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GARRY’S SUPPORT ROUND UP: CLIPSAL 500

CARRERA CUP

IN HIS return to Porsche Carrera Cup, Andre Heimgartner has taken victory in the opening race of the season, fending off David Wall while rookie Jaxon Evans was third on debut.

Heimgartner took pole earlier in the day and gained the race lead at the opening chicane, fending off Sonic teammate Nick McBride. The 21-year- old New Zealander held off McBride until the latter spun and dropped to eighth. Wall then pressured Heimgartner in the closing laps, however Heimgartner held on by 0.16 seconds for his first Carrera Cup win.

Alex Davison placed fourth from James Abela, who capitalised on a five-second penalty to Cam McConville for a starting grid infringement. Dylan O’Keeffe placed seventh from McBride, Challenge winner Stephen Grove and Marc Cini in tenth. Debutant Lars Kern was running seventh until a broken rear rim forced the German into the turn 11 tyre wall, ending his race.

TOURING CAR MASTERS

STEVEN JOHNSON has been denied a Touring Car Masters victory, sidelined whilst leading with an oil line failure. John Bowe swept by to victory in the opening race of the 2017 season. The Johnson Ford Mustang retirement ensured that Bowe opened his account in the best possible way, taking his Holden Torana SL/R 5000 to the 86th race win of his TCM career and an early lead in his title defence.

Adam Bressington (Chev Camaro) was elevated to second after he spent the majority of the race defending from Ryan Hansford’s Holden Torana Andrew Fisher (Ford Falcon GT) finished fourth ahead of Mark King (Camaro RS), Cameron Tilley (Valliant Pacer) and Jason Gomersall who were less than a car’s length apart at the flag.

AUSTRALIAN GT

IN THE first of three Australian GT Championships races, Tony Bates put in a lone-hand drive to win his first race in the category, taking line honours in his Mercedes AMG GT3 by eight seconds over Roger Lago (Lamborghini R-EX).

Third place went to Peter Major in another R-EX, finishing ahead of Liam Talbot (Porsche 911 GT3-R) with Tony Walls fourth in his McLaren 650S. James Koundouris and Ash Walsh were the best of the two-driver combinations with fifth in their Audi R8 LMS.

Tony Quinn (McLaren) was the race’s first casualty with a crash in the chicane on the opening lap. He managed to get the car off the track and prevent a safety car. But Audi driver Nathan Antunes’ incident there later did bring the race under the only cautionary period.

DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES

IN DUNLOP Super2 Paul Dumbrell was an all the way winner in the Eggleston Motorsport Holden Commodore VF, heading home the similar machine of Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing) while Jack Le Brocq (Matt White Racing Nissan Altima) forged through to third in the first or three 19 lappers.

AUSSIE RACING CARS

AUSSIE RACING Cars featured a thrilling scrap between eventual race winner Craig Woods and current title holder James Duckworth. Woods’ team mate Blake Sciberras was third. Kel Treseder and Ben Walsh finished first and second in race one but were penalised later and relegated to the rear of the grid for race two. The pair charged through the field to finish fourth and fifth.

IMPROVED PRODUCTION

THERE WAS another great dice in the Improved Production race, this time featuring Chris Brown and Jordan Cox. Ultimately it was the turbocharged Toyota Sprinter driven by Brown that won out over the Cox’s normally aspirated under two litre Honda Civic.

Images: Darin Mandy