JUNIPER BUILDS A RACE ONE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE WIN AT PHILLIP ISLAND SHAUN JUNIPER now has a strike rate enviable of every other driver in world motorsport: 100%. In his one and only race so far in the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Juniper's...
JUNIPER BUILDS A RACE ONE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE WIN AT PHILLIP ISLAND
SHAUN JUNIPER now has a strike rate enviable of every other driver in world motorsport: 100%.
In his one and only race so far in the 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Juniper's score looks like this: one start, one win. The Gold Coast property developer took his 997 Trophy car to the outright win in race one of the series' second round being held at Phillip Island this weekend.
After an action packed 11-laps fellow Queenslander Matt Kingsley was the big beneficiary in the championship points equation after finishing second outright and first of the championship-eligible type-996 GT3 Cup Cars.
Juniper, a former racer in Carrera Cup now with a 'place to race' amongst fellow Porsche enthusiasts, got the perfect start from the inside of the front row - second place - and was not headed for the entire duration; though for the first half it was a close battle.
Pole sitter Kane Rose was slow away and was forced to settle in behind Juniper for the opening laps, applying mighty pressure in a three car battle that also included Kingsley.
Juniper was able to hold the pair off to record a comfortable win in the end, beating Kingsley and Sven Burchartz to the line. Rose dropped back to fourth after suffering clutch dramas mid-race.
"That was a fantastic race," Juniper said.
"It was competitive early with the other guys pretty close behind but I tried to be as consistent as possible and was able to build a lead. I'm very pleased. The car has been great so far and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's two races!"
Kingsley said that once Rose had dropped down the field, his main goal was a strong finish to get championship points after a difficult opening round at Bathurst in February.
"I think that was the most laps I have ever done, consecutively, in this car since we got it," the former V8-Ute star said.
"It was a fun opening few laps... You could see the strength of the (997) car in a straight line but Kane and I were throwing them in under breaks to keep the pressure on. It was great fun! Once I'd lost a bit of ground I made sure I finished the race because the guys in front aren't doing the full year - we need the points.
"Tomorrow's races should be good - so far I'm having a good time!"
There were plenty of winners in the field - and also those who didn't have such a fun time on the challenging 4.46km circuit.
Ivan Klasan was the biggest victim, making contact with the start-finish line outside wall after losing control of the car exiting the final corner. The car spun though 360-degrees with Klasan almost catching it - in what would have been the save of the year - before he hit the wet grass and eventually making hefty side-on contact with the wall.
A fast starting Mark Krashos went from sixth to third on the opening lap before running wide at turn four, recovering to an eventual 11th.
Two big movers included Jon Trende (WTF Racing / Berwick Insurance Brokers 996 GT3 Cup), who went from 11th to 6th and Terry Knight (McDonald's 996 GT3 Cup) who charged from 14th to 7th.
Steve Kepper (8th Outright) and Krashos were second and third, respectively, in the 997 Trophy. Dean Koutsoumidis and George Bradbury were 1-2 in Class A.
Tomorrow will feature two races, an 11 lap sprint at 0950am with a 22-lap finale' at 12:50pm.