JAXON EVANS has stormed to a dominant maiden Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli race victory at Sydney Motorsport Park, while David Ryan (Elite) and Richard Gartner (class B) took the class honours.
Evans started from pole – his second in two rounds – and led from start to finish, winning the 12-lap race by more than 13 seconds in a dominant performance.
Hamish Hardeman finished second and Jake Klarich third, however no one could catch Evans as he flew to a maiden Porsche triumph in just his fourth race start in outright machinery.
“It was a good start to the race. I was able to get a little bit of a gap on the field and was able to pull away, relax and get in the groove,” Evans said.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the weekend and it’s a great start for tomorrow.
“Big thanks the team and our supporters for getting us to this point, and hopefully it’s the start of something even more.”
Hardeman maintained his consistent run of form with second while Klarich had to work for his first ever Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge podium, driving his way through the field after a slow start dropped him down the order on the first lap.
The first Australian official Porsche Junior driver dropped to sixth by the end of the first lap but quickly worked his way back to third, where he started.
Sydneysider David Ryan finished a stunning fourth outright, but crucially also won the Elite class battle to rebound superbly from a damaging opening round where he scored zero points.
Ryan had earlier qualified fourth but ran third for much of the race before Klarich was able to charge his way through.
“It’s a big relief after Sandown because it was pretty tough down there, so to come back and get first is fantastic. It was feeling pretty good down there before we came off so this is great.
“It was a straightforward race. The back tyres, when they get hot, get pretty slippery so I was just trying to control the pace and make sure I looked after the rear tyres so we could have the pace at the end – and that’s what happened.”
Sam Shahin qualified and started fifth, posting one of his best Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia performances yet.
The South Australian driver was involved in a heady fight for fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth for much of the race but was able to hold off stern challenges from both Tim Miles and John Morriss to grab a strong top five, and second in Elite.
Morriss finished sixth one day after his birthday, despite having to re-pass several cars after running wide at turn two mid-race.
The Victorian driver had charged his way to fifth place however had to do a lot of the work again after the brief moment.
Brian Finn finished an excellent seventh, one spot ahead of Tim Miles – who’s already rough day was compounded when he was penalised 5 seconds for a track limit infringement during the race.
Sandown’s Elite class winner also ran wide at turn seven mid-race, costing him time and track position.
Anthony Gilbertson finished ninth, rebounding from a spin on the second lap while running fourth.
Richard Gartner won Class B on his return to the GT3 Cup Challenge, racing his Safe-T-Stop Porsche with the Wall Racing team this weekend.
“I got a great start and was able to stay out of trouble at turn one,” Gartner said.
“From there it was one of the easiest races I’ve ever had and I brought the car home – I’m very happy!”
Round 1 Class B winner Danny Stuttered finished one spot behind Gartner after spinning at turn two on the opening lap of the race.
The second round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli continues tomorrow with a second 12-lap sprint race to be followed by a one-hour feature later in the day.
Both races will be streamed live via the Motorsports TV website, app and Speedcafe.com