Greg Crick wins chaotic Race 2 at Phillip Island
Greg Crick has beaten Ben Eggleston in a two-lap shootout to win the second of two 60 minute races for the Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island.
Crick’s Dodge Viper took the lead from Eggleston’s Aston Martin around the outside at the Hayshed on what would prove to be the penultimate lap.
Eggleston and Crick had found themselves second and third respectively once the Compulsory Pit Stops shook out – a process complicated by the appearance of the Safety Car and the onset of light rain part way through the cycle.
The pair passed leader Tony Quinn (Ferrari) when the race restarted with 15 minutes left on the clock, before a second lengthy Safety Car left the field with just three minutes of racing remaining.
“It was an interesting race. Things fell our way,” said Crick.
“At the end, trying to get past Ben, it was difficult, because the track was pretty slippery. He did a terrific job and I didn’t want to touch him or anything, so I had to be very careful of where I attacked him.
“We were side-by-side up through the back and he gave me room, I gave him room and it was all good. It was close but we got him.”
John Bowe made his way by eventual fourth and fifth place finishers Tony Quinn and Rod Wilson (Corvette) over the final two laps to take third in the Ferrari he shared with Peter Edwards.
Ash Samadi/Dean Grant (Mosler) and Dean Koutsoumidis/Andrew McInnes (Lamborghini) rounded out the cars to finish on the lead lap thanks to the high attrition rate.
The second Maranello Motorsport Ferrari of Allan Simonsen/Nick O’Halloran finished a disappointing 13th after losing a lap when the latter elected to pit for wets during the first Safety Car.
Simonsen had charged to the lead in the early stages of the race, opening up a 12s gap over Crick before pitting at the 27 minute mark.
Erebus Racing duo Peter Hackett and James Brock also ran in the top four during the first stint, before both coming unstuck in separate incidents at Turn 4.
A reported electronic problem saw Hackett sail off the road on his own at the hairpin, resulting in a bogged Mercedes and the race’s first Safety Car.
Team-mate Brock slid off the road at the same corner while chasing the Safety Car queue a short time later, before crashing his car into the inside wall exiting the final corner on the restart lap.
The former V8 Ute Series winner emerged unscathed from the incident, while his SLS suffered significant front and rear damage.
Klark Quinn (Porsche) was one of several to join O’Halloran in making a premature switch to wets, eventually finishing ninth.
The Round 1 winner maintains his championship lead after Phillip Island, with Brock closing to within eight points of the VIP Petfoods driver despite his Race 2 issues. Crick sits a further three points back in third, while the Bowe/Edwards combination holds down fourth.
The 2012 Australian GT Championship continues with the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils at Winton on June 22-24.