Eddy Steady at the Island
Melbourne based Mark Eddy, aboard his Penfold Audi Sport R8 LMS, has taken pole position in the dying stages of an action packed qualifying session for round 5 of the Vodka O Australian GT Championship at the Phillip Island GP Circuit.Peter Hackett's Mercedes AMG SLS held the top spot for most of the session, but in a furious last few minutes, Greg Crick in his JEEP Dodge Viper knocked off Hackett and then Eddy, after bolting on a fresh set of soft Michelin tyres came out to set a time of 1.31.760, some half a second quicker than Crick."We've been making adjustments to the car all weekend and it's been getting better and better, but when we put the soft tyres on, the car just came alive."In a giant killing effort, Barton Mawer has placed himself and his co driver Angelo Lazaris 4th fastest in the Lotus Exige GT3."The car felt really great right from the first lap," said Mawer."It was one of those times where everything fell into place right from the start. Tyre temp came up quickly, we had a clean lap, the cars settings were perfect and as a result we'll now start from fourth."Kevin Week's Lamborghini and Ash Zamadi's Mosler round out the Top 6, ahead of Tony Quinn's Aston Martin.Missing from the list of qualifiers was Dean Grant and Daniel Gaunt after their Rocking Angel Bourbon Mosler MT900 GT3 blew an engine in practice, along with the Championship leader Klark Quinn whose V.I.P. Petfood Mosler also suffered a terminal engine issue in practice.""I'm very lucky that I've been able to get into the V.I.P. Aston Martin as a co driver to my Dad Tony," said Quinn."It's not what I wanted to do as today was the first time I have ever driven the Aston, but this gives me the best chance to keep my Championship lead alive."Halfway through the qualifying session, rookie driver John Tupou had a massive accident while making his way onto the main straight.
The former Rugby Union great is having his first outing in the Australian GT Championship, before heading off to the New Zealand Rugby World Cup event as Team Manager for the Tongan Team.
Tupou's Porsche 997 Cup Car left the circuit at more than 180km's an hour, then shot across the circuit crashing into the pit wall scattering debris all over the straight and ending Tupou's weekend."That was certainly the scariest moment of my racing career so far," said Tupou."I was coming on to the straight, and the car just kicked sideways, and I was a passenger from there.""I'm most disappointed that I probably won't be able to get the car fixed for the next round of the Porsche 911 GT Cup Challenge which is next weekend at Sandown."In the GT Challenge class, John Modystach and Jonny Reid will start from pole position after a ding dong battle with fellow Challenge Class competitors Adrian and Damien Flack."Jonny did a great job today to post the time he did, and really, to have the car starting eighth outright and first in Challenge Class is a credit to him and the McLrea Racing Team."Teams will now go to the drawing board to start working on pit strategies for tomorrow's two one hour races.Both races will be covered by the ONE HD Network and will go to air at 12.00pm Sunday the 25th of September, while Dads have been offered free entry tomorrow to celebrate Fathers Day at round five of the Vodka O Australian GT Championship.
The Vodka O Australian GT Championship is a National motor racing series pitting some of the world's most exotic and exciting race cars against each other in a mix of sprint and endurance race formats on some of Australia's most challenging circuits including Mt Panorama Bathurst, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and the Adelaide Parklands street circuit for the Clipsal 500
Vodka O GT Championship Qualifying
1. Mark Eddy 8. Penfold Audi Sport Audi R8 LMS 1.31.76602. Greg Crick 12. JEEP Viper Dodge Viper GT3 1.32.31063. Peter Hackett 63. Erebus Racing Mercedes SLS AMG 1.32.31084. A.Lazarus/ B. Mawer 98. Invisalign Lotus Exige GT3 1.32.34855. K.Weeks/ J.Hunt 22 GRAM Racing Lamborghini Gallardo 1.32.4491
GT Challenge Class Qualifying
1.J.Modystach/ J.Reed 26. Prosurv Porsche GT3 997 Cup 1.34.8746