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Aug 7, 2015

CLOSE PRACTICE RESULTS AT QR

ROUND FIVE of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals has commenced at Queensland Raceway, with eight categories completing laps ahead of qualifying and racing commencing tomorrow.

Emerging talent Dylan O’Keeffe will be a racer to watch this weekend after topping the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli Friday practice times, while the scene is set for an exciting Class B battle and the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy decider.

O’Keeffe posted the best outright time (1:11.4318) from Friday’s two unofficial practice sessions, 0.02secs quicker than the next best driver and series points leader, Ryan Simpson.

Sydney Motorsport Park race winner James Abela was the third quickest driver from Geoff Emery and Jon McCorkindale.

McCorkindale and Abela jointly lead the prestigious Jim Richards endurance trophy crown, tied on 50 points – with tomorrow evening’s twilight race paying 30 points for victory.

Times were extremely tight in official practice for the penultimate round of the Australian Formula Ford Series this weekend, 0.03s covering the four fastest cars in the afternoon’s 15-minute session.

Jake Spencer topped a close group of four Mygale’s with Luis Leeds, series leader Cameron Hill and William Brown all within the tiniest of margins of Spencer’s 1m14.58s benchmark time.

Just 0.6s covered the top six fastest cars with another round of breathtaking racing in store this weekend.

Mackay teenager Roland Legge was fastest in practice for round five of the Australian Formula 3 Championship, his 1m05.49s benchmark in the third and final practice session a full 0.4s faster than championship leader Jon Collins – and 0.6s up on second placed Ricky Capo.

On his return to the championship for the first time since 2013, former champ Chris Gilmour battled gearbox woes in his F311 Dallara-Volkswagen, but rebounded for the fifth-fastest time after missing a majority of the first two sessions.

Jack Perkins topped the charts on his second round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan series, having made an all-to-brief debut in the series at Winton earlier this year.

While Mechanical dramas ousted him early in the Winton weekend, Perkins will continue to perform the super-sub role for regular driver Darren Hossack this weekend and convincingly topped the practice times as a result.

His 1m08.28s lap in the second practice was underneath Hossack’s existing QR race lap record – and he says there’s more to come tomorrow when new tyres are fitted for qualifying.

Tony Ricciardello was second fastest and Kerry Baily third in his Aston Martin DBR9.

The ProDuct Motorsport pair of Mitsubishi’s topped official practice for the annual AMChamp Production Car ‘Fight in the Night’ today – however the Jim Pollicina / Dean Lillie HSV, both Sherrin Rentals BMW 135is and Beric Lynton’s 1M were all within shouting distance of the two Sydney EVOs.

Meanwhile, Osborne Motorsport returns to the championship this weekend having traded their long-running association with Mazda for a new one – with Renault.

In previous years, the Osborne Motorsport outfit has contested a pair of Mazda 3MPSs, but when disaster struck in July last year a change in manufacturer was put in motion.

“Last year we had one of our cars unfortunately lost with Brock Giblin’s unfortunate accident at (Sydney Motorsport Park). We have always run a two car team, so we needed to replace one car and there wasn’t a lot of point in building another Mazda 3 because you would have been building something that was brand new yet seven years old, and by the time you spent a lot of money and finished it, it would be worth half of what you spent,” said Osborne.

“We realised that we really needed to look around and see what else was available. I initially didn’t consider the Renaults as I have never been a fan, but every time we looked at things objectively in terms of what was manageable for our team they kept coming up top or second on the list, so I had to change my stance.”

Osborne expects to run one car in the pair of 200km races that make up this weekend’s AMChamp round – including Saturday evening’s iconic ‘Fight in the Night’ enduro.

The pair of teenagers dominating the running at the front of the Kumho V8 Touring Cars Series this season continued their strong run of form – 15-year-old Alex Rullo edging Eggleston motorsport star Liam McAdam by 0.1s in practice today.

Fellow teenager Jake Kostecki was third and Jason Heck fourth in his Falcon BF.

The Kumho series will practice, qualify and stage the first of their three races tomorrow at Queensland Raceway.

The Dial Before you Dig Super Six Touring Cars and Australian Sports Racer Series cars also held unofficial practice today.

Racing commences at Queensland Raceway tomorrow – following qualifying in the morning.

Admission is $20 tomorrow ($30 Sunday) with tickets available at the gate.