The Australian Carrera Cup was at Phillip Island for the Pro/Am enduros. We take a look & have a mega gallery. Shane Smollen and Nick Percat would fight hard…
Shane Smollen and Nick Percat, here leading the pack, took out Race 1 and the Pro-Am Title
Shane Smollen and Nick Percat have taken opening victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Pro-Am at Phillip Island as two V8 counterparts displayed a spectacular battle at the head of the field.
After Smollen and Percat snared the TAG Heuer Pole Position Award, Percat started the race alongside Dylan Thomas in second ahead of Cam McConville, Nick McBride and Scott McLaughlin.
Scott McLaughlan and Steve Grove were getting close and personal with the M.Almond/J.Karytinos entry
Percat led from the start while McLaughlin soon joined him at the front – the duo exchanging the lead on multiple occasions in a spectacular battle before pitting towards the end of the pitstop window.
Smollen replaced Percat in the #56 Porsche and quickly built a lengthy 11-second lead after Grove had an issue disengaging his pit speed limiter exiting the pits. Smollen made the most of the gap, ultimately taking race one victory from Grove and the pairing of McConville/John Goodacre and McBride/Neale Muston in fourth.
The Max Twigg/Craig Baird team were quicker than their 9th place suggested
It was the second victory for the Percat/Smollen pairing, who won the second Pro-Am race at the same venue last year.
Race 1 results
1. S.Smollen/N.Percat (McGrath Estate Agents) 57:51.8006s
2. S.Grove/S.McLaughlin (Grove Group) 57:54.6201s
3. C.McConville/J.Goodacre (OPS Gateway) 57:55.8830s
4. N.McBride/N.Muston (Bob Jane T-Marts) 58:04.2103s
5. S.Davies/G.Emery (Davbridge Constructions) 58:05.2051s
6. N.Foster/D.Thomas (Bob Jane T-Marts) 58:09.5046s
Nick Foster and Dylan Thomas would take race 2 in the Bob Jane T-Mart Porsche
Shane Smollen and Nick Percat have been crowned 2015 Pro-Am champions following another spectacular Porsche Carrera Cup Australia race at Phillip Island while Nick Foster and Dylan Thomas won race two on their way to the Professional Class round honours.
Smollen and last year’s Pro-Am champion Stephen Grove started race two from the front row, though both encountered issues early; Smollen jumped the start and incurred a five-second post-race time penalty while Grove spun in the opening laps, dropping to the rear.
The Baird/Twigg car and the Davis/Emery entry find out that they can’t both take the apex
While most teams opted for their Professional drivers to start race one, the combinations of Adrian Mastronardo/Tim Slade and Foster/Thomas opted for the opposite – Slade and Foster instead starting the Sunday race. The duo made the most of the approach, charging to first and second place ahead of the pit stop window.
By the time all driver changes were complete Mastronardo was leading from Thomas, though Percat was making his way through the field with Nick McBride in tow.
The Hodge/Angus car had a rotten weekend and were lucky to get away with this big off in race 2
Thomas moved to first place and eventually claimed the race win after an exciting final lap battle with Percat, who had caught the leader on the closing lap.
Smollen and Percat finished second – the five seconds added to their race time not affecting their position – from Richard Muscat/Sam Walter, Mastronardo/Slade, McBride/Neale Muston and Grove/Scott McLaughlin in sixth.
Scott McLaughlan (Grove Porsche) scored the lap record on lap 33 – after doing qualifying and an hour of racing – which included a spin – on the one set of Michelin tyres!
The result handed Smollen and Percat the 2015 Pro-Am victory, which Smollen describes as an amazing feeling after experiencing heartache at the 2014 event.
1. N.Foster/D.Thomas (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:41.1604s
2. S.Smollen/N.Percat (McGrath Estate Agents) 57:46.4890s
3. R.Muscat/S.Walter (Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis) 57:54.2444s
4. A.Mastronadro/T.Slade (Veritas / Builtform) 57:54.8658s
5. N.McBride/N.Muston (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:56.5485s
6. S.Grove/S.McLaughlin (Grove Group) 58:02.3224s
Photos By Sam Tickell, May 2015
Words by PR
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