Peter Hackett focuses on the title after the Gold Coast round

Peter Hacektt too a pair of second places at the Gold Coast round of the Australian GT Championship
Peter Hacektt too a pair of second places at the Gold Coast round of the Australian GT Championship

Round six of the Sargent Security Australian GT Championship was run and won on the streets of Surfers Paradise as a support to the Gold Coast 600.  Erebus Racing’s Peter Hackett finished second in both races.  His Championship contender, Klark Quinn won both races and with just one round to go, Hackett leads the Title race by just three points.

Hi Peter – thank-you for joining me.  Two second places from two races at the Gold Coast but your Championship challenger, Klark Quinn was first.  How was the weekend from your point of view?

It was a little bit frustrating actually.  We thought we would struggle those sort of circuit conditions.  The Porsche is certainly suited to awkward angled corners with bumpy entrances and bumpy exits.  We knew we would be up against it from the very beginning but I didn’t realise we would be that far off the pace to be perfectly honest.  I was really pleased with the work that Thomas Jager put in and his information was invaluable in achieving the speed that we did throughout the weekend and progressing the car to where we got it to.  Ultimately we didn’t have the right kind of characteristics to have the outright pace over the weekend.

I was really happy with qualifying.  To out qualify a GT1 World Champion is not a bad effort from a little bloke from Australia – so I was really happy with that.  The rest of the weekend was points consolidation.  Once I realised that we didn’t have the arsenal to really attack Klark – who I am confident had a little in reserve – from there it was about making sure we were in a position to take advantage of any mistakes or opportunities that occurred.  Really it was about damage limitation.  We tried to send Thomas off to chase Klark in the first race.  He and I had similar incidents at the same corner.  His was more dramatic than mine and ultimately broke his suspension.  That really changed the game plan for us over the weekend and really, second was the best we could achieve.

There was very limited track time, hot conditions, narrow street tracks with high curbs.  Both you and Thomas jumped the curbs, could it all have been done a little better over the weekend?

No – the GT cars race all around the world, including Macau.  In Macau they don’t have curbs – they have concrete walls.  You know I would be happy to enclose the whole thing in concrete and not give us any run off.  Then you have to approach each corner differently.  You didn’t see too many people crashing in the last three corners for example as there was no run off there at all.  If you give a race driver a little bit of room or a little bit of space, they will take everything they can to get an advantage.  The officials and regulators try to reduce the opportunities for guys to abuse the track limitations but ultimately the track is defined by the two white lines between the curbs anyway.

For us it will still be incredibly tough.  We know Klark’s car is quick out of second gear corners.

Looking forward you have a three point Championship lead over Klark heading into the final round at Sydney.  Another street track, so how do you approach this final round?

I’m still quietly confident as we were really quick at Clipsal earlier on in the year.  Homebush is a little bit more like Clipsal than like the Gold Coast.  There are 90 degree corners rather than corners greater than 90 degrees and strange shapes that you find at the Gold Coast.  For us it will still be incredibly tough.  We know Klark’s car is quick out of second gear corners.  We need to make some set up adjustments too, of course.  We led Clipsal up until a minute and half to go.  We would have won that race if I had been a little more conservative with the traffic we were lapping.  We are on a bit of a high, we have fantastic support from AMG Customer Sport and I am still really confident.  We are leading and at the end of the day, you’d rather go into the final round first, not second.

Finally, we know Erebus is heading to V8 Supercars next year.  Do you have personal involvement in that or 100% focused on the GT Championship?

I’m 100% focused on the GT Championship.  I am employed by Erebus as their GT driver at this point in time.  To be honest, I have had no involvement with anything that has gone on with the V8 Supercar program.  I wasn’t aware that it was going to happen till it had happened.  That was something that Senior Management in the team were looking after and as a driver, we are told what we need to know.

Thanks again and congratulations on Gold Coast and best of luck for Sydney.

Thanks Sam.

For more information on Erebus Racing, click here

For more information on the Australian GT Round at the Gold Coast, see this article at

Interview by Sam Tickell, October 2012

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