The young talent of Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia has continued to deliver sensational on-track action during the series’ Sandown event, with Simon Fallon leading Chelsea Angelo and Luis Leeds to the race one chequered flag.
Max Vidau was the leading driver from the start, while pole-sitter Cooper Murray dropped down the order after a slower launch off the line. It didn’t take Murray long to reach the leading duo and eventually challenge Vidau for the lead on the final corner of lap four. Contact between the two saw Vidau lose a position to Fallon while Murray returned to the pits with a puncture; the impact of which was lessened due to a safety car period at the same time to retrieve Tom Taplin from the turn nine gravel.
While Vidau was challenging Fallon in the closing laps, Angelo continued to pressure the leading duo. When Vidau went for the lead on lap 13, Angelo capitalised and ultimately passed the round one winner and moved into second place.
Fallon ultimately claimed the win from Angelo in second, the best result of the season for the leading duo. Vidau placed third narrowly ahead of Luis Leeds, however Vidau was handed a 26-second pit lane post-race penalty and consequently relegated to 12th. Murray recovered to finish seventh outright and fourth in class.
“That was great. I probably didn’t drive to the best of my ability as I was focussing on the guys behind me too much. But at the end of the day I’m happy to come away with the win. It’s great to get a race win so early in the season,” said Fallon.
“The team has been mega getting me up to speed and teaching me how to drive the GT3 Cup car. Yesterday was difficult with the weather but to come away with the win today is unreal.”
Angelo was also pleased with her best performance of the season.
“I’m stoked. My goal this weekend was to get into the top three and if I made it into the top three I’d be over the moon. It was a good clean race and I nailed my start,” said Angelo.
“I think having the strong start helped me get to the front. I entered Sandown more confident and comfortable as I know the track well. It certainly helped to allow me to be part of the close racing towards the front of the field.”
The best of the Pro-Am racers was Danny Stutterd, who finished just ahead of class rival Brett Boulton in fourth outright. Boulton placed second in class from Rob Woods, Ross McGregor, Michael Hovey, Michael Loccisano, Sam Fillmore, Ben Stack and Shane Barwood.
“I was really rapt to be up with the younger drivers. I got a very good start and at Sandown you can tuck in behind the car in front and race with them for a bit. As one of the older drivers out there, I’m pretty happy to be in the top five,” said Stutterd.
Christian Pancione continued his impressive run in Class B, placing sixth outright and first in class. Pancione’s closest class rival was ninth-placed David Greig from Phil Morriss and Richard Bloomfield.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia returns for two races on Sunday, both of which can be viewed via live stream, available at the Shannons Nationals website – www.thenationals.com.au.
Sunday May 13, 2018
9:10am Race 2
1:40pm Race 3
Results: Race 1
|Position||Car||Driver||Class||Laps||Race time||Fastest Lap|
|6||76||Christian Pancione||Class B||14||21:52.0017||1:13.6595|
|9||87||David Greig||Class B||14||22:05.3455||1:15.6561|
|13||88||Phil Morriss||Class B||14||22:12.3344||1:15.9686|
|18||57||Richard Bloomfield||Class B||14||22:34.9606||1:15.9293|
|19||26||Tom Taplin||Class B||11||22:14.6039||1:15.8294|