The theme of the penultimate Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli round at Queensland Raceway has been set early: A thrilling battle between series front-runners Hamish Hardeman and Jaxon Evans, who had the upper-hand in Friday practice.
The opening day of the penultimate round was met with perfect conditions, with local ace Evans posting the quickest time across the two practice sessions, a mere 0.05secs from his points rival Hardeman ahead of tomorrow’s final practice and the all-important qualifying session. Thereafter, the field will line up for the final Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race of the season – the series’ 150th race – which will determine the endurance champion for 2016.
Evans and Hardeman enter Saturday evening’s 40-lap endurance race equal on points at the top of the endurance standings; the duo has a win-a-piece from the previous Winton and Sydney endurance battles.
In addition to the pace-setting Evans, McElrea Racing’s three other drivers had a strong opening day at ‘The Paperclip’ – the team’s test track; Tim Miles was the third quickest driver from Porsche Junior Jake Klarich and Jim Campbell.
Sam Shahin was the third best Elite Class runner from Brian Finn, Anthony Gilbertson, John Morriss and Class B pace-setter, series returnee Brendan Cook. Ross McGregor was 11th fastest from Scott Taylor, Class B points leader Daniel Stutterd, Shane Barwood and Tony Martin.
Now in its 51st round, the Porsche series will tomorrow feature its 150th race since starting in Australia in 2008, in which time it has hosted 161 drivers across nine seasons.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will hold its third practice session, qualifying and opening race on Saturday, followed by its final two races of the weekend on Sunday – both of which can be viewed online, along with the entire Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals Sunday race schedule, via live stream at the Shannons Nationals website, www.thenationals.com.au.
Race Schedule Saturday July 30, 2016
10:10am – Practice 3 (20 minutes)
12:30pm – Qualifying (20 minutes)
2:50pm – Race 1 (40 laps)
Sunday July 31, 2016
10:10am – Race 2 (12 laps)
1:35pm – Race 3 (12 laps)
Combined Practice Times (Practice 1/Practice 2)
1. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship – 1:11.4309*
2. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services – 1:11.4811s
3. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory – 1:12.4294s
4. #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster – 1:12.9126s
5. #72 Jim Campbell (Elite Class) Power Street Racing – 1:13.0204s
6. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU – 1:13.1052s
7. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories – 1:14.1727s
8. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes – 1:14.3069s
9. #34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing Pty Ltd – 1:14.3631s
10. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF/Cosmetic Dental Spa – 1:14.5385s
11. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows – 1:14.6358s
12. #22 Scott Taylor (Class B) Scott Taylor Motorsport – 1:15.1205s
13. #32 Daniel Stutterd (Class B) FREEM – 1:15.7118s
14. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group – 1:16.1757s
15. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue – 1:17.5831s