Extraordinary cold tyre pace was the key to Jordan Love’s dominance of race one of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli second round at Phillip Island.
Love eked out a handy advantage on the opening lap of the scheduled 11-lap event which was negated with an early safety car.
After the resumption, he again strode away from nearest rival Brenton Grove to win the race (reduced to ten laps) by 6.8 seconds.
“I stuffed up the start but managed to keep the lead and then pulled a gap,” Love admitted.
“Then we had the safety car and he went with me off the restart for a lap or so before we could get away – I am happy with that!”
Grove had to ward off the challenge from Elite Class’ Anthony Gilbertson to chase his Professional Class rival Love to the chequered flag.
“That went alright… first would have been better,” Grove volunteered.
Gilbertson had made the best start but had no room in which to bypass Formula 4 graduates Love and Grove. “It was a great start,” said Gilbertson.
“But I was squeezed for room into turn one and I had the pace on Grove. But he is not in my (Elite) class and I had a margin on Sam (Shahin).”
Shahin, who leads the class and won the opening round overall, was fourth, clear of Nick Karnaros who had to see off the early challenge from former Olympian John Steffensen who ultimately had an off-track excursion and finished 13th.
Then followed Ben Stack, Brett Boulton, Ross McGregor, Michael O’Donnell and Rob Woods all in the Elite Class. John Karytinos and John Morriss were the reason for the safety car when they tangled and went off at turn two on the second lap. John’s brother Phil was running seventh and went off at the same corner, sustaining some rear end damage on lap seven.
It was a tough battle for 11th between Class B protagonists David Greig and Michael Tsigeridis. The latter had the advantage at the start but after the safety car period Greig gained the upper hand until the penultimate lap where Tsigeridis grabbed the lead, holding on by a car length.
Results – Race 1 (10 laps)
1 #79 Jordan Love (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing/Quintis – 19:13.3717
2 #23 Brenton Grove (Professional Class) Grove Hire – 19:20.2217
3 #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Hallmark Homes – 19:20.7701
4 #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) HTFU – 19:22.1906
5 #25 Nick Karnaros (Elite Class) Porsche Centre Brighton – 19:30.4350
6 #65 Ben Stack (Elite Class) DNA Racing – 19:31.8831
7 #84 Brett Boulton (Elite Class) Bold Living – 19:36.6480
8 #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows – 19:37.1608
9 #68 Michael O’Donnell (Elite Class) SHOAL/Thomson Geer – 19:39.5625
10 #29 Rob Woods (Elite Class) Platinum Nightclub – 19:46.3839
11 #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) – 19:47.2380
12 #87 David Greig (Class B) – 19:47.4006
13 #78 John Steffensen (Professional Class) Zagame Autosport – 20:33.6701D
DNF #88 Phil Morriss (Elite Class) Morriss Racing Services – 6 laps
DNF #34 John Morriss (Elite Class) Motorsport Leasing P/L – 1 lap
DNF #16 John Karytinos (Elite Class) Richmonds Automotive – 1 lap
Fastest lap: Love 1:32.6304