Australian GT and Porsche Drivers Challenge 'show how it's done' with thrilling Eastern Creek battle. Thrilling. Sensational, competitive: all perfectly apt describing words to use when discussing the events of this weekend's third round of ...
Australian GT and Porsche Drivers Challenge 'show how it's done' with thrilling Eastern Creek battle.
Thrilling. Sensational, competitive: all perfectly apt describing words to use when discussing the events of this weekend's third round of the 2005 Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship and Porsche Drivers Challenge contested over three races and in perfect conditions at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway.
After an unbelievable sequence of races, Peter Hackett came out on top in each of the three 10 lap encounters at the 3.9km circuit, holding off a plethora of flying automotive exotica in each race to add further to his commanding series lead in the increasingly competitive GT Category.
Forced to run with 1500 less revs thanks to a recent review of series parity, Hackett stole a march on the field in race one to win -- ahead of series newcomer David Stevens - by seven tenths of a second after a race long dice that also featured spirited performances from Washington, Mark Eddy and Ian Palmer at the front of the field.
Race two had more of the same, a race long battle of the wits with Washington culminating in a win by another narrow margin -- six tenths separating the pair after 10 hard fought laps.
However, if the opening two races were spectacular, the third was incredible. Hackett held off a four-car freight train that included Washington, Ian Palmer's Honda NSX and David Steven's Porsche in a thrilling display of competitive GT racing. Hackett and Washington went toe to toe on each lap, even enduring a coming together into turn four that slightly damaged the side of the Lambo. Washington threw everything at the black Diablo, finishing just half a second behind at the line after an incredible race.
"What a race, what a weekend," enthused an elated Hackett at the end of a perfect day at Eastern Creek. "The racing was incredible and the battle with Bryce was fantastic in each of the races today. Obviously I'm disappointed to have damaged someone else's -- and very expensive -- car, but these results are fantastic and really quite surprising considering we only had the parity changes made very recently."
Washington consolidated his strong position at the top of the Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge tree, two seconds and a third a good result for the South Australian driver, who this round proved he is definitely one of the stars of Australian Motorsports future with his stirring drive in the third and final race.
Strong performances all weekend from David Stevens in the Brennan IT Porsche 911 GT2 also indicated that he will be a key player in coming rounds, the car utilising its awesome horsepower to out drag Ian Palmer's Honda in a race for third to the line -- just one 100th of a second splitting the pair after both featured strongly in the final race's intense competition.
"We've had a great weekend," Enthused Stevens. "The car has been strong and competitive and we have been able to race with the leading bunch all weekend. I've really enjoyed racing with these guys in such a competitive field and im really pleased with the results at the end of the weekend."
Mark Eddy and Ian Palmer both had consistent weekends, a strong trio of Top five placing's giving the Quarterback Clothing Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Eddy his best overall result for season 2005.
"We're really happy with the weekend, considering this is my first time to Eastern Creek," he said. "The car was getting better and better, and it was pretty exciting to be just behind that great battle for the lead in the final race. Im looking forward to the next round to continue to improve."
Palmer's NSX showed strong form in the final race, taking advantage of the success ballast applied to the previous race placegetters to dice for the lead in the finale, just dropping back towards the end of the race to finish fourth.
Huge performances came from the Porsche dynamic duo of John Kaias (ABCOR Porsche 911 GT3 Cup -- Open Class) and Simon Middleton (Porsche 911 GT3 -- A class) , the pair having to charge through the field in the second race after both were found to have jumped a restart in the opening heat.
Both drivers -- despite the race one penalty -- expressed delight at their weekend's performances.
"Its just been an awesome weekend," Expressed Middleton. "Considering this is just my fifth race meeting, im stoked to be up so high in the series and to be able to take wins in my class -- especially coming from last to win like we did in race two!"
"Great racing all weekend," Kaias said. "It's been the most competitive weekend to date this season, the other drivers have all been fantastic and it's great to be able to come out and race cleanly and competitively with these guys like we have this weekend.
"I was involved in some great battles today that wee really enjoyable racing." He said.
Middleton, though, was forced to play second fiddle when it came to overall class results -- season long rival Anthony Skinner (Travel plan Ski Holidays Porsche 911 GT3) scored two of the potential three class wins in what was a highly competitive showing. Malcolm Lynn, David Giugni and Max Twig all featuring in the class results over the weekend in what is a steadily growing competition within the championship.
Don Tryhorn and Matt Humphries diced all day to decide the winner in B Class, Tryhorn coming out on top after a number of strong performances over the course of the weekend.
The next round of the championship will continue the series' trend this season of running on fast and flowing circuits -- Phillip Island's 4.4km set to host the championship's fourth round in four weeks time on August 20 -- 21. <pre> Race one -- 10 Laps 1. Peter Hackett Lamborghini Diablo GTR 17m21.29 2. Dave Stevens Porsche 911 GT2R 17m21.80 +0.61s 3. Bryce Washington Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 17m22.69 A. Anthony Skinner Porsche 911 GT3 B. Don Tryhorn Porsche 964 RS
Race 2 -- 10 Laps 1. Peter Hackett Lamborghini Diablo GTR 16m30.48 2. Bryce Washington Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 16m31.00 +0.52s 3. Dave Stevens Porsche 911 GT2R 16m35.0 A. Simon Middleton Porsche 911 GT3 B. Don Tryhorn Porsche 964 RS
Race 3 -- 10 Laps 1. Peter Hackett Lamborghini Diablo GTR 16m40.73 2. Bryce Washington Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 16m41.19 +0.46s 3. Dave Stevens Porsche 911 GT2R 16m41.52 +0.79 4. Ian Palmer Honda NSX 16m41.54 +0.81 A. Anthony Skinner Porsche 911 GT3 B. Don Tryhorn Porsche 964 RS