Pole Position and 2nd place kick off Dom Storey and Peter Hackett Australian GT campaign.
Melbourne based Kiwi Dom Storey has provided a great performance at the opening round of the Australian GT Endurance Championship claiming pole position on Saturday and a podium in a thrilling 501km race on Sunday along with co-driver Peter Hackett in their Autex '50 years' AMG GT3.
On Saturday both Storey and Hackett performed at their highest level in Qualifying and claimed the top spot positioning them at the head of the field on pole position for Sunday's Phillip Island 501. This was Storey's first pole in Australian GT and Hackett's first since 2011.
Early weather predictions showed rain forecast for Sunday's 501km encounter however the race started under dry conditions and Hackett slotted his way into second place for the opening stint, hovering behind the Walkinshaw Porsche of Liam Talbot. Talbot eventually giving the lead up as Hackett put an outstanding move on the Porsche at turn four.
The heavens opened on lap 23 once Hackett had taken a lead and himself and Talbot headed the field by nearly 30 seconds. Eggleston Motorsport made the call to pit for wets and Hackett took to the lane immediately, proving to be a great decision as the rain continued to fall. Drama in the pit lane followed as Hackett left his pit box and was blocked in by a string of Audi's triple stacking and blocking the fast lane, losing 48 seconds in the process and dropping the #63 Autex '50 years' AMG GT3 off the lead lap.
A fantastic opening wet weather stint from Hackett brought the car back onto the lead lap before handing over to Dom Storey on lap 51. Storey climbed aboard the #63 ultimately staying in until the end of the race. The rain continued to fall and before too long Storey had climbed his way back into the lead of the race with one CPS pitstop remaining. An enthused Egglestion Motorsport completed the last pitstop on lap 73 and Storey wore a fresh set of wet weather tyres to the finish.
A late safety car bunched the field up, Storey in second place with four lapped cars between himself and leader Jaxon Evans. Storey quickly cleared the Smyth Ferrari, D'alberto AMG and the McConville Lamborghini before pursuing Evans and tail gunner Garth Tander. Storey eventually having to settle for second place on a drying track with overheating wet weather tyres.
A pole position and second place was a great start to the Australian GT Endurance Championship for Dom Storey, Peter Hackett and the Egglestion Motorsport crew. The #63 Autex '50 years' AMG GT3 is only 13 points from the lead of the Championship in second place. The next round of the Championship takes place at Sydney Motorsport Park, August 18-20.
Phillip Island 501 Results:
1 Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing Tim Miles/Jaxon Evans Audi R8 LMS GT3
2 Autex AMG GT3 Dominic Storey/Peter Hackett Mercedes-AMG GT3
3 YNA Autosport Fraser Ross/Warren Luff McLaren 650S GT3
4 Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing Geoff Emery/Garth Tander Audi R8 LMS GT3
5 Hog’s Breath Café/Griffith Corporation Mark Griffith/Jake Camilleri Mercedes-AMG GT3
6 MEGA Racing Liam Talbot/John Martin Porsche 911 GT3-R
7 Maranello Motorsport Peter Edwards/Greame Smyth Ferrari 488 GT3
8 Timken/Zagame Autosport Adrian Deitz/Cameron McConville Lamborghini Huracan GT3
9 JBS Australia Roger Lago/David Russell Lamborghini R-EX GT3
10 WA Waste Management Services Max Twigg/Tony D’Alberto Mercedes-AMG GT3