Shoal and QxBranch at Australian GT101, Phillip Island
Following on from success at the Clipsal 500 in March, the Thomson Geer / Shoal / QxBranch Porsche 997 GT3 competed in the Australian GT101 at Phillip Island today.
Our team, led by Michael O’Donnell, took the trophy for 2nd place in our division of the Australian GT Championship Round 2 despite co-driver Michael Almond spraining his ankle and being unable to drive. Fortunately we were able to fly in another team driver, Jon McCorkindale, just in time.
It was a tough event, with a host of V8 supercar and international drivers. The race was won by Christopher Meis, a German Audi factory race team driver. He flew in straight from Germany, where the week before he had won the hotly-contested 24 hour Nuerbergring.
Strategy played a big part in this race. Decisions had to be made on the fly. Shaun Wilson was seen naturally working in with the race engineer for much of the race. Our car took first place points at lap 40, but slipped to second during pit stops. As the race progressed toward dusk, the tyres gave out and we were losing a lot of time. However the car was gingerly nursed (at 250kph) over the finish line at lap 88, just holding out for second place. After the race we found the front right the tyre was worn through to the steel belts. It would probably not have lasted another lap!
The next round is at the Townsville 400 10-12 July 2015.