Evans, Ryan and Gartner take Porsche Rennsport GT3 Cup Challenge victories
JAXON EVANS has swept to his maiden Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli round victory at Sydney Motorsport Park – but he had to get past Hamish Hardeman to do it.
Meanwhile, David Ryan won the Elite class and Richard Gartner took out a close contest for Class B amidst the competitive GT3 Cup Challenge grid at the Porsche Rennsport festival.
Having grabbed pole and race one on Saturday, Evans won the second race of the weekend on Sunday morning comfortably, however then spent 22 of the 25 laps of the weekend-ending feature race bottled up behind his young rival from Sonic Motor Racing.
In a titanic tussle, the pair ran side by side on several occasions before Evans was finally able to sneak up the inside at turn two with just three laps remaining.
It was the McElrea Racing driver’s first GT3 Cup Challenge victory and also elevated him to the lead of the series standings in the process.
“It was such a long race. Hamish got the car off the line and he made me work for it,” said Evans of the huge scrap with Hardeman.
“It’s good to know we can race clean and fair against each other. It’s was awesome to come out on top. It’s an awesome result and I’m so happy to have my first round victory here at Rennsport, with all the Porsche’s and Carrera Cup on display.
“We’re looking forward to the next round already and hopefully we can come out on top by the end of it.”
Hardeman was philosophical in finishing second as he continues to learn in his first full season of racing in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car.
The young Victorian now sits second in the standings, eight points behind Evans thanks to his trio of second-place race finishes this weekend in Sydney.
“After having the discussion with my team I need to work on my style a little bit to improve on the areas where I was lacking compared to Jaxon,” Hardeman explained.
“But overall, we were spitting out the same lap times and I felt like I gained and learned across the weekend. I got more and more confidence as the weekend went on and we changed the car to suit my style. We’re going to Winton and will be trying to be in front of him at the next round.”
Porsche junior Jake Klarich finished third overall, his first podium finish in the GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli.
Klarich finished third in race two and spent the early stages of race three bottled up behind Tim Miles before ultimately passing his teammate to secure third for the round.
Miles and fellow Elite class competitor David Ryan battled all weekend for the class round victory, Sydney driver Ryan sneaking home by just one solitary point after finishing in fifth in the 25-lap feature race.
The result was a sensational result for the home-town hero as he rebounded from a zero-score at the season opener in Melbourne last month.
“It’s absolutely fantastic,” Ryan said.
“We had a really good weekend and great racing with Tim. It’s fantastic to come back with this result after Sandown after all the dramas and with the round win and there wasn’t much between Tim and I. I thought we could give him a bit of a harder push but he’s fast and it’s going to be close for the remainder of the year.
“There’s guys like Anthony on the pace, Sam Shahin and others right in the hunt in the Elite class.”
Miles finished second in class with GT3 Cup Challenge Australia rookie Anthony Gilbertson grabbing his maiden podium by finishing third in class.
Richard Gartner won a tight class B battle for the round, trading race victories this weekend with round one winner Daniel Stuttered.
The pair swapped position several times across Sunday’s two races with Gartner winning the class in race two and Stuttered in 3.
Neville Stewart finished third in class on his debut in the GT3 Cup Challenge Australia.
The next round of the championship will see the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli re-join the Shannons Nationals when the series travels to Winton Motor Raceway on June 10-12.
STANDINGS – After Round 2
- Jaxon Evans 158
- Hamish Hardeman 150
- Tim Miles 114
- Jake Klarich 110
- Ryan Simpson 90
- Sam Shahin 90
- Anthony Gilbertson 78
- Brian Finn 70
- David Ryan 56
- John Goodacre 46
- Tim Miles 172
- Sam Shahin 131
- Anthony Gilbertson 120
- Brian Finn 111
- David Ryan 81
- Daniel Stuttered 173
- Richard Gartner 88
- Michael Tsigeridis 75