Nash Morris has survived a late race safety car restart to claim victory in the first race for Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International.
Morris held off Marcos Flack in a race-long battle, whilst Marco Giltrap in third wrapped up the Jim Richards Enduro Cup and became the 2023 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge champion-elect.
Meanwhile, Sam Shahin also did enough to seal the Pro-Am title, now mathematically unbeatable in tomorrow’s two races.
Morris made the most of his pole position to head the field into Hell Corner, whilst Marcos Flack fell behind Oscar Targett who made a good start from third on the grid.
Flack would get back by the Grove Racing driver before the end of the first lap, and by the end of lap two was all over the back of the Morris’ TekworkX Motorsport entry, leaving Targett behind, who now had Hamish Fitzsimmons for company.
There would be drama behind on lap six, when Sonic Motor Racing’s Harrison Goodman retired to the pits from fifth with damage to the right-rear of his Bob Jane T-Marts car after contact with the wall.
Oscar Targett also dropped two spots in an unrelated incident, promoting Fitzsimmons and Giltrap into third and fourth.
The safety car would make its first appearance on lap nine as Pro-Am runner Caspar Tressider found trouble in his Wall Racing / Hillcrest Merimbula entry.
The field would see the green flag once again on lap twelve, as Morris once again led the field away, with Flack in tow as had been the case all race.
Fitzsimmons ran wide on the exit of Murray’s Corner at the restart, allowing Giltrap to get alongside and complete the move at Hell Corner to move onto the podium.
Giltrap’s timing proved fortuitous as the safety car would come out for the second and final time after Tim Wolfe found drama on top of the mountain in his Pro-Am PER Equipment Rentals entry.
The field would have one final green flag lap, however the order at the front of the field remained unchanged as Morris remained in total control.
The Pro-Am class was won by Sam Shahin in tenth outright for The Bend Motorsport Park, becoming Pro-Am champion-elect in the process.
Class B was taken out by Car Mods Australia’s Bradley Carr in sixteenth outright, setting up an intense finals day tomorrow as he and second-placed Lachy Harburg continue to pursue class leader, Phil Morriss.
Race Two for Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia starts at 12:05pm AEDT tomorrow.
Both Saturday races will be live on Stan Sport, while the season finale’ will also be live on free to air via the Nine Network around Australia this weekend.