PETER HACKETT OVERCOMES HIGH SPEED QUALIFYING INCIDENT TO FINISH SECOND OVERALL AT PHILLIP ISLAND July 11, 2010 - The fourth round of the VodkaO Australian GT Championship at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit started dramatically for...
PETER HACKETT OVERCOMES HIGH SPEED QUALIFYING INCIDENT TO FINISH SECOND OVERALL AT PHILLIP ISLAND
July 11, 2010 - The fourth round of the VodkaO Australian GT Championship at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit started dramatically for VodkaO Racing Lamborghini driver Peter Hackett, who overcame a 200kph plus accident to qualify 5th and race to 3rd and 4th places in the weekend's two action packed one hour enduro races.
Hackett started the weekend with outstanding pace, setting the fastest lap time of practice by more than 8/10ths of a second in his Lamborghini Gallardo. Qualifying on Saturday saw Hackett complete an out lap, then set out on his first fast lap when at the high speed first turn suspected tyre damage caused the car to vault directly off the circuit. According to Hackett's on board data, his VodkaO Rocking Angel Lamborghini left the circuit at 207kph and the VodkaO driver became a passenger in a wild ride across the circuit infield and across the the circuit, ending up in the turn two gravel trap and luckily avoiding impact with other competitors. Substantial damage to the Lamborghini front spoiler, radiators and undertray was suffered.
Despite this run of luck, proving his immediate Phillip Isand pace, Hackett's out-lap, which was the lap that he completed before setting faster times for qualifying, was good enough to secure him the 5th spot on the starting grid for the first of the weekend's two Australian GT enduro races.
After a marathon repair session by the Melbourne Performance Centre team which saw Hackett's Lamborghini finished at 2:30am on Sunday, Hackett lined up for the first one hour race from 5th on the grid and progressed to 3rd, enduring a tough battle with rival Max Twigg. Radio communication problems persisted during the mid stages of the race and Hackett made an unscheduled pit stop which caught the team by surprise. After changing just one rear tyre, Hackett re-joined the race and assumed the race lead for some 30 minutes. Towards the closing stages the VodkaO Racing Team driver experienced major tyre vibration and suffered a spin at Siberia, costing him the race lead. He finished the race in third place and upon his return to the pits his front right tyre pressure had somehow dropped to 25psi, causing his late race problems.
Sunday's second one hour GT race saw Hackett get off to a bad start and in the battle for positions into turn one, Porsche driver Peter Hill and Hackett made contact, Hill spinning off the circuit and causing an early race safety car period. The drama wasn't over early, as Greg Crick also made contact with Hackett at Honda corner, sending the Lamborghini driver on an off circuit foray. After some solid laps and top speeds in excess of 276kph on Gardiner Straight, Hackett made his way back into the top ten and by the closing stages he progressed to the top five. An impressive pass of Championship leader David Wall in a battle which saw contact between the fierce Australian GT Championship competitors saw Hackett take 4th position which was where he finished the race.
These results earned Hackett second overall for the Phillip Island weekend and an elevation to the top of the points table in the 2010 Australian GT Championship. It was the most successful round of the season for the VodkaO Racing Team, with Hackett's team mate Dean Grant winning the event in his Mosler. Porsche racer David Wall took the third spot.
"Considering how the weekend started and how physical the two races were and our other problems, I cannot be disappointed with my result. We clearly had a car which was capable of Pole position and race wins this weekend and considering that my Lambo is the oldest GT3 car in the field, our pace was impressive. I cannot thank my team enough for the work they did to ensure that we gained a strong Championship result today. The guys from Melbourne Performance Centre were outstanding. Bring on Bathurst - I can't wait to unleash the Lamborghini on one of the most exciting and challenging circuits in the world!" Peter Hackett said.
Hackett returns to the track with the VodkaO Racing Team at the legendary Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst from October 7 to 10 alongside the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race.
-source: peter hackett