and Tim Slade finished fourth outright, Slade having rocketed to the lead early in the race before handing over to the regular driver.

After their storming second place yesterday, Stephen Grove and Scott McLaughlin could only manage sixth in race two after Grove spun his car early in the race, dropping to the rear of the field.

He climbed to 15th before McLaughlin took over and produced a typically relentless drive through the field to storm through to 6th position in the end – re-setting his own class lap record in the process.

The Porsche Carrera Cup continues at the Townsville V8 Supercars event in July while the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge returns at Winton in three weeks’ time.

AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP


JON COLLINS has stormed to his maiden Australian Formula 3 Championship round victory in emphatic fashion, leading lights-to-flag in the 14-lap Phillip Island feature race on Sunday.

Ricky Capo finished second and Luke Spalding third in the trophy race that saw Collins establish an early lead on the opening lap and build the margin relentlessly from there.

Capo settled for second and Spalding backed up his strong opening round result with another strong result at Phillip Island, also taking home the Formula 3 National Class in the process.

Earlier, Collins withstood another withering attack from Capo in the morning sprint race, the pair once again duelling for the win in a similar style to the way they went at it during race one on Saturday.

Collins lead a majority of the race before Capo was able to attack on the penultimate lap, slicing past into the lead with a bold move down the inside at the turn four hairpin.

Collins remained in close company and was able to re-take the lead from Capo on the run into turn one on the final lap of the race.

Spalding again finished third in his bestjet.com Gilmour Racing entry in race two.

AUSTRALIAN FORMULA FORD CHAMPIONSHIP


LUIS LEEDS won the second round of the Australian Formula Ford Series by virtue of a narrow victory in the third race of the round.

Leeds’ Dream Motorsport Mygale edged out Canberra driver Cameron Hill by just 0.10 seconds in the 8-lap finale’ after another typical Formula Ford slipstreaming battle.

Jake Spencer edged out Thomas Maxwell and William Brown to finish third in the final race with the three covered by less than a tenth across the line.

Sonic Motor Racing driver Christian Morina who had won the first two races, led the opening lap of the race but was shuffled down the field as the race progressed, ultimately finishing eighth.

Morina was still able to set a new Formula Ford lap record at Phillip Island – 1m36.1575s – and finished second for the round, with Thomas Maxwell third.

Morina and Leeds were

On his return to national Formula Ford competition, Luke Ellery won the Kent class in his Spectrum 06b.