Drivers made up for lost time and an interrupted Saturday with an action-packed final day of running at Queensland Raceway for Round 3 of the 2020 AMRS.
Tony Quinn (Aston Martin) proved untouchable in all three of today’s races. The experienced campaigner rose to the front on lap one of race one and never looked back, even despite a drive through penalty in race two. Geoffrey Taunton and Adam Hargraves (both in MARC II cars) engaged in a hard-fought battle with second place changing hands multiple times throughout the first race, the pair crossing the line alongside each other with Hargraves second and Taunton third. In race two those roles reversed, and Taunton finished in second with Hargraves third. The highlight of race two was the fight outside the top three places, Madeline Stewart climbing up the order to finish fourth, ahead of Lachlan Gardner in fifth. For the final race of the Super GT weekend, the grid was jumbled up and Taunton made way for Daniel Jilesen to drive his #95 Marc II machine. As may have been expected, Quinn still emerged as the fastest and pulled a sizeable gap over his competitors. Jilesen however, was able to get by Hargraves within the first ten minutes to bring himself into second place. Quinn completed his sweep of the weekend’s race by lapping everyone except Jilesen in second, Hargraves finishing in third.
Nathan Herne’s unabated pace continued today as the #29 romped away to an 11 second winning margin in race two. John McLaughlin and his #17 Myraceprofile.com entry was untroubled in second place as he ended up in a rather lonely spot for the 10-lap affair. Murray Kent (Fit Flask #74) rounded out the podium in a redeeming race after being plagued by issues over the previous two days of the event.
The podium was unchanged in the final two races, Herne again dominating while McLaughlin narrowly edged out Kent for the final podium place.
Series X3 QLD
In race three, Jarrod Hughes quickly broke free of the hard-fought battles behind, as Zak Hudson and Tyrone Gautier scrapped for second and third in front of a seven-strong battle for the minor placings. Amongst the group was Cameron Bartholomew, recovering from penalties and spins in yesterday’s races, Joshua Richards, Darren Whittington, Matthew Broadbent and weekend polesitters Riley Beggs and Ryan Casha.
In the weekend’s final Excel race, it was a front row that failed to fire as Hughes and Hudson fell behind Bartholomew and Whittington on the opening lap. The race exploded in the latter stages, the lead changed hands multiple times on the final lap and the top five crossed the line covered by just 1.3 seconds. Bartholomew secured victory by 0.1281 seconds over Whittington in second and Brett Parrish in third.
Overall, Hughes’ consistency paid dividends and he secured the overall round win ahead of Gautier and Whittington.
The sole appearance for the HQ Holdens was their 60-minute feature race, featuring a driver swap. Brandon Madden, Brad Schomberg and Brock Mitchell quickly established themselves as the most likely contenders for the win and jostled for the early lead, running three-wide on the main straight at one point. Once the pit stop cycle was complete, it was the #1 car driven by Madden and Scott Andriske that blitzed their competitors and stretched to a 12 second advantage out front. The margin only continued to grow, and the #1 team secured the win, Ben Simpson chomberg/Ben Simpson finishing second ahead of Mitchell/Joseph Andriske in third.
Chris Purvis (Mygale MY07 Formula 3 car) made up for his absence in yesterday’s opening race to lead every lap of race two, beating yesterday’s winner David Rodgie (Chiron LMP3), to the line by 21 seconds with Jac Preston the best of the Formula Fords in third.
Purvis, Rodige and Preston were again the top three in race three, but Rodgie failed to start the final race, elevating Preston to second and Tim Hamilton to third after a close contest with Jack Hotter.