Published on May 31st, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Australian GT Championship, Phillip Island (22-23 May, 2015) , Audi Wins
A brief history of the ‘101’ endurance concept in the Australian GT Championship will show that Audi has always been competitive across the longer races, with strategy one of the strong suits of the Audi Sport customer Racing Australia team, but whilst podiums have almost been a given, they can now add victory to the resume after a stunning come-from-behind run by Nurburgring 24-Hour winner Christopher Mies at Phillip Island.
Coming into the second round of the 2015 Australian GT Championships, it was an Audi team that led the championship points, and whilst Nathan Antunes had taken two strong wins from three starts at the season-opener in Adelaide, that team’s chances were given an extra boost ahead of the ‘101’ with the addition of car-owner Rod Salmon to the lineup.
Salmon – like Jamec-Pem Racing’s Christopher Mies – had flown straight into Phillip Island from the iconic twice-around-the-clock Nurburging event ready for action, and like Mies he was quick straight away, but unfortunately the points leaders struck trouble in qualifying after a rare electrical failure dropped the car into ‘limp’ mode, a problem which also impacted their race performance.
For Audi stable-mates Jamec-Pem Racing though, they were having no problems at all, with all four drivers turning personal best lap times in the identical Audi R8 ultras, Mies ultimately topping the timesheets for the Audi squad to start from the front row.
They weren’t the only ones enjoying success either, with Trophy Class points leaders Greg Taylor and Barton Mawer quick in the Adina Apartments Audi R8 LMS, closely followed by title rival Mark Griffith in his Hog’s Breath liveried Audi R8.
At the drop of the flag for the proposed 101-lap journey, it was Crick in the #74 Jamec-Pem Audi he shares with Mies who led the way for the Audi Sport customer racing team, with Salmon moving through the pack early before their intermittent electrical issue returned on lap two. For the Audi Sport customer racing team, the focus now turns to street race mode with round three of the championship scheduled for the streets of Townsville on 10-12 July. The Phillip Island round of the Australian GT Championship will be broadcast on SBS ‘Speedweek’ on June 21 – check local guides for details.
Rnd#2 2015 Australian GT Championship
Phillip Island 101, Phillip Island, Victoria (22-23 May)
Qualifying #1: (23 May)
- Jono Lester (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) – 1:27.3836
- Christopher Mies (Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:27.5356
- Tony D’Alberto (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) – 1:28.4095
- Kevin Weeks (Ford GT) – 1:28.8370
- Justin McMillan (Chevrolet Camaro GT3) – 1:29.3235
- Peter Fitzgerald(AFES Engineering Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:30.7148
- Nathan Antunes (Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) – 1:30.9640
- Mark Griffith (Hog’s Breath Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:32.4968
- Greg Taylor (Adina Apartments Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:32.6890
- Steven McLaughlan(Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:33.6313
Qualifying #2: (23 May)
- Matt Campbell (Ginetta G55 GT3) – 1:27.6712
- Garth Tander (McLaren 650S GT3) – 1:27.9112
- Dean Canto (Aston Martin Vantage GT3) – 1:28.062
- Marcus Marshall (Porsche GT3-R) – 1:28.0758
- Rod Salmon(Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) – 1:28.4299
- Steven Johnson(Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:28.6142
- Daniel Gaunt(Hog’s Breath Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:29.4438
- Greg Crick(Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:29.5127
- Barton Mawer (Adina Apartments Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 1:29.6713
- Dean Koutsoumidis(AFES Engineering Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 1:31.9220
Race: (23 May)
- Christopher Mies/Greg Crick(Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 88-laps
- Tony Quinn/Garth Tander (McLaren 650S GT3)
- Tony D’Alberto/Grant Denyer (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
- Max Twigg/Geoff Emery (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
- Jono Lester/Graham Smythe (Ferrai 458 Italia GT3)
- Steven McLaughlan/Steven Johnson(Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 87-laps
- Nathan Antunes/Rod Salmon(Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) – 86-laps
- Greg Taylor/Barton Mawer(Adina Apartments Audi R8 LMS GT3)
- Mark Griffith/Dan Gaunt(Hog’s Breath Audi R8 LMS GT3) – 85-laps
DNF. Fitzgerald/Koutsoumidis (AFES Engineering Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) – 2-laps
2015 Australian GT Championship (points after round two of six)*
GT Championship Class
- Christopher Mies/Greg Crick(232-points), 2. Tony Quinn (223), 3. Nathan Antunes (183), 4. Max Twigg/Geoff Emery (158), 5. Jono Lester (157), 6. Klark Quinn (149), 7. James Koundouris/Marcus Marshall (121), 8. Garth Tander (119), 9. Michael Hovey (111), 10. Tony Walls (103), 11. Steven McLaughlan/Steven Johnson (94), 16. Peter Fitzgerald (61), 23. Rod Salmon (33)
GT Trophy Class
- Greg Taylor/Barton Mawer(277-points), 2. Theo Koundouris (245), 3. Mark Griffith (235), 4. Simon Ellingham (160), 5. Daniel Gaunt (13)
* The points are provisional pending official confirmation by CAMS.
2015 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli
Rnd#1 – 26 February-1 March, Clipsal 500, Adelaide, SA*
Rnd#2 – 22-24 May, Phillip Island, Victoria**
Rnd#3 – 10-12 July, Townsville, Queensland*
Rnd#4 – 21-23 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW*
Rnd#5 – 11-13 September, Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria*
Rnd#6 – 13-15 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, NZ
(* with V8 Supercars, ** with the Shannons Nationals)