The AMRC (awesome MR crew) loves heading to Townsville as the mid-winter weather is warm and we have enjoyed many race and rounds wins there. In fact, we still hold the lap record from 2011 with Jonny Reid!
Jackson qualified an impressive 9th on his first visit to Townsville. In race 1 he got a good start and benefitted from a well-attended incident at turn 1 on the opening lap which blocked much of the track. Jackson managed to weave his way through to 2nd, then followed the safety car till the end of the race after a separate accident. In race 2 he had a cracker start and took the lead on the run to turns 1 and 2. He withstood pressure from Hedge behind and a safety car restart to take a well-deserved first Carrera cup win. In race 3 he started off pole but was bundled back on the early laps to finish 3rd.
Harri was frustrated at not putting a perfect lap together in qualifying. He started race 1 from 10th and got a decent start but was snookered at the first corner incident dropping him to 13th. In race 2 he was in a spirited dice for 7th until he ran wide and lost his front aero splitter, but was able to salvage 10th. In race 3 he planned to have his elbows out and was keen to make up places. After a very lively race, he made some, lost some, but ultimately gained 3 places to close out a tough weekend.
Bayley was frustrated to qualify 14th. In race 1, he made the most of the turn 1 melee and got through a gap in the traffic to pop out on 7th before the safety car took control of the field. In race 2 he lost a couple of places to some far more experienced drivers in the opening laps, but then displayed great maturity to chase teammate Harri to the finish. In race 3 he was hit from behind on the opening lap which dropped him to the rear of the field. He did a great job to recover 11 places to finish 16th in Pro class.
After a puncture in qualifying, Christian qualified a very disappointed 19th. In race 1, like Harri he was completely blameless in the turn 1 car park, (after a nudge from a mysterious red car!) which dropped him to 16th. Early on in race 2, he had contact with another car before a quiet run to the end of the 21-lap ‘enduro’. In race 3 Christian had a good start but was stuck behind a battle pack of cars which made progress difficult. Despite this, he still managed to make up 4 positions to finish an underwhelmed 12th.
Tim qualified an impressive 4th in Pro-Am. In race 1 his gearbox failed on the first lap. In race 2 he started from the rear of the field and drove an assertive and controlled race to pass 7 cars and take 5th in Pro-Am. In race 3 he lost a spot at the start then found himself under siege from another Pro-Am competitor whose driving standards can only describe as dismal. After making heavy contact with the rear of Tim’s car at turn 6, he finally got the job done and spun Tim’s car a few laps later which dropped him well down the finishing order.
What a crazy weekend! We are thrilled for Jackson to capture his first Carrera Cup race win and round podium. As it turns out, Jackson’s race win was 6 years to the day since his dad, Tony, won the Australian GT race for MR in the mighty McLaren 650S.
Harri lost some of his huge championship points lead, but still holds a healthy 39-point buffer. Tim was certainly ready for a Pro-Am podium, but was derailed by the gearbox failure in race 1. After sitting 3rd and 4th respectively after the practice sessions on Friday, Christian and Bayley were both annoyed with the way qualifying ended for them, which lead to a long hard weekend.
We will head back to base and prepare for our next round at The Bend in South Australia in 3 weeks. Many thanks to the awesome MR crew, Lethal Leigh, Hayden, Will and Luffy the supercoach, our drivers, their families and sponsors.