Published on June 3rd, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
Australian GT: M-Motorsport Back on Podium at Phillip Island
After a mixed run during the third round of the Australian GT Championships in Western Australia earlier in the month, the M-Motorsport/Interlloy team arrived at Phillip Island for a unique double-header which combined round four of the championship with the opening round of the Endurance season – a 101-lap journey around the iconic Grand Prix circuit.
Typically the weather threw its hat into the ring on a number of occasions to mix up proceedings, but at the close of the three races, the Melbourne-based Lamborghini team emerged with their third podium of the season, having carded valuable points in both championships.
A pre-event test reaped rewards almost immediately, with the #48 Interlloy/Wilson Storage Gallardo R-EX GT3 running at the top of the timesheets in practice, before both Justin McMillan (11th) and Glen Wood (14th) recorded solid results in qualifying, Wood campaigning used tyres to ensure the team had a good pool of fresh rubber for the two 60-minute races to come.
Wood started the opening race and was quickly up the order ahead of the Compulsory Pit Stop [CPS], ultimately pitting at the close of a Safety Car intervention which dropped the team well down the order, McMillan recovering to claim 20th at the flag, but disappointed not to have achieved more.
For race two the immaculate black and orange Gallardo was right in the mix early, McMillan jumping four cars on the opening lap, before pitting from mid-field once the CPS window had opened, handing the car to Wood.
The young Victorian charged out the gate, working his way through the pack to the lead eight laps later, a position he held comfortably from fellow Lamborghini driver Yasser Shahin until two laps from home when a lapped car held him up allowing Shahin and Garth Tander to attack.
Wood battled hard with Tander over the final rotation as he tried desperately to take back the position, but despite some spirited driving where the former open-wheel star offered the V8 Supercar champion no quarter, Tander took the position away at the line, handing Wood third.
Whilst the fourth round of the GT Championship concluded with the second race, the M-Motorsport team were still less than halfway through the weekend, with two qualifying sessions and a 101-lap journey around Phillip Island still to come.
Qualifying saw a super-impressive run from McMillan who circulated the #48 Interlloy/Wilson Storage Gallardo around the 4.445-kilometre circuit with a stunning 1:29.7291, a time that would have been good enough for a third row start in the opening AGT race!
Wood too improved on his AGT qualifying time to be comfortably within reach of the leaders, but whilst confident heading to the line, an overly ambitious rookie made their start to the three-hour enduro a little more challenging.
“I had former V8 Ute champion Ryal Harris behind me off the start, and I think he thought we were racing Utes – he must have hit me five times on the roll-around to the start,” McMillan explained.