Two standout rookies in the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series, Max Vidau and Cooper Murray, have completed promising final preparations ahead of qualifying for the second round of the Porsche series at Sandown Raceway, despite the horrid Melbourne weather.
Murray was the best of the 21-strong Porsche field in opening practice when the Melbourne weather was at its worst, while Vidau was the quickest in the dryer second session.
Vidau’s time of 1:20.2474 was posted on his final lap of practice two, 0.4secs ahead of Murray. Luis Leeds, Chelsea Angelo and Simon Fallon finished closely behind the leading duo with the third, fourth and fifth quickest practice times.
“It was fairly different out there today. It was windy and wet, so it wasn’t the nicest to drive out there today, but you have to learn to drive in those conditions at some point,” said Vidau.
“It was a bit nicer driving in those conditions with a roof over your head than in a Formula Ford. They’re good to drive in the wet as you have plenty of rear grip. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying and race one. I’m expecting the top few drivers to be super close, despite the conditions.”
The leading Pro-Am and Class B performers were not far off the pace of the leading Pro racers.
Pro-Am racer Danny Stutterd was the sixth quickest in Friday practice, 1.49secs off Vidau, while Class B pacesetter Christian Pancione was one-tenth further behind in seventh outright in his 997-series 911 GT3 Cup.
Michael Hovey was the next best Pro-Am driver in ninth outright from Brett Boulton, Ben Stack, newcomer Sam Fillmore and Shane Barwood.
Meanwhile behind Pancione, fellow young gun Tom Taplin was the second best Class B driver from Phil Morriss, returning Class B champion David Greig and class points leader Richard Bloomfield.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will hold its qualifying and race one on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s race two and race three, both of which can be viewed via live stream at the Shannons Nationals website – www.thenationals.com.au.
Saturday May 12, 2018
11:00am Qualifying (20mins)
2:55pm Race 1 (20 minutes, laps TBC)
Sunday May 13, 2018
9:10am Race 2 (20 minutes, laps TBC)
1:40pm Race 3 (20 minutes, laps TBC)
Results: Combined times – Practice 1 & 2
1. #77 Max Vidau (Pro) 1:20.2474
2. #36 Cooper Murray (Pro) 1:20.6589 (0:00.4115)
3. #230 Luis Leeds (Pro) 1:21.0198 (0:00.7724)
4. #38 Chelsea Angelo (Pro) 1:21.0768 (0:00.8294)
5. #96 Simon Fallon (Pro) 1:21.5616 (0:01.3142)
6. #23 Daniel Stutterd (Pro-Am) 1:21.7388 (0:01.4914)
7. #76 Christian Pancione (Class B) 1:21.8657 (0:01.6183)
8. #2 Dan Day (Pro) 1:22.3282 (0:02.0808)
9. #73 Michael Hovey (Pro-Am) 1:22.7896 (0:02.5422)
10. #84 Brett Boulton (Pro-Am) 1:23.2416 (0:02.9942)
11. #7 Jimmy Vernon (Pro) 1:23.2904 (0:03.0430)
12. #65 Ben Stack (Pro-Am) 1:23.5574 (0:03.3100)
13. #26 Tom Taplin (Class B) 1:23.6248 (0:03.3774)
14. #27 Sam Fillmore (Pro-Am) 1:23.7607 (0:03.5133)
15. #88 Phil Morriss (Class B) 1:24.1291 (0:03.8817)
16. #21 Shane Barwood (Pro-Am) 1:24.2864 (0:04.0390)
17. #10 Michael Loccisano (Pro-Am) 1:25.6754 (0:05.4280)
18. #87 David Greig (Class B) 1:26.3573 (0:06.1099)
19. #57 Richard Bloomfield (Class B) 1:26.6863 (0:06.4389)
20. #99 Ross McGregor (Pro-Am) 1:28.2315 (0:07.9841)
21. #29 Rob Woods (Pro-Am) 1:30.7385 (0:10.4911)