A DOUBLE victory at Queensland Raceway has delivered the overnight series lead to Thomas Sargent, following the first two sprint races in Round 2 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series.
Sam Shahin won both races in Morris Pro-Am today while Brad Carr and Tom McLennan split the wins in Class B.
Starting from the outside of the front row, Sargent lost the start to polesitter Ryan Wood at the commencement of Race one, however a canny switchback move at turn one saw him slice up the inside of his rival to re-take the lead.
The pair then pulled away from the field, lapping beneath the existing QR lap record in their own private battle for the race lead.
Sargent set a new lap record on lap four (1m10.6046s) and edged away from Wood to claim his second win of the season.
Aron Shields finished an outstanding third in his McElrea Racing entry while Sam Shahin was fourth outright and first in Morris Pro-Am.
Madeline Stewart was a personal-best fifth outright – and fourth in Pro – while Courtney Prince charged her way through the field to grab sixth outright, having qualified outside the top-10.
Brett Boulton was second in Pro-Am and seventh outright while Lachlan Bloxsom paid the penalty for a slow start, dropping down the order before recovering to eighth. Tom Taplin and Harrison Goodman completed the top-10.
Brad Carr and Tom McLennan ran line-astern in the battle for Class B, the former winning the class on his debut in the Michelin Sprint Challenge.
Race two saw more of the same from the pair on the front row, though this time it was the Tegra Australia / CHE Engineering car of Sargent who led into turn one.
The pair remained that way for the opening laps, with Shields holding on to third and Courtney Prince up to fourth.
Bloxsom climbed to fifth, in front of Madeline Stewart, while behind them Sam Shahin and Brett Boulton battled for the lead in Morris Pro-Am, sharing several side-by-side moments in their own ‘race within a race’.
The race ultimately finished under Safety Car following a collision between Richard Cowen and Gerald Murphy at turn three.
The lengthy recovery required ensured the race finished behind the Safety Car with Sargent taking his second straight win.
Shahin claimed Morris Pro-Am while Tom McLennan returned serve on Brad Carr, claiming Class B honours.
Provisionally he takes the series lead into tomorrow’s third and final race of the weekend with a four-point advantage over round one winner, Ryan Wood.
The field re-sets overnight before tomorrow’s Jim Richards’ Endurance Trophy race, which will conclude the second round of the championship.
The race commences at 11:10am AEST at Queensland Raceway, with live coverage on Stan Sports.
Thomas Sargent, Race 2, Pro winner:
“Our pace was strong but obviously it’s not the way you want the race to go finishing under safety car, but you got to take them when you can get them. Ryan (Woods) was very, quick in that one, I think he even lost a splitter and was still gaining on me and making my life difficult. We’ll have to look at what we can do better for tomorrow’s race, but first place is always great and more points, so bring on tomorrow.”
Sam Shahin, Race 2, Morris Pro-Am winner
“That was a very poor launch off the start and then got caught up in a swarm by Turn 1 and 2. I had a nice tussle with three or four drivers, changing positions in the first few laps which was fun. It was a pity the safety car came out, because that had the hallmark of another great race. Porsche (Michelin) Sprint Challenge is always produced great racing and we look forward to a clean, long race tomorrow that will no doubt be entertaining for everybody.”
Tom McLennan, Race 2, Class B winner:
“It was great, jumped Brad (Carr) off the start, we had two or three laps of racing and we were catching some of the pros and then the safety car came out and that’s how we finished. It was good fun.”
Bradley Carr, Race 1 Class B winner:
“I had a shocking start, it was my first ever standing start in a Porsche so I messed up, but held in there and lost a spot off the line and ended up getting that back mid-race. That gave McLennan a chance to catch-up to my boot so the last few laps were pretty hard with him behind me, he’s quick, I had a good run there and an awesome result.”