Thrilling racing and incredible competition highlighted the 50th round of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli at Sydney Motorsport Park, where Hamish Hardeman and Tim Miles extended their respective series leads with round victory.
The milestone Sydney event was a fitting reminder of why the one-make series has enjoyed success in Australia since 2008 with some of the season’s best on-track battles.
Sunday began with the second Jim Richards Endurance Trophy race of the season – a traditional fixture for Saturday afternoons. Another change was the victor; following Hardeman’s win at the Winton endurance race, Evans was able to square the endurance points with a dominant race victory.
The race also saw some incredible Elite Class action, including a tremendous dice between David Ryan and Miles and between Anthony Gilbertson and Jim Campbell, though contact in the latter battle late in the race saw Campbell’s car spectacularly launched into the air and ultimately end his race.
Much of the action in the final race was at the front; Hardeman and Evans competing for the top spot in the closing laps, with the duo heading side-by-side into turn seven and eight on the final lap.
Hardeman was the ultimate race three and round victor, extending his lead in the standings.
“I’m stoked with the round win. I would have liked it to be a little easier, but having that pressure from Jaxon is good; it pushes us both to improve. That last race was pretty tight but it was great to come away with the win,” said Hardeman.
“This has been some of the closest racing I’ve had since Formula Ford. Back then we had the top five swapping spots and that last race brought back some of those memories; two wide around Corporate Hill was pretty hairy stuff.”
Evans placed second in the Professional Class for the round, followed by Jake Klarich, whose impressive race three form saw him finish narrowly behind the leading duo.
Ryan looked certain for Elite Class round success after two race wins; however the Sydneysider had a water leak on the dummy grid for race three, ending his weekend early. A class win in the final race then handed Miles the class round win from a consistent Sam Shahin and Ryan in third.
“I’m obviously chuffed to come away with the win. I feel like I stole it a bit; Dave was really quick all weekend, he beat me by three tenths in qualifying and I couldn’t get past him in race one and race two. If he didn’t have a car problem it would have been his,” said Miles.
“I’m enjoying good racing at the moment as much as going for the championship. It’s fun having some decent racing in a great series.”
Shane Barwood was the best of the Class B runners for the weekend, taking a clean sweep of race wins in the class, though Neville Stewart improved as the round continued, ultimately taking the fastest lap in class in the final race.
Hardeman departed the Sydney round with a 41 point lead in the outright standings and a 38 point lead in the Professional Class points, with Evans and Klarich second and third in each classification.
Miles has increased his Elite Class points lead to 59 from Shahin, Ryan and Gilbertson while Shane Barwood has reduced his deficit to Danny Stutterd in the Class B standings to just 33 points.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli will now head to Queensland Raceway for the penultimate round of the 2016 season on July 29-31, 2016.
Race 2 Results
- #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship, 30 laps – 46:29.0913s
- #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services, 30 laps – 46:33.8523s
- #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster, 30 laps – 47:01.3919s
- #30 David Ryan (Elite Class) Wrightlands GAM Soltronic, 30 laps – 47:42.1263s
- #34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing Pty Ltd, 30 laps – 47:46.3269s
- #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory, 30 laps – 47:56.9119s
- #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU, 29 laps – 46:55.2072s
- #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories, 29 laps – 47:03.6569s
- #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows, 29 laps – 47:19.6450s
- #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes, 29 laps – 47:36.3748s
- #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, 28 laps – 46:29.9232s
- #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue, 28 laps – 47:15.5256s
DNF #72 Jim Campbell (Elite Class) Power Street Racing, 22 laps – 34:56.0624s
DNF #8 Neville Stewart (Class B) Asset Partner / Racing Dynamics, 2 laps – 47:02.8668s
Race 3 Results
1 10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing Services, 9 laps – 14:06.6504s
2 91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-It/Willship, 9 laps – 14:07.2397s
3 95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster, 9 laps – 14:07.6689s
4 4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory, 9 laps – 14:24.5705s
5 19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Motiv8 Racing/Hallmark Homes, 9 laps – 14:27.2151s
6 13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU, 9 laps – 14:31.3674s
7 72 Jim Campbell (Elite Class) Power Street Racing, 9 laps – 14:33.0583s
8 99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows, 9 laps – 14:41.0360s
9 82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D/Force Accessories, 9 laps – 14:58.4556s
10 9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar Venue, 9 laps – 15:12.8712s
11 21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, 9 laps – 15:13.6732s
12 8 Neville Stewart (Class B) Asset Partner / Racing Dynamics, 9 laps – 15:14.0967s
DNF 34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing Pty Ltd, 2 laps – 4:10.3343s