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Australian GT Trophy Series heads to Phillip Island - Photo: Supplied

Australian GT Trophy Series heads to Phillip Island – Photo: Supplied

THIS WEEKEND will prove decisive as round four of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series heads to the Phillip Island as part of the penultimate Shannons Nationals round.

Though unable to clinch the Trophy crown this weekend, Steve McLaughlan could move it all but out of reach with a good performance in his Audi R8 LMS.

Three strong events to kick off the 2017 season, including a clean sweep at Winton, have left him in a commanding position.

Chasing McLaughlan is stable-mate Rod Salmon, the Audi racer is 101-points back with 220 points up for grabs at Phillip Island.

At the last round, Salmon closed the points gap to McLaughlan, while a repeat performance will set up a dramatic final round at Wakefield Park in November.

Richard Gartner also remains in contention, courtesy of a brilliant outing in Queensland, the Lamborghini Gallardo driver claiming pole position and two race wins over Salmon and Wayne Mack (Ferrari 458 GT3).

Rick Mensa has proved he’s got the mettle, the Audi pilot sits fourth in the title fight courtesy of collecting solid points in each of the three rounds. So too has Jan Jinadasa, whose Lamborghini will once again look to take the battle to the Audis.

Heading to PI, Rob Smith holds fond memories of the circuit, having secured the 2016 Australian GT Trophy Series crown there after a thrilling title battle that went to the very last lap of the season. Smith had a tough weekend last time out where he recorded his first career DNF.

Numerically, Audi holds the upper hand with Travers Beynon, Con Whitlock and Rio Nugara also representing the German manufacturer. There’s also a two-car entry for Matt Stoupas and Gary Higgon joining forces. Completing the Trophy Class is a third Lamborghini entry, as Mathew Turnbull returns to the series.

Although there is just a lone Ferrari in the 13-car Trophy Class field, Challenge Class will boast 458s for Scott Hookey, Jamie Arratoon/John Nikolovski, and Mark Griffith in a F430.

John Goodacre will pilot the lone MARC Australia entry, his Ford Focus V8 and Justin McMillan will race his KTM X-Bow.

Australian GT Trophy Series Entry List – Round 3 – Phillip Island

# Team Car Drivers
1 Southern Star Developments Audi R8 LMS Ultra Rob Smith
6 Skwirk Online Education Audi R8 LMS Ultra Rod Salmon
9 Fire Rating Solutions Lamborghini Gallardo Mathew Turnbull
12 Aranik Racing Ferrari 458 Challenge Jamie Arratoon/John Nikolovski
17 Travers Beynon Racing Audi R8 LMS Travers Beynon
19 Griffith Corporation Ferrari F430 Mark Griffith
22 CCC Polished Concrete Audi R8 LMS Rick Mensa
23 Kentucky Fried Chicken Audi R8 LMS Ultra Matthew Stoupas
33 Fiorano Motorsport Ferrari 458 Challenge Scott Hookey
48 M Motorsport Interlloy KTM X-Bow Justin McMillan
66 Gap Solutions/SEKTOR Marc Focus V8 John Goodacre
69 Safe-T-Stop Lamborghini Gallardo Richard Gartner
72 Whitlock Bull Bars Audi R8 LMS Con Whitlock
75 Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra Steve McLaughlan
77 JJA Consulting Lamborghini Gallardo Jan Jinadasa
88 Eat Furniture Audi R8 LMS Ultra Rio Nugara
124 Kentucky Fried Chicken Audi R8 LMS Ultra Gary Higgon
147 Mack Bros Roofing Products Ferrari 458 GT3 Wayne Mack

We’ve got more of the latest national motorsport news in the next issue of Auto Action magazine, on sale Thursday. We’ll also keep you update with all the action from the Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island, including a livestream, on our website throughout the weekend. Make sure follow us on social media FacebookTwitter, Instagram or our Weekly Newsletter.