Race one victory has secured Jaxon Evans the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy for 2016 following a flawless 40 laps of Queensland Raceway, in what was the series’ 150th race.
Starting from pole position, Evans dominated race from its outset, charging to the lead ahead of Hamish Hardeman, with whom Evans was equal on points in the endurance standings entering the third race of the three-race endurance battle.
Evans pulled a four second gap before the safety car was called to the circuit with 10 laps remaining and, when the green flag was once again waved, he was left seven laps to defend the front position; a task he achieved with impeccable driving, claiming a 2.3 second victory over Hardeman.
“It’s really special to win the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy. Hamish and I were level on points heading into the weekend, so it was great to get the win and come away with the trophy,” said Evans.
“The longer races are good fun; it’s a good test to see how consistent and level-headed you can remain instead of just having one lap speed. I was a little bit concerned when the safety car came out; I worked hard to get a gap and the safety car made everything a bit tougher. This is our home track; we’ve done a test day here earlier in the year and it certainly paid off.”
Third place went to Elite Class victor Tim Miles, who impressed with pace close to that of the leading duo.
“It was fantastic to get the Elite Class race win. It was quite a boring race because I wasn’t quite quick enough to keep up with the young fellas and there was a reasonable gap to the rest of the Elite Class guys,” said Miles.
“I just drove around looking after my tyres and when the safety car came out I thought that, because my tyres were better, that I might be able to challenge the pro drivers, but by the time I got past some lapped traffic they’d taken off. At the end I was only two-tenths off the front guys’ lap times, which was good.”
Jim Campbell and Sam Shahin finished second and third in the Elite Class following a thrilling battle, one position ahead of consistent Elite Class performer, Brian Finn.
The fight for seventh through to 10th provided the most exciting battles of Saturday’s race, eventually won by Class B race winner Brendan Cook in his first GT3 Cup Challenge race of the season. Class B points leader Danny Stutterd placed second in the battle pack, and class, from Tony Martin and Scott Taylor.
Shane Barwood finished 11th from Ross McGregor and 13th placed Anthony Gilbertson, who was the cause of the late race safety car after a spin at turn two.
John Morriss and Jake Klarich failed to finish due to mechanical issues, the latter returning to the pits with clutch dramas while placed third.
The final two races of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will be held on Sunday which, along with the entire Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals race schedule, can be viewed via live stream at the Shannons Nationals website, www.thenationals.com.au.
Sunday July 31, 2016
10:10am – Race 2 (12 laps)
1:35pm – Race 3 (12 laps)
Race 1 Results
1. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship – 40 laps, 51:01.2449s
2. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services – 40 laps, 51:03.5612s
3. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory – 40 laps, 51:10.2465s
4. #72 Jim Campbell (Elite Class) Power Street Racing – 40 laps, 51:17.6343s
5. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU – 40 laps, 51:20.4350s
6. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories – 40 laps, 51:26.9962s
7. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF/Cosmetic Dental Spa – 39 laps, 51:26.5118s
8. #32 Daniel Stutterd (Class B) FREEM – 39 laps, 51:27.5324s
9. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue – 39 laps, 51:31.6988s
10. #222 Scott Taylor (Class B) Scott Taylor Motorsport – 39 laps, 51:32.3060s
11. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group – 39 laps, 51:35.3621s
12. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows – 38 laps, 51:28.1803s
13. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes – 35 laps, 51:41.5314s
DNF #34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing Pty Ltd – 28 laps, 36:31.4447s
DNF #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster – 1 lap, 1:19.4532s