Sep 19, 2015
SATURDAY DELIVERS AT PHILLIP ISLAND
A CHAMPION’S return and one of the best races of the season were the defining moments of a bumper day at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and round six of the Shannons Nationals.
Tim Macrow’s return to the Australian Formula 3 Championship saw the Melbourne driver record a strong victory, while Ben Grice and Gavin Ross staged the best finish of the Super 6 Touring Car season with a last-lap thriller.
Meanwhile the Kumho V8 Touring Cars season continued to entertain with Liam McAdam and Alex Rullo continuing their title battle.
Round 6 of the Shannons Nationals continues tomorrow with all races streamed live and free via www.thenationals.com.au.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate with racing commencing just after 9am.
DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG SUPER SIX TOURING CARS
BEN GRICE won a race for the ages in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Super 6 Touring Car Series today.
Taking his streak to seven straight wins, Grice passed defending champion Gavin Ross at turn four on the final lap of the race after leader Ross ran wide entering the corner.
Grice snuck up the inside and then held out Ross’ similar Commodore in a race to the line to win by 0.09s.
The race was a breathtaking display of wheel to wheel racing with a five car freight-train battling furiously for the lead across the opening four laps.
Grice, Ross, Travis Lindorff, Simon Tabinor and Garry Hills were all fighting for position with the lead and minor positions swapping regularly.
Ross asserted himself in the lead later in the race before the events of the final lap set up the thrilling finish and the continuation of Grice’s remarkable streak.
AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
IT WAS ALMOST as if Tim Macrow had never been away.
The double Australian Formula 3 champion’s comeback to the series continued in style today, charging to a dominant pole position and a strong race one victory in the Alpine Motorsport Dallara F307 – Mercedes.
His 1m24.15s qualifying lap was the second fastest ever recorded at the venue whilst his race one victory came despite a slow start that dropped him to second on the opening lap.
It didn’t take him long to get through leader Jon Collins, however, slipstreaming his way past at the beginning of lap two to grab a lead he’d never lose.
Collins finished just over 1s behind Macrow having maintained consistent pressure on the leader for much of the race.
Ricky Capo finished third, battling Roland Legge for much of the nine-lap duration but ultimately holding out the young Queenslander to grab the third spot on the podium.
The results edged Collins away from Capo in the championship by one further point, making it 15 going into tomorrow’s second sprint and longer feature race.
PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE
RYAN SIMPSON continued his dominant form in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia, storming away from the competitive pack to win the opening nine-lap race by more than six seconds this afternoon.
The Parramatta Smash Repairs driver scored pole by nine-tenths of a second earlier in the day, his 1m30.60s lap easily the fastest ever in the GT3 Cup Challenge at Phillip Island.
He them stormed away from the line and led all the way to score another win and extend his already impressive championship lead.
Dylan O’Keefe finished a strong second, with Geoff Emery holding out a charging James Abela for third in the closing laps. Series rookie Hamish Hardeman finished fifth with David Ryan an impressive sixth. Sam Shahin, John Goodacre, Scott Taylor and Jono Taylor completed the top-10.
Aaron Seton and Jaxon Evans continued their season-long fight for class B honours, Seton grabbing the advantage in the first of three races this weekend.
KUMHO V8 TOURING CARS
EGGLESTON Motorsport driver Liam McAdam has extended his points lead in the Kumho Tyre Australian V8 Touring Car Series after winning today’s opening race of Round 4 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
The teenager took his second pole position of the season (and the three bonus series points that went with it) earlier in the day and led the eight-lap Race 1 from start to finish to record his third race win of the year. His main series rival, 15-year-old Alex Rullo, finished second and now trails McAdam by 13 points in the series point score with two races to come tomorrow.
McAdam now has 335 points to Rullo’s 322 and broke the 15-year-old Western Australian’s streak of four consecutive race victories.
501 Performance driver Tony Evangelou finished third in his ex-CAT/Ford Performance Racing Falcon, though over seven seconds behind winner McAdam.
Image Racing’s Michael Hector scored a solid fourth place in the team’s ex-Stone Brothers/James Courtney Falcon, holding off Steve Briffa who finished fifth in the Poco Furniture Commodore.
Briffa sits fourth in the series and has closed the margin to third-placed Jim Pollicina – who finished sixth in today’s race – to just six points.
SVEN BURCHARTZ and Greg Keene battled for the opening IROC Challenge / Porsche 944 cup race this weekend.
The pair of experienced Porsche racers battled in the early laps of today’s eight-lap affair before Sven was able to pull away in the closing stages to record a strong victory. Keene set the fastest lap of the race and, as such, a new IROC Class lap record in the process.
Adam Mills finished third, and first of the Porsche 944s.
The IROC Challenge will contest a further two races tomorrow.
RADICAL AUSTRALIA CUP
NEALE MUSTON and Tim Macrow split the pair of sprint races in this weekend’s round of the Radical Australia Cup.
Muston won the first sprint race ahead of Robert Baird and Greg Smith, while Macrow – driving Robert Baird’s Radical Team Melbourne entry – headed Muston and Smith in the second eight-lap sprint.
Today’s two races set the tone for tomorrow morning’s 40-lap Radical feature.
Peter Paddon and Kim Burke split the victories in the four-cylinder SR3 class.
AUSTRALIAN SPORTS RACER SERIES
Jonathon Stoeckel has taken his maiden Australian Sports Racer Series win, taking victory in a tumultuous race one of the penultimate round of the 2015 series at Phillip Island this afternoon.
Stoeckel claimed the win on the finish line from Aaron Steer, after the pair avoided stranded then-race leader Jason Makris on the last lap after he spun. He had earlier set the fastest lap of the race.
The privateer racer’s victory comes two years after a mammoth crash for the likeable Victorian in the same car at the same circuit, in a race that had four different leaders (Adam Cranston, Mark Laucke, Makris and Stoeckel), a safety car for a stranded Phil Hughes on the grid, black flags, spins, and plenty of controversy regarding passing under yellow flag conditions – with investigations continuing post-race.
John-Paul Drake and the younger of the Cranston brothers – Josh – did not take part in this afternoon’s race after being forced to retire from the weekend’s proceedings following qualifying, with both drivers encountering engine problems during that session.
AUSTRALIAN SUPERKART CHAMPIONSHIP
Race 1 of the final round of the Australian Superkart Championship was won by 2013 champion Russell Jamieson.
Jamieson pulled clear of Gary Pegoraro steadily over the six laps as Matt Bass won an intense battle for third picking his way through the pack.
Kris Stebbing was fourth from Warren McIlveen and Ilya Harpas. Anton Stevens over came multiple engine failures in practice and qualifying to finish eighth behind Martin Latta, but lost his points lead. Jason Smith and Chas Maddern followed 250 National class winner Jordan Ford.