Series front-runner Hamish Hardeman didn’t make the same mistake twice to claim the opening Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli race at Sydney Motorsport Park, while Sydneysider David Ryan held rivals at bay to take the Elite Class win.
Hardeman and pole-sitter Jaxon Evans both drove incredibly in the nine lap Saturday race, pulling away from the field from the start, where the former took the lead.
While pressured in the final stages of the race, Hardeman reflected on lessons learnt from the final race at the series’ previous Sydney round, where a mistake while leading handed Evans the win – a mistake he wouldn’t make twice.
Hardeman was the first to greet the chequered flag and, in the process, posted a new track lap record with a time of 1:30.8922, eclipsing the previous mark of 1:31.6017 of Ryan Simpson from last season.
“I’m very happy with that performance. Considering I have been second to Jaxon all weekend it was good that, when it finally counts, I got a good start and kept in front of him,” said Hardeman.
“I learnt a big lesson after the last time we were here when I was leading for 22 laps and then lost it under a bit of pressure. This time I managed to stay in front and get the win.
“I’m now looking forward to start off the front tomorrow. I have to make sure I drive the car properly so that I don’t wear out the tyres and try to get another win.”
Evans placed second from fellow Professional Class runner, Jake Klarich, who battled with Elite Class racers Tim Miles and Ryan throughout the race.
Ryan claimed the Elite Class race win from fellow local racer Miles; the win follows Ryan’s clean sweep of class race wins in Sydney earlier in the season from round two.
“It was a great result today but, more to the point, there was some great racing with both Tim and Jake,” said Ryan.
“It was good to be quickest this morning in qualifying. The cars were incredibly fast; the fastest we’ve been around here. The track has been good today, there were some really fast times and some great racing. It’s an awesome circuit; very fast, flowing and a real driver’s track.”
Miles placed second in class from Sam Shahin, Jim Campbell, John Morriss, Anthony Gilbertson, Brian Finn and Ross McGregor in 11th.
Sydney racer Shane Barwood was the best of the Class B runners in 12th, holding off a late challenge from Tony Martin, with Neville Stewart in 14th.
Sunday’s race two will be the second of the three-part Jim Richards Endurance Trophy. The round will conclude after race three, where drivers will not only race for round honours but also a unique prize: Porsche will award the Professional Class and Elite Class round winners the use of a Porsche sports car for a weekend to mark the series’ milestone 50th round this weekend.
Both Sunday races of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli, along with the entire Sunday race schedule of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals round in Sydney, are available watch via live stream from www.thenationals.com.au.
Sunday July 03, 2016
9:34pm Race 2 (30 laps)
1:17pm Race 3 (9 laps)
Race 1 Results
- #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services, 9 laps – 13:50.1015s
- #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship, 9 laps – 13:50.4899s
- #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster, 9 laps – 14:07.5591s
- #30 David Ryan (Elite Class) Wrightlands GAM Soltronic, 9 laps – 14:10.1452s
- #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory, 9 laps – 14:10.5694s
- #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU, 9 laps – 14:12.1828s
- #72 Jim Campbell (Elite Class) Power Street Racing, 9 laps – 14:17.3523s
- #34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing Pty Ltd, 9 laps – 14:21.1138s
- #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes, 9 laps – 14:28.6807s
- #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories, 9 laps – 14:29.7304s
- #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows, 9 laps – 14:35.6148s
- #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, 9 laps – 14:58.2381s
- #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue, 9 laps – 14:59.0550s
- #8 Neville Stewart (Class B) Asset Partner/Racing Dynamic, 9 laps – 15:09.2231s