CHALLENGERS TO TARGET LEADER KINGSLEY IN QUEENSLAND BRISBANE'S Roger Lago believes the time to strike at Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series presented by Mission Foods leader Matt Kingsley has arrived. Lago has driven his Falcon...
CHALLENGERS TO TARGET LEADER KINGSLEY IN QUEENSLAND
BRISBANE'S Roger Lago believes the time to strike at Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series presented by Mission Foods leader Matt Kingsley has arrived.
Lago has driven his Falcon Property Group to second in the overall standings after the three rounds contested to date, but believes the series' return to Morgan Park Raceway offers him a chance to close the gap to the reigning titlist, who has continued his winning ways this season.
"I need to get a wriggle on, there's no doubt about it," the quietly spoken Queenslander said.
"I'm very keen to get to the track and perform well so we can close the gap down to Matt in the outright standings, and I think Morgan Park could be the place to do it."
Lago, only 35 points behind the Gold Coast-based Kingsley, will be pleased to return to the rural circuit just outside of Warwick next week after a strong round there twelve months ago.
After qualifying second, he led Kingsley for several laps in race one and went the whole way in the second, setting the then-lap record en route to a tremendous race win.
He finished second in the final race and overall for the round, but next weekend will face one of the deepest fields assembled in GT3 Cup Challenge history.
VIP Petfoods driver Tony Quinn will return to the series after winning the first round in 2009, joining the likes of Kingsley, Sven Burchartz, Jeff Bobik and a host of competitive drivers all seeking to be the first to win on the highly-anticipated high-speed extension to the now 3km long Morgan Park circuit.
Lago agreed that next week's round was shaping up to be the strongest yet.
"Having Tony (Quinn) there is going to be great," he said.
"He is racing in the Sepang 12 Hour the week before so it will be good to have him there as a benchmark, to see how we stack up against him. Then there are the regulars amongst a field that is tougher than ever, so it's set to be competitive.
"Being the home track for so many cars you would think that the Queenslanders would have an advantage - but the new extension makes it very unpredictable because no one has any experience on it. It creates a level playing field.
"The new track looks fast and that might benefit the 997 cars with their additional horsepower. I walked the track at the start of the year and it looks great. It's going to be good when we all come in after first practice next week and look at the times to see where everyone is at."
After a front-running season against the most consistently competitive field the series has seen, Lago said the time had come to convert his speed to race wins in order to challenge for the title.
"My year so far has been about strong racing," he confirmed.
"We worked our way forward to better than expected results at both Symmons Plains (Round two) and Mallala (Round three) so we're hoping to continue the run and put a challenge together to challenge for the title - and it starts at Morgan Park."
Should he want a win at Morgan Park he will have to beat a strong Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series presented by Mission Foods field, all seeking to become the first to win on the circuit's new layout.
Victorians Jeff Bobik (4th, 100 points) and Sven Burchartz (6th, 79 points) will both be looking for strong rounds in the Queensland sun to maintain their title charges, as will 8th placed Yuey Tan - the Singaporean driver looking to break through for a maiden win after showing plenty of speed in his debut season.
Gold Coast Porsche dealer Terry Knight is currently 7th in the standings and second in the 996 'race within a race' class. Jon Trende and South Australian Rookie John Goodacre are tied on 48 points each, in 9th and 10th overall.
The action gets underway as part of the Shannons Nationals round on August 13, 14 and 15.