Racing continued under sunny skies at ‘The Island’ today for the second round of the Shannons Nationals. Here’s the movers and shakers of the day:
Carsales TCR Australia Series
There was action abound whenever the TCR cars took to the track today. It started in qualifying with the fastest lap of the period being set and reset right up until the final moments. In the end it was Dylan O’Keefe who claimed the all-important pole position with a time of 1:35.98. O’Keefe and his Alfa Romeo Giulietta would be joined by Will Brown in the Hyundai i30N on the front row of the grid. Jason Bright in the VW Golf would secure third position on the grid, with Tony D’Alberto in the Honda Civic in fourth.
Drama shortly followed the lights going green in Race 1 with contact between Bright and Andre Heimgartner (Subaru WRX STi) bringing out the safety car. O’Keefe managed to put a comfortable distance between himself and the rest of the pack, staying out in front for the duration of the race.
Behind O’Keefe an intense battle between James Moffat (Renault Megane) and Will Brown for second unfolded. Brown found his opportunity to pass Moffat on the penultimate lap securing second, with Moffat crossing the line in third.
Tony D’Alberto and Garth Tander (Audi RS) rounded out the Top 5 finishers.
The TCR cars line-up again at 1:10pm EST tomorrow for Race 2. Race 3 will follow straight after at 2:40pm EST.
CAMS Australian Endurance Championship
There were two qualifying sessions held today for tomorrow’s 180 minute race. Jamie Whincup set the benchmark time in Q1, setting a time of 1:26.99. Daniel Gaunt got close in the Aston Martin Vantage but just couldn’t find the one hundredth of a second needed to de-throne Whincup.
It was Ryan Simpson in Q2 who would find the pace needed to grab pole off the Shahin/Whincup duo. Simpson will be sharing the McLaren 720S with Fraser Ross tomorrow. Gaunt secured third for himself and team-mate Tony Quinn.
The CAMS Australian Endurance Championship starts tomorrow at 9:45am EST.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge
Max Vidau had the pace during qualifying and kept it up for the full 20 minutes of Race 1, despite being challenged early on for the lead. Vidau crossed the finish line with a time of 15:11.34, leaving Harri Jones narrowly missing out on a first place finish in the PRO class, after crossing the finish line with a time of 15:11.84. Aaron Love finished third only one second behind Jones.
Sam Shahin was the first to cross the finish line for the AM class with a time of 1:32.48, followed by Brett Boulton at 1:32.72, and Ross McGregor at 1:34.22. Andrew Goldie was the winner of B class with a time of 15:31.09.
The field then took to the track again for the 45 minute long Race 2. This time it was Love who would be the first to cross the finish line with Jones following a little over a second after. Vidau would have to settle for third this time round.
Boulton and Shahin would swap positions for the second race, with Boulton clinching the AM class win, and Shahin claiming second. It was de ja vu for McGregor, who found himself in third again and Andrew Goldie who was the B class winner.
Tomorrow the Porsche GT3 Cup cars will be on track from 9:10am EST.
CAMS PAYCE Formula 4 Championship
It was a full dance card for Formula 4 drivers who had four races today.
Race 2 was the first race of the day. Lachlan Hughes led unchallenged for the race. Luis Leeds crossed the finish line with a 1.42 second gap to the leader, and Harry Hayek took third with a 4.78 second gap.
It was the tightest of finishes between Ryan Suhle and Luis Leeds for Race 3, with Suhle crossing the finish line at 17:41.28 and Leeds crossing at 17:41.29. Antonio Astuti secured third with a race time of 17:41.68.
Their third race heralded the start of Round 4 for the drivers. This fresh start saw Luis Leeds on the top step of the podium with a race time of 15:57.48. Lachlan Hughes crossed the finish line in second with a 2.16 second gap to the leader, and Astuti again found himself in third with a 4.47 second gap.
The last race of the day saw the same podium as Race 3, with Ryan Suhle claiming the victory. Leeds worked his way up from mid-pack to finish in second, with a 2.95 second gap to the leader. Astuti crossed the finish line in third with a 4.49 second gap.
Formula 4 will return to the track at 3:10pm EST for their final race of the weekend.
The Shannons Nationals live stream will begin tomorrow at 9am EST. The live stream and timing can be accessed from www.thenationals.com.au.