Australian GT: Outstanding weekend for Equity-One in Queensland‏

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Equity-One Motorsport’s Dean Koutsoumidis was the undeniable star of the Queensland Raceway round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli, after recording his best result in the category, in the process, jumping to third outright...

Equity-One Motorsport / MPC Press Release

Equity-One Motorsport Audi R8 LMS GT3
Rnd#5 2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli
Queensland Raceway, Ipswich (August 2-4)

Equity-One Motorsport’s Dean Koutsoumidis was the undeniable star of the Queensland Raceway round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli, after recording his best result in the category, in the process, jumping to third outright in series points.

The weekend though started with a surprise revelation - that long time AGT co-driver Andrew McInnes would not be alongside for the weekend. “He’s got too much on his plate with work, and with three 40-minute races, he figured I’d be alright on my own,” Koutsoumidis explained.

Settling into a comfortable rhythm through practice, Koutsoumidis revealed late in the day that he had given Formula 3 pace-setter Tim Macrow a couple of laps in the R8 during the media rides session.

“I’ve always been a fan of Timmy, so I offered him the chance to have a run in the car during the media rides on Friday afternoon,” he explained. “Then we thought we’d hatch an idea to wind Andrew up, and reveal that Tim would be in the car for the weekend ahead of a possible full-time role in 2014. That had the desired effect and Andrew was soon on the phone, but as I thought more about it over a glass of wine, I thought why not give him the run whilst Andrew’s tied up with work.”

As a passionate motorsport fan, few would realise the investment Equity-One has made over the years with aspiring young drivers, and through his time with Minda Motorsport, the Equity-One team had developed a strong bond with the young Victorian.

“I can’t thank Dean enough for the opportunity to have a run in the Audi,” Macrow admitted. “Sadly I don’t have the budget to pursue a career at the top end of the sport, so I have to take whatever opportunities I can, and the chance to drive a state-of-the-art GT3 car, is one I’d been looking for - for some time.”

Macrow didn’t disappoint either, qualifying the car in position eight, just three tenths behind arguably the fastest car in the field, the 2013-spec Lamborghini of Justin McMillan.

Using his years of open wheel experience, Macrow charged off the rolling start to be quickly through on McMillan and onto the tail of V8 Supercar star Greg Murphy in the Trofeo Motorsport Corvette.

That translated into sixth place as the Salmon Audi spun with fellow rookie Liam Talbot behind the wheel. Holding position until just prior to the 50% mark of the race, Macrow hit the pits for his compulsory pit stop [CPS], handing over to Koutsoumidis. “As a professional driver, Tim can do no more than 50% of the race laps,” Melbourne Performance Centre’s Troy Russell explained.

As Koutsoumidis settled into a rhythm he was pleased to see Rod Salmon emerge from the pits after his stop, not too far in front of him.. it was game on!


“I could see him ahead of me, and I was making up big ground under brakes, so I just focused on getting my line right, and braking late to see whether I could catch him before the flag.”

Two laps from home he was right on Salmon’s tail. “Once I was on his tail I applied the McInnes technique,” he laughed. “I always watch him [McInnes] work his way onto the back of another car and then start to weave a little to loom large in their mirrors and force them into a mistake, so that’s what I did, and Rod left the door open. That was all I needed. It’s nice to be the hunter for a change instead of the prey..!”

For race two in the darkness of the Queensland winter, Koutsoumidis started the second 40-minute event with Salmon alongside. Fitted with the Audi factory endurance lights popular in Europe, Salmon presented an ominous sight, and he returned the favour to the Equity-One driver by locking in under the tail of the #71 Audi off the start.

By lap two they were running fifth and sixth after McMillan spun the Lamborghini at turn four, but five laps later the two Audis were in the wars at the very same place on the circuit.

With Salmon large in Koutsoumidis’ mirrors, the Equity-One driver went into the turn off line and onto the ‘marbles’ on the outer edge of the corner, spinning under brakes. Salmon took the advantage and nipped up the inside, but the Koutsoumidis car lurched back forward as he went through, the two cars making heavy contact, with the front of the #71 Audi hitting the right rear wheel of Salmon’s car.

“It was a big hit,” Koutsoumidis admitted later. “I thought it was all over, but it kept running, and everything still seemed to be attached, but I’d lost my high beam headlights and the left front was starting to deflate.”

Despite that he managed to hang on until he’d completed more than 50% of the race to hand over to Macrow, dropping only one position in the process.

Unfortunately though for the team, their later stop and a subsequent Safety Car period saw them out of position when more than half the field was sent around past the pace car and onto the tail end of the field, losing them a lap to the leader.

With an ailing car and poor visibility, Macrow completed the laps to record a 12th placed finish, which whilst disappointing, also provided them a lighter pit stop penalty for the final 40-minute race on Sunday afternoon by virtue of their low starting position.

“The contact was disappointing, but we’ll fix the car, no drama,” Koutsoumidis admitted afterwards. “It’s mostly cosmetic, but it was a bit hard to run around in the dark without high beam.. How tough are these Audis though, if I’d done that with our Lamborghini last year, we’d be putting all the bits back in the truck right now and having an early flight home!”

Macrow was back behind the wheel for the start of the final race, having wrapped up the Formula 3 round victory earlier in the day, and he was ready for action, moving from 12th to sixth on the opening lap, and forward to fifth two laps later after diving up the inside of the McMillan Lamborghini.

Pitting before the half way point to swap to Koutsoumidis, the #71 car rejoined the track immediately behind Klark Quinn and Greg Murphy, following the two stars through the early part of the stint to catch Rod Salmon in the Skwirk car.

