Hackett stoked with first Mercedes victory
Peter Hackett was all smiles after chalking up the first victory for his Mercedes AMG SLS in the Vodka O Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island today.
The former Australian Formula 3 Champion fought with the Dodge Viper of Greg Crick in the opening stages of the 60 minute race before cruising to victory following the Compulsory Pit Stops.
The win is believed to be the first for a GT3 specification SLS outside of Europe, and comes in Hackett’s third race meeting with the car.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s Race 2 report
Having taken a pair of second places in the 30 minute races at the recent Townsville event, Hackett said he enjoyed this weekend’s longer race format.
“Endurance racing is a really different beast to the sprints,” Hackett told Speedcafe.com at Phillip Island.
“The in and out laps from the stops are critical, and getting through the traffic as cleanly as possible with minimum risk was decisive.
“I think that’s where we got the edge on everyone in that race, just carving through the traffic and making sure we had really fast in and out lap laps.”
As is the norm at Phillip Island, tyres proved critical across the weekend.
“We were concentrating on managing the tyre wear throughout the race,” said Hackett.
“An hour is a long time around here, and we did swap the fronts at the pitstops just to even the tyre wear up.”
While the race was run in dry conditions, a downpour directly following the morning’s opening race meant there was a hidden trap for the drivers at the start of Race 2.
“In the early laps it’s always close at the front of a GT race, and there was a big damp patch in the last phase of the entry into Honda,” said Hackett.
“A couple of the guys got caught out and Greg and I snuck through which was quite convenient.
“From there Greg and I were just sizing each other up, seeing where our strengths and weaknesses were.
“I sort of realised when he pitted that if I could get three laps in and pull out six or seven seconds that might be enough to break the back of the competition and that was the way it turned out.”