GARRY’S PHILLIP ISLAND SHANNONS NATIONALS WRAP – FRIDAY
PHILLIP ISLAND’S often fickle weather came to the fore today with cold winds, rain and the occasional ray of sunshine to trouble team’s setup contingencies.
PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE
THE SECOND tier Porsche series was the only category qualifying today as they will complete the 2017 season tomorrow with three races.
Series leader Jordan Love was the fastest, further cementing his title aspirations as his major rival, and fellow Professional Class driver Brenton Grove crashed in the previous practice session.
Porsches lucked good track conditions and Love posted a 1m 32.4455s lap to better Elite Classes’ John Karytinos, Sam Shahin and Anthony Gilbertson. David Greig was the best of Class B behind John Morriss, John Steffenson, Ben Stack and Shane Barwood.
Beforehand Love was the best over the two practice sessions, outpointing Grove by three tenths. The latter unfortunately brought a premature end to P2 when he went off at turn 2.
Third fastest and best of the Elite drivers was Barwood ahead of title aspirant Shahin, Morris, Ross McGregor and Elite points leader Gilbertson. Brendan Cook was eighth and the best of the Class B combatants.
V8 TOURING CARS
A LAST breath 1m 33.715s flyer by series leader Jack Smith (Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore VE) has earmarked him for a third-round win in a row after practice three where he and Tyler Greenbury (ex-Triple 8 Eggleston Motorsport VE) swapped top spots throughout.
Jordon Boys (ex-SBR Image Racing Ford Falcon FG) was third fastest ahead of Jon McCorkindale (ex-Stone Brothers Racing Falcon BF) and Michael Anderson who qualified fastest here at PI for round one earlier in the year, driving his ex-Ford Performance BF.
Smith topped the first practice session that started in damp conditions but progressively became drier. He finished ahead of McCorkindale, Greenbury, Boys and Jim Pollicina (ex-Tasman Motorsport VE). A very wet second session saw seasoned veteran Chris Smerdon (ex-SBR FG) show the way ahead of Smith and Greenbury.
AUSTRALIAN PRODUCTION CARS SERIES
WHEN CONDITIONS were good, as they were in the first of the two practice sessions, it was no surprise to see Grant and Iain Sherrin fastest in their BMW M4. They headed the Ford Falcon FGII GT-F driven by Jeremy Gray and the Mercedes Benz A45 AMG in the hands of Rod Salmon.
In the breakdown of classes, it was Hadrian Morrall (Renault Megane, Class C), Michael Gray (Toyota Corolla, Class D), Steven Champion (BMW, Class B1) and Paul Currie (Suzuki Swift Sport, Class E) that led the way.
Later though, it was wet for session two and Rick Bates (Mitsubishi EVO X RS) showed the way ahead of Will Brown (in Salmon’s Merc), Garth Walden (A45), George Miedecke (sharing with Gray) and Lachlan Gibbons in the Subaru Impreza WRX STi he is co-driving with Dimitri Agathos. The session ended prematurely with the second Sherrin BMW, the 135i shared by Michael Sherrin and Stephen Champion crashing.
AUSTRALIAN PROTOTYPE SERIES
FORMER SERIES points pacesetter Phil Hughes showed he was still putting up the fight after a disappointing last round by being fastest in tricky practice conditions today.
With the Radicals proving better in these conditions Hughes was fastest ahead of fellow SR3 drivers David Crampton, Philip Tan and Chris Sutton in the practice one.
Even in the dry of session two, Hughes was still fastest, albeit the margin was closer over Mark Laucke and his West WX10. Sutton was third quickest over Crampton, Scott Mackay (West WR1000) and Terry Peovitis (RFR F1000).
Practice three looked promising for another dry run until the cars hit the track and the heavens opened. Aaron Steer, subbing for John-Paul Drake in his WX10, was fastest ahead of Hughes, Crampton and his son Jack (SR3).
AUSTRALIAN GT TROPHY
AUDI R8s dominated at the top of the time sheets in the one and only practice session for round five with Rod Salmon fastest ahead of Steve McLaughlan and Rob Smith – all racing under the Audi Sport Customer Racing umbrella.
On a drying track, Salmon pitted towards the end for a set of slick tyres (the only one to do so) and posted a time 3.8s up on his rivals. Jan Jinadasa (Lamborghini LP560) came closest to breaking the Audi stranglehold by being fourth fastest ahead of Rio Nugara and Rick Mensa in another two Audis.
Next best was the most recent round winner Richard Gartner (Lamborghini) ahead of Travers Beynon (Audi), Mark Griffith (Ferrari F430) and Wayne Mack (Ferrari 458). Just outside the ten were Justin McMillian (KTM X-Bow) and John Goodacre (MARC Australia Ford Focus V8).
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Date posted: September 8, 2017