ARON SHIELDS has claimed a remarkable Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge enduro in South Australia that saw the race result change after the flag and the round result tipped on its head in dramatic fashion.
The wild race had seen Lachlan Bloxsom cross the line first only to be penalized post-race, handing win to Shields and his TekworkX Porsche.
Shields had led the race briefly on two separate occasions before initially crossing the line third behind Bloxsom and Oscar Targett.
A further time penalty for young star Oscar Targett then denied him the round win, handing that honour to series leader Marco Giltrap.
The New Zealand teenager now holds a mighty 171-point lead in the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia standings with 180 up for grabs in the season finale’ at Mount Panorama.
The Sunday race was a thriller from the outset in one of the best displays of one-make Porsche racing this year.
The race commenced in changeable conditions as light rain swept across the circuit.
The unpredictable affair saw Lachlan Bloxsom initially credited with the race win following an absolute thriller that saw five lead changes between four different drivers across its duration.
He led home Oscar Targett, Aaron Shields, Marco Giltrap and Marcos Flack on track – with the top five covered by just 1.5 seconds in one of the most unpredictable races the series has seen.
The pulsating race saw Giltrap take the early lead with positions behind him changing rapidly as conditions gradually improved.
Polesitter Targett dropped to fourth initially before climbing back to second by lap three.
He was then passed by Shields on the 10th lap, the latter then deposing Giltrap for the lead on lap 14 when the former ran wide at Turn 17, dropping off the road briefly before recovering.
Shield’s time in front was short lived however as he was delayed at Turn six on the following lap, taking evasive action as Ross McGregor spun in front of him, handing the lead back to Giltrap and dropping the TekworkX driver back to fourth.
Targett pounced on the climactic lap 19 to grab the lead from Giltrap as Lachlan Bloxsom followed him through to second and Shields to third.
With Flack keeping the leaders in close company in fifth, Bloxsom jumped to the lead on the following lap and then fended off attack after attack from the Grove car across the final 4.9km to cross the line first.
That Bloxsom should have been in the fight at all was remarkable given he very nearly stalled his Bloxsom Team Navy / McElrea entry at the start, his rear wing clipped by another car as he tried to get away.
He crossed the line ninth at the end of lap one however recovered rapidly to carve his way to the field to run third by lap 15 and ultimately pass for the lead with two laps to go.
However, results changed quickly following the race.
Bloxsom was penalized five seconds for contact with Giltrap as the pair battled for position late in the race.
That would have elevated Targett to the potential race win, however he too was penalized, this time having 15 seconds added to his race time for overtaking under yellow flags at Turn one with two laps remaining – just prior to the Bloxsom – Giltrap contact.
The penalties dropped Bloxsom to fifth and Targett to eighth in the final reckoning.
Impressive New Zealand rookie Clay Osborne was also penalised five seconds for a start infringement, as was Pro-Am racer Brett Boulton.
Their penalties saw Osborne – who at one point had run third – finish sixth and Boulton 13th, though he maintained his second position in the Pro-Am class.
With the penalties applied, Marco Giltrap claimed Round 5 over Targett and Marcos Flack.
In Pro-Am, a remarkable comeback drive from Sam Shahin saw him recover from a spin on the formation lap, and a second one on the opening lap, to charge through the field and claim the round overall.
He won the round over Brett Boulton and Matt Slavin.
Class B was a thriller as the older-specification cars ended up dicing in the outright top 10 in the inclement conditions at the start of the race.
The race ended with newc0omer Jacques Jarjo the race winner while Brad Carr took the round.
It means three different drivers claimed the class win this weekend in the best weekend for the 991.1 generation cars yet this year.
More importantly, the Class B title will now go down to the wire at Mount Panorama this November with leader Phil Morriss, Harburg and Carr covered by 79 points.
ROUND 5 RESULTS:
- Marco Giltrap 162
- Oscar Targett 147
- Marcos Flack 144
- Sam Shahin 181
- Brett Boulton 150
- Matt Slavin 150
- Brad Carr 168
- Lachy Harburg 163
- Jacque Jarjo 156
PROVISIONAL SERIES STANDINGS:
- Marco Giltrap 739
- Aron Shields 568
- Oscar Targett 536
- Hamish Fitzsimmons 485
- Ronan Murphy 452
- Sam Shahin 791
- Matt Slavin 673
- David Grieg 509
- Phil Morriss 678
- Brad Carr 632
- Lachy Harburg 627