Podium for Dominic Storey and Peter Hackett in the Autex AMG GT3 on endurance debut.
Rising star on the GT racing circuit, Dominic Storey, has made an auspicious debut in his first GT3 Endurance Event during the Phillip Island 101 race last Sunday 29th May 2016. 26 year old Storey, who is originally from New Zealand and is now based in Melbourne, competed against current V8 Supercar stars Shane van Gisbergen, Nick Percat and Garth Tander They were also joined by three international factory drivers Miguel Molina, Bruno Spengler and Marco Bonanomi. In the lead up to the event, Storey took the outstanding speed demonstrated throughout the weekend’s practice and qualifying sessions to another level, and delivered when it counted in Sunday’s 101 lap battle.
Practice on Friday saw the Storey/Hackett Eggleston Motorsport run AMG GT3 finish up fourth in the standings behind V8 Supercar driver Garth Tander, Audi factory driver Marco Bonanomi and fellow Kiwi Daniel Gaunt. Dipping into the 1 minute 28 second mark on old tyres gave the whole team a positive feeling for the weekend ahead.
Qualifying for the 101 lap endurance race on Sunday morning was more about tyre conservation for the race than anything else. Storey used the first of two 20 minute sessions to end up 2nd fastest behind Audi factory driver Miguel Molina. Co-driver Peter Hackett completed Qualifying 2 on the same tyre set and used the session as an extended test prior to the race, leaving two new sets of tyres for the 101endurance race.
Dominic Storey started in the Autex Mercedes-AMG GT3 in position 15 and after an excellent drive he handed over to Peter on lap 21 in 6th. After a rapid refuel the #63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 rejoined in 19th.
After an action packed 46 laps, Peter came back to the pits on lap 67 and handed the car over to Dominic in 3rd place, after an excellent double stint including several laps of fuel saving. Dominic rejoined with four new tyres and a full tank of fuel in 8th.
Keeping the final laps of the Phillip Island 101 increasingly exciting was Storey’s battle for second and third place with current V8 supercar and Mclaren GT Factory driver Shane Van Gisbergen, with Van Gisbergen pinching second place in the closing laps. The two New Zealand born drivers swapping fastest lap times and sectors right up until the chequered flag, reducing race winner Nathan Morcom’s margin by 25 seconds over the last thirty laps of the race.
Finishing a season best and on the podium for the first time, the #63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 has shown its pace and is poised to be a star of the 2016 Australian GT Endurance Championship.
“To race in a field of GT cars piloted by both international and professional Factory and V8 supercar drivers was just tremendous, Eggleston Motorsport delivered an awesome strategy and both Pete and I were able to execute the result we had aimed for. I felt super comfortable in the car all weekend and I think Sunday’s result reflects this. I cannot wait to carry this speed over to the next endurance races of the season.” said an elated Dominic Storey.
The next round of the Australian Endurance Championship is at Sydney Motorsport Park, August 26-28. Dominic Storey's 2016 campaign is supported by Autex, SG Fleet, Saint.CC, ProFreight, SmartTrade and TW Steel.