The opening round for the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships has come to a close after what proved to be a hugely successful outing at Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit.
In front of an almost capacity crowd of more than 6720 spectators across both days of action, all six categories put on a show throughout the weekend to kick off the season in style.
Motorsport Australia GT Championship
Yasser Shahin and Garth Tander capped off a brilliant round with a thrilling victory in the category’s second race making it two from two.
The duo had started well in and led the field for almost the first two thirds of the race before the top four cars took their respective pit stops and made driver changes.
The Grove Racing team proved the major winners of that pit stop as a brilliant transition saw their Porsche GT3-R 911 move from fourth to the lead by the end of the first lap out on track.
From there, Stephen Grove looked on track to clinch the victory until Shahin stole back the lead with just two laps to go, steering his Audi R8 to the chequered flag.
Rounding out the podium for Sunday’s race were fellow Audi R8 LMS Evo drivers Tony Bates and Chaz Mostert.
The Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS will be one of many categories to form part of the jam packed Liqui-Moly Bathurst 6 Hour on 2-4 April.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series
Mostert was again in the hot seat during the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series and GT Championship, but endured a mixed day behind the wheel.
Having won yesterday’s race in the wet, Mostert continued his great run in 2021 to win the weeknd's second race, despite a slow start, over Luke King and John Martin.
In the third race, King spun out on the opening lap, allowing Mostert to extend his lead out front and work his way towards a clean sweep, only for the Queenslander to lose a tyre on the final stint, forcing him into the pits and to the back of the field.
The fallout of Mostert and King's issues opened up the door for Jason Bargwanna to sneak into the lead after starting the race from third. In taking out the victory, the Burson Auto Parts driver became the latest driver to register their first win in
Finishing behind the Peugeot driver on the podium was Honda Wall Racing’s Tony D'Alberto, and Nathan Morcom in the Hyundai i30N.
The series’ third round will run during the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 6 Hour at Mount Panorama in April.
VHT S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship
It was a dramatic start to the Championship’s weekend feature race as young gun Nathan Herne colliding up the back of Thomas Randle off the line and caused the session to be red flagged, while medical and recovery crews attended to Herne and his car.
On the restart, Randle did well to keep the lead over a fast charging Joey Mawson, but could only hold onto it until the halfway point as Mawson capitalised on a rare mistake from the Victorian to grab top spot with just four laps to go and claim the
After losing the lead to Mawson, it went from bad to worse for Randle who dropped to fourth after losing places in quick succession to James Golding and Tim Macrow, who eventually rounded out the podium.
It’s back-to-back weekends for the category, as it joins the Supercars support card at Sandown International Raceway on 19-21 March.
National Trans Am Series
The category with the weekend’s biggest field had two hugely entertaining races on Sunday, starting with the day’s first race.
While he may have had a tough day out in the S5000, Nathan Herne fared much better in the Dodge Challenger, picking up a win over category star Aaron Seton by the smallest of margins.
Seton showcased his skills in the second race as he blitzed his way to the front and took out the win over Herne by almost 14 seconds.
Herne’s runner-up placing didn’t come easy in the second race as it ended up in a photo finish, the teenager crossing the line only one tenth faster than Kyle Gurton, who finished third in race one, and less than one second ahead of Tim Brook
and Owen Kelly – the duo separated by only six hundredths.
The series joins the Bathurst 6 Hour next month.
Porsche 944 Challenge
Cameron Beller and Adam Brewer shared the spoils on Sunday with the category running two races for the weekend after missing out yesterday afternoon due to poor weather conditions.
Beller had done enough to secure pole position yesterday morning, but was unable to convert that pole into a victory after a slow start off the line, allowing Brewer to move into the lead.
Beller managed to work his way back into second place and got to within one second, but couldn’t get past Brewer in the end, who did well to defend his position.
In the second race, Beller didn’t make a mistake off the line and needed just two laps to pass Brewer, before extending his lead and claiming victory by three seconds.
Pedr James and Richard Howe finished both races in third and fourth place respectively.
Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.
After a fantastic two days, the category had a premature end to the weekend with a spectacular crash between Ross McGregor, Michael Hovey and Josh Gliksten on the first lap forcing the race to be declared and an early finish for the category.
The series will return for its second round in May at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships will return to Mount Panorama, Bathurst, for its second round of the season – headlined by the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 6 Hour.