An impressive comeback from young gun Cooper Murray has seen the Melbourne driver claim a home win in the second round of Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia at Sandown Raceway, while Danny Stutterd and David Greig were the best of their respective classes.
After a horrid race one on Saturday, Murray improved to third in Sunday morning’s race two before claiming a convincing victory in the final race. The race three win placed Murray level on points with Simon Fallon, who won the opening two races though dropped to fifth by the race three chequered flag. A half-points scenario in the shortened race two reduced Fallon’s points haul, allowing Murray to claim to top step of the Sandown podium.
“I’m very happy with the win, especially on home turf. We were lucky enough to get by Simon on the last race and pull away with the round win. We reduced what could have been a terrible race one by recovering to finish seventh, and continued to improve in the next two races. It’s great to finally get the round win,” said Murray.
A consistent weekend for Luis Leeds saw the former international open wheel driver take third place on the Pro round podium after claiming two thirds and a second place.
Stutterd’s Pro-Am round victory didn’t come easily; Brett Boulton pushed the now-class leader every step of the way. Stutterd took victory in the first and third races of the Sandown round, while Boulton was the class star in race two and ultimately placed second for the round.
“It was a very good round. It started nicely in race one, race two was a bit ordinary but the final race was fantastic and I have to congratulate Brett for the way he raced this weekend. It was cool racing and really great competition between the two of us,” said Stutterd.
One of the round highlights was Ross McGregor’s first visit to the Pro-Am podium in his 25th round appearance in the Porsche one-make series.
Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for Greig to return to the top of Class B. The 2017 class champion missed the opening round at The Bend Motorsport Park but returned at Sandown to score two seconds and a first to secure the Class B round win from Phil Morriss and Christian Pancione.
The hard-luck story for the round was Chelsea Angelo. After placing second in race one, the Michelin Junior was challenging for the race two lead before making heavy contact with the barrier at the entry to turn nine, causing event-ending damage to her 911 GT3 Cup.
Murray now holds a nine-point lead in the Pro standings from Vidau, with Fallon 26 points further behind. Stutterd leads Boulton by 55 points in the Pro-Am points while Pancione holds a 51-point advantage over Phil Morriss in the Class B standings.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia returns for round three at Phillip Island on June 01-03, 2018.