KRASHOS FLIES, KLASAN POLES AT SANDOWN
MARK KRASHOS used a strong start and some turn one excitement to his advantage during today's first race in the final round of the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series, at Sandown Raceway.
Meanwhile series points leader Mat Kingsley's quest to seal his first GT3 Cup Challenge title was set back a fraction after he was elbowed wide at turn one and was forced to pit with a damaged rear wheel.
After earlier taking his career first pole position, Ivan Klasan made a good start from pole but slipped off the circuit at turn one, allowing Krashos - who started third - to take the lead.
Behind them Kingsley and series' rookie Aaron Silluzio made the contact that sent the Action Tyres and More car to pit lane and put Silluzio out of the race, and allowed several drivers to make net gain and move up the order.
The race then settled down with Krashos leading Steve Kepper to the flag, the South Australian Pharmacist elated to replicate the form that saw him also taste success at Mallala in June this year.
"I'm over the moon!" Krashos beamed.
"The car was perfect. I got a great start and was being squeezed down against the wall when I was side by side with Klasan. I saw we needed to brake so I slowed down and I think he just went in a bit too hot and slid off.
"After that I had plenty of pressure from Steve Kepper but he made a mistake half way through and that gave me a bit of breathing room to bring it home.
"I've never been here before this weekend and I'm really enjoying the track. It's sensational and I'm so pleased with the result today."
Behind them Jeff Bobik held out Sven Burchartz to third place, though it was Sven who - with Kinglsey down the order - closed the lead of the series down ahead of tomorrow's final day of racing for the year.
The pair of locals had a spirited dice for the duration of the ten lap race, after Bobik was able to leap past his rival after Sven missed a gear on the start finish straight.
"Its proof you can't count your chickens before they hatch," Sven mused following the race.
"It's a good result and it keeps the series alive into tomorrow. I was pressing on pretty hard with Jeff there at the end but in the end it was of my own doing - I missed a gear and let him past. It was a good race though and hopefully we can go further tomorrow."
"It was a good dice with Sven," Bobik said after finishing third.
"I put the block on a couple of times towards the end there and he was in my mirrors making me all jittery - so there was no way I was going to make it easy!"
Kingsley finished 15th, but took some consolation by setting a new lap record in the process.
The top ten was completed by some serious 'movers and shakers', Jan Jinadasa finishing 5th ahead of Terry Knight (who charged from 11th to 6th), a recovering Ivan Klasan, Ray Angus (12th to 8th), Paul Bolinowsky and Mark Seamons, who completed the top ten.
Two races, one ten laps and one twenty, will make up tomorrows races.