Matthew Kingsley has made a successful comeback to Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia by winning the opening race at Morgan Park.
The Queensland-based driver was sidelined at the series’ third round at Eastern Creek after a round-two crash at Mallala.
Kingsley bounced back in style at Morgan Park, qualifying in pole position and claiming a convincing victory in his racing return, which was also his first appearance in his newly acquired Porsche GT3 Cup (Type 996) car.
Kingsley led from the start of the race and immediately pulled a gap on his nearest rivals – Jeff Bobik, Jon Trende and Roger Lago – with the leading four driving retaining their positions for the remainder of the race.
“The car’s a bit of a weapon,” said Kingsley.
“I looked to try and get a bit of a gap at the start. I was able to do a couple of quick laps early and get a jump on the guys behind. From there, I was able to stabilise the car and look after the tyres, because we’ve still got 48 laps to go tomorrow. It’s going to be quite a long weekend on six tyres.
“I didn’t expect to win in my first race with this car. After I got pole I knew we had pace over one lap, but I didn’t know what it would be like over a stint. That was the first long run for the car; we had a couple of set-up issues we’ve got to address but, all in all, it was a very good result.”
Behind the leading quartet, season rookie John Modystach scored his best results in the category. Modystach started eighth and moved into fifth in the opening lap, where he remained unchallenged to the finish.
“I didn’t expect to be getting these results so early in the season, especially after the first round,” said Modystach.
“I’ve picked up a lot of techniques from the team and I’m very happy with my learning curve and having the ability to drive these cars properly.
“At the end of the first round I thought I might be able to get into the top 10. Getting into the top 10 in this series is pretty hard so to get a fifth, I’ve very happy.”
Behind Modystach, Terry Knight and John Goodacre enjoyed a mid-race battle to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, with Brad Rankin, John Morriss and Phil Morriss filling the remaining top-10 positions.
The best battle of the race occurred in the closing laps with Dean Koutsoumidis, Indiran Padayachee and Francis Chin battling for 15th position. Koutsoumidis crossed the chequered flag in 15th, ahead of Padayachee and Chin.
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia will hold Race 2 on Sunday morning, with the 36-lap Race 3 in the afternoon to decide the winner of the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy.
Also competing today at Morgan Park is Australian Formula 3. CLICK HERE for a report on its first race, including words and images of the massive Turn 1 rollover.