Local driver and Hackett share spoils of Australian GT, Porsche series success at Queensland Raceway In a drama filled day of competition that had just about everything, Team Lamborghini Australia driver Peter Hackett has come away from the ...
Local driver and Hackett share spoils of Australian GT, Porsche series success at Queensland Raceway
In a drama filled day of competition that had just about everything, Team Lamborghini Australia driver Peter Hackett has come away from the second round of the 2005 Speed Energy Drink Australian GT Championship, Porsche drivers Challenge with an extended points buffer at the top of the table after scoring two race wins at Queensland raceway today.
However, it was local ace Ian Palmer that took the overall round win, a consistent trio of results in the three races -- combined with some non finishes from series pace setters -- meaning that the Queenslander's Brabham Honda NSX scored enough points to come away from the meeting with the overall win, and a much improved championship position after a tough opening round a month ago.
Palmer was justifiably delighted with the result, coming after two years of hard work developing the car into a reliable front running package.
"Perhaps there is a god!" he joked afterwards. "This is a bit of poetic justice, I think. Its great to finally achieve what we set out to do with the car when we started the project."
Palmer's consistent weekend was capped off by a thoughtful drive in the finale, the 70kg success ballast imposed on the car thanks to its earlier race podiums meaning a Sunday afternoon cruise to collect points was the plan.
"The guys told me before the race that I needed to finish eighth in the final 20 lap race, so I drove pretty carefully to make sure I got home and got the win. Its really, really nice to have some luck on our side for once after all the bad luck we have had in the past. I was joking with Fitzy (Porsche expert Peter Fitzgerald) afterwards that now we have achieved what we set out to do with the car we can sell it and buy a Porsche!"
Hackett's weekend -- already compromised somewhat by a distinct lack of track time Friday -- was again set back today when the car failed to finish the opening race when an Intermediate shaft in the gearbox failed. A charge through the field netted a win in the second race despite a failing clutch towards the end of the 17 lap race. A strong victory in the finale' -- after the TLA Crew replaced the clutch between races -- was just reward for a tough weekend.
"That was probably one of the toughest days I have had at a race meeting," he said afterwards. "The team has done an incredible job to keep the car running and get it back out for every race and I was really happy with my driving as well. Two wins is just reward and an extended championship lead is a pleasant surprise considering the weekend we had."
Championship rival -- and series leader of the Australian Porsche Drivers Challenge heading into the round -- Bryce Washington was another to endure a difficult weekend and rebound strongly, an opening race win his first for the season. A peculiar DNF in the second race after his outside safety kill switch was hit by a piece of errant rubber and turned off meant that a charge through the field in the finale was needed. 2nd at the end of 20 laps was a strong effort from the South Australian who continues to lead the Porsche Drivers Challenge points chase.
Star of the meeting was arguably Phillip Holzberger, who was not only making the Australian race debut of his menacing ex Le Mans winning Porsche GT3 RS, but was making his first ever race start as well. After qualifying strongly, Holzberger scored top six results in each race today - including third place finishes in the second and third heats -- to cap off a remarkable debut weekend for the Queensland driver.
In the battle for the Australian Porsche Drivers challenge class positions, Washington and John Kaias topped the charts in the Open / outright class, Kaias having a particularly combative weekend in the GT3, scoring a sensational second in race two.
Simon Middleton was the class of a class for the weekend, despite the best attempts to challenge him from Malcolm Lynn and Russ Kempnich, both drivers both featuring strongly in the weekend's results.
Matt Humphries took out Class B ahead of segment leader Don Tryhorn, the class cut in numbers after Garth Rainsbury's Aqua 1 Water car broke an axle Saturday night and failed to start any of the races Sunday.
On provisional championship points, Hackett (196) continues to lead ahead of Washington (162) and John Teulan -- who had a consistent run in the Industry Central Ferrari to jump into 3rd overall in the series (146pts).
The series takes a three-week break before racing back into action at Sydney's Eastern Creek International Raceway on July 23 -- 24.