Klark Quinn takes GT win in Race 1
Klark Quinn has claimed victory in the opening race of the Australian GT Championship today with a solid win from pole position he secured in Saturday’s qualifying.
Quinn’s win sees him close the gap over Erebus Racing’s Peter Hackett in the 2012 championship chase with Hackett coming home second in his Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Quinn took the lead from the start with Allan Simonsen hot on his heels in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3. At the same time Erebus Racing’s Thomas Jager passed third-placed team mate Hackett and set off in pursuit of the leaders.
For the next few laps Simonsen and Jager, both with clear track ahead of them, traded lap records with Jager claiming the prize setting a new record of 1.12.3814.
Jager set about catching Quinn until drama struck when he pushed too hard and jumped the unforgiving kerbs in spectacular fashion, damaging the rear suspension of his SLS AMG GT3.
He managed to get the stricken car back to pit lane but the damage incurred was too severe and he was forced to retire from the race.
“I found rhythm and good speed early in the race, especially after the pit stop where we made a tyre pressure change, I was right on the pace and catching the leader,” said Jager.
“With the incident, I got to the first corner and braked and as I turned in, the rear came around. I was already too far into the corner and clipped the curb, which broke the left rear suspension.
“I feel very sorry for the team, it was my mistake and after doing the fastest lap time, we could have had a great result.
“Everything will be OK for tomorrow though, I am looking forward to a nice clean race and getting a good strong finish for the Erebus Motorsport team.”
This left Quinn to take the win from Hackett with Rod Salmon using Jager’s misfortune along with clever pit stop strategy to record his best finish of the season with a fighting third place.
The Challenge class was dominated by Porsche GT3s with Mark Cini taking class honours from Michael Almond and George Foessel.
In the Australian GT Tyre Manufacturers Championship, Michelin has taken an unassailable lead with first and second placed points with Pirelli scoring third place points through Salmon.
The second and final GT race for the weekend gets underway at 0925 tomorrow (Sunday) here on the Gold Coast.