As the leaders worked their way past, Koutsoumidis again set himself up for an attack on the newer Audi, catching him again under brakes to ultimately take the position away at the final turn with four laps to go, the #71 Audi hanging on to fourth at the line.

“Honestly, I think the pressure of having Tim in the car pushed me to want to do a better job for him, so I was forced to go outside my comfort zone and allow the team to try things with the car to improve the speed with Tim behind the wheel,” he explained.

Whilst his smile was wide, the news later in the day that the result had moved him to third in the outright championship points was almost more than he could handle.. “Are you kidding me..!?”

For Macrow he enjoyed the experience, but the Formula 3 star was typically looking for more. “I think we could have found some more time across the weekend, but the end result is testament to how good a car it is, even two generations back from the two Quinn cars.

“I can’t thank Dean enough, both for the opportunity and for being brave enough to allow MPC to change the car around a little more to suit me. It was a risk, but in the end he showed how versatile he is by ‘stepping up’ and to see him rewarded with a result like that and third in the points, was almost as rewarding as winning F3 on the weekend!”

For the Equity-One team focus now turns to the final round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli scheduled for the new Highlands Motorsport Park circuit in New Zealand November 8-10. Andrew McInnes will rejoin the team as they look to not only complete their national series campaign, but enter the new ‘Highlands 101’ three plus hour enduro race on the Sunday. 

Don’t be surprised if the name ‘Macrow’ appears on the side of the car either, in which case, the series regulars might well have their hands full!

2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli
Qualifying
 [3 August] Queensland Raceway, Ipswich

01. 23. Roger Lago - Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:08.4726
02. 7. Tony Quinn - Aston Martin Vantage GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:08.6870
03. 1. Klark Quinn - Porsche GT3-R [CHAMP] - 1:08.8606
04. 88. John Bowe - Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:09.1791
05. 29. Greg Murphy - Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:09.8530
06. 6. Liam Talbot - Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra [CHAMP] - 1:09.9612
07. 48. Justin McMillan - Gallardo LP600+ GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:10.3284
08. 71. Tim Macrow - Audi R8 LMS GT3 [CHAMP] - 1:10.6543

Race#1 - 40-minutes [3 August] Queensland Raceway, Ipswich

01. 7. Tony Quinn - Aston Martin Vantage GT3 [CHAMP] - 31-laps
02. 1. Klark Quinn - Porsche GT3-R [CHAMP]
03. 88. John Bowe - Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 [CHAMP]
04. 29. Greg Murphy - Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3 [CHAMP]
05. 23. Roger Lago - Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 GT3 [CHAMP]
06. 48. Justin McMillan - Gallardo LP600+ GT3 [CHAMP]
07. 71. Dean Koutsoumidis/Tim Macrow - Audi R8 LMS GT3 [CHAMP]
08. 6. Rod Salmon/Liam Talbot - Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra [CHAMP]

Race#2 - 40-minutes [3 August] Queensland Raceway, Ipswich

01. 1. Klark Quinn - Porsche GT3-R [CHAMP] - 28-laps
02. 29. Greg Murphy - Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3 [CHAMP]
03. 7. Tony Quinn - Aston Martin Vantage GT3 [CHAMP]
04. 6. Rod Salmon/Liam Talbot - Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra [CHAMP]
05. 25. Brendan Cook/Matt Kingsley - Porsche GT3 Cup [CHALLENGE]
12. 71. Dean Koutsoumidis/Tim Macrow - Audi R8 LMS GT3 [CHAMP] - 26-laps


Race#3 - 40-minutes [4 August] Queensland Raceway, Ipswich

01. 1. Klark Quinn - Porsche GT3-R [CHAMP] - 33-laps
02. 29. Greg Murphy - Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3 [CHAMP]
03. 7. Tony Quinn - Aston Martin Vantage GT3 [CHAMP]
04. 71. Dean Koutsoumidis/Tim Macrow - Audi R8 LMS GT3 [CHAMP]
05. 6. Rod Salmon/Liam Talbot - Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra [CHAMP]
06. 48. Justin McMillan - Gallardo FLII GT3 [CHAMP]

The fifth round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli will be televised on SBS Speedweek on Sunday, September 1 from 2:00pm AEST (check local guides for confirmation).

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2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli
GT Championship points
 (after five rounds of six)
1. Klark Quinn (540 points), 2. Tony Quinn (423), 3. Dean Koutsoumidis (276), 4. John Bowe (272), 5. Rod Salmon (262), 6. Greg Murphy (245), 6. Roger Lago (234), 7. Jack Le Brocq (220), 8. Justin McMillan (195), 9. Peter Edwards (190), 10. Andrew McInnes (154) Keep track of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli via the AGT website - www.australiangt.com.au and via Facebook; AustralianGT


The Queensland Raceway round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli will be televised on SBS Speedweek on Sunday, September 1 from 2:00pm AEST (check local guides for confirmation).


2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli - calendar
Rnd#1, 8-10 February - Bathurst 12-Hour, NSW
Rnd#2, 28 Feb - 3 March - Clipsal, Adelaide, SA
Rnd#3, 24-26 May - Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#4, 12-14 July - Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
Rnd#5, 2-4 August - Queensland Raceway, Ipswich, QLD
Rnd#6, 8-10 November - Highland Motorsport Park, NZ

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Equity-One Motorsport is proudly supported by Equity-One Mortgage Fund and Melbourne Performance Centre.

Photo credit: Melbourne Performance Centre

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