South Australian Max Vidau has clinched an impressive clean sweep of race wins at Symmons Plains Raceway to depart the opening 2019 Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia round with the championship lead, while Sam Shahin continued his TAG Heuer Pro-Am dominance to claim three race wins at his first visit to the Tasmanian circuit.
After two race victories on Saturday, Vidau was again the best from the start line to lead into the opening corner. He then held the lead until a mid-race safety car was called to recover Shane Barwood’s car from the inside of the turn four hairpin.
Then, as the Porsche field trailed the safety car, rain started to fall on Symmons Plains. The change in weather conditions forced an extended safety car period which ultimately ran until the chequered flag. Vidau therefore secured a perfect start to his 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge season to start his second year in the series.
“It’s the best way to start the season. The team gave me an awesome car throughout the weekend and it’s a really positive way to leave Symmons Plains,” said Vidau.
“Coming to the round I expected strong results but three from three is absolutely perfect. I’m very happy with it and I’m now looking to the next round in Sydney. I’ve been there before and I have a bit of experience there so hopefully I can replicate the same result I had here in Tasmania.”
Harri Jones was the best of the series rookies, placing second in each of the three GT3 Cup Challenge races during the season opener with teammate Ryan Suhle placing third in each despite pressure from Aaron Love in Sunday’s final race.
Sam Shahin was untouchable in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class. The Carrera Cup racer followed his two race wins on Saturday with another class race win on Sunday, which was coupled with an impressive five place outright.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. That last race was really tough. I had contact on lap one, turn one and I had a very interesting car to drive with the steering wheel pointing at 30 degrees. They made the right call to extend the safety car period with the weather conditions. I’m very relieved and very thrilled,” said Shahin.
Ross McGregor placed second for the round in the TAG Heuer Pro-Am class in his 30th GT3 Cup Challenge round start; a third place and two fourth-place finishes proving consistency was key to his round success. Sergio Pires then placed third for the round in his TAG Heuer Pro-Am class debut.
While Andrew Goldie was the best of the Class B runners in the final race, former Class B champion David Greig, who placed third in race three, won the round from Tony Martin and debutant Nathan Murray.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will next line up for round two of the 2019 championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on May 17-19, 2019.
Results: Race 3
|Position||Car||Driver||Class||Laps||Race time||Fastest lap|
|5||13||Sam Shahin||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||26:54.2581||0:53.8027|
|8||84||Brett Boulton||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||26:57.2568||0:54.7257|
|9||99||Ross McGregor||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||26:58.0506||0:54.8833|
|10||17||Marcel Zalloua||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||26:59.3887||0:55.1150|
|11||10||Michael Loccisano||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||27:00.2150||0:55.6035|
|12||131||Graham Williams||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||27:00.9436||0:55.7657|
|13||55||Sergio Pires||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||27:02.0585||0:54.7921|
|14||29||Rob Woods||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||22||27:03.2859||0:55.7319|
|15||22||Andrew Goldie||Class B||22||27:03.6768||0:55.5974|
|16||91||Emanuel Palyaris||Class B||22||27:04.2185||0:55.4921|
|17||87||David Greig||Class B||22||27:04.8739||0:56.4916|
|18||9||Tony Martin||Class B||21||26:52.7015||0:57.5402|
|19||5||Nathan Murray||Class B||21||26:53.6908||0:56.8269|
|20||3||Jonathan Gliksten||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||21||26:55.0710||0:57.7953|
|DNF||21||Shane Barwood||TAG Heuer Pro-Am||10||9:34.3689||0:55.4587|