John Magro has completed the fastest-ever lap around Winton Motor Raceway, setting a 1:13.7 in qualifying for the opening round of the 2019 Australian Formula 3 Championship held as part of this weekend’s first round (presented by Trik Trailers) of the Australian Motor Racing Series.
While Magro’s time does not constitute an official lap record (as it was set during qualifying rather than a race), the Queensland mango farmer was ecstatic with the performance of his R-Tek Motorsport Dallara.
“It was pretty unreal – through Turn 5, I was flat all the way around and I’ve never even been close to that,” Magro said.
“After practice yesterday, I thought it might have been on the cards; I was doing mid-14s on old tyres and there can be up to a second gain with new tyres.”
Magro was beaten off the line in Race 1 by the Gilmour Racing duo of Josh Buchan and Richard Peasey, but sliced his way past Peasey on the opening lap, and then overtook Buchan into Turn 10 a few laps later. He pulled to a decisive nine-second race victory.
Roman Krumins won the National Class ahead of Shane Wilson, who recovered from problems in qualifying.
Stephen McLaine and Ric Shaw each scored a race victory in the Mazda RX8 Cup, after tight contests in both today’s races.
McLaine qualified on pole position by almost a second, and resisted pressure from Shaw for the entire journey in Race 1.
“We built a new car for this year, and it’s been super-fast since we put it on the track for practice,” McLaine said.
“I’ve raced against Ric for 30-odd years, and have never finished in front of him, so to finally beat him, I’m absolutely over the moon.”
In Race 2, Shaw overtook McLaine at the start, but McLaine recaptured first placed the defending RX8 Cup champ with a couple of laps remaining, and again crossed the line in first place – however, he was denied a second race win by a five-second time penalty for jumping the start.
Will Harris was third in both races, but was lucky to finish Race 1 – a tangle with Aaron Prosser caused panel damage to both cars, and forced Prosser into retirement. Prosser recovered to fifth in Race 2 from the rear of the field.
The first race was also marred by a heavy crash for Lachlan Cook, between Turns 3 and 4; the damage to Cook’s car has eliminated him from the weekend’s proceedings.
Cory Gillett (Nissan Silvia) and Mark Tracey (BMW E36) shared the spoils in the first two races for the brand-new Thunder Sports category. Gillett took pole, and was able to work his way to the front after Tracey beat him to the first corner in Race 1.
In Race 2, the two cars again exchanged positions with Tracey prevailing. Merrick Malouf (Ford Ute), Vin Stenta (Nissan R32 GTR) and Ashley Maclurkin (Nissan Silvia) battled over the minor places in both races, Maclurkin finishing third in Race 1 but retiring with a mechanical problem in Race 2.
Sven Burchartz dominated both races in the IROC Challenge for classic Porsches, pulling to comprehensive wins from Terry Knight.
Gavin Ross was the Group 4 winner while Brent Edwards continued his domination of the Super 6 Touring Cars with a pair of race wins.
Jeremy Payne won both BMW E30 races from Alex Jory, after polesitter Brian Bourke fell down the order with a slow start in Race 1.
Ryan Phillips won the Excel class in both races.