Crick dominates opening Australian GT race
Greg Crick has crushed the field in the opening race of the final round of the Vodka O Australian GT Championship at Sandown Raceway this afternoon.
The Jeep sponsonsored Dodge Viper driver crossed the line almost 26 seconds from a fast finishing Peter Hackett and Championship contender Klark Quinn.
Although Crick qualified second earlier in the day to Hackett’s SLS Mercedes, mis-communication within the Mercedes team saw Hackett commence a second warm up lap, relegating him to the rear of the field, much to Crick’s confusion.
“I just couldn’t understand why Pete kept rolling through the grid, but I wasn’t going to complain because I knew they would put him to the rear,” said Crick.
“Because I started on the front row with no one beside me I wasn’t challenged into to Turn 1 and was able to just build a gap right from the start.
“The car has been awesome all weekend, and to get the lap record as well was just the icing on the cake and hopefully tomorrow won’t be any different.”
Despite being put to the rear of the grid, Hackett battled back though the field to finish second in a spirited drive from the Mercedes pilot.
“Erebus Racing is a new team, and it can take time to get all the elements right, but unfortunately we had a communication break down and I was instructed to begin a second warm up lap, which was clearly not the right thing to do,” said Hackett.
“The race really showed the true potential of the car because we were able to drive back through the field with relative ease.”
After a torrid qualifying session earlier in the day which saw V.I.P Petfoods driver Klark Quinn off the road on multiple occasions, the Championship contender played a steady hand bringing his Mosler MT 900 home in third place.
“The car was good, but no one was going to catch Crick,” he said.
“We were able to get a few points back on Mark Eddy, but certainly not enough to worry him for the Championship, so tomorrow we intend to do the same and we’ll see how the cards fall.”
Championship leader Mark Eddy made life hard for himself right from the start, by spinning his Audi R8 LMS at Turn 2 on the warm up lap, resulting in a rear of grid start.
The Penfold Audi Sport pilot was embarrassed after the race but said he was happy to have kept his Championship lead on the eve of the final race of the Championship tomorrow.
“To be quite frank I was surprised when she just went from underneath me,” he said.
“It was weird being parked next the Mercedes on the rear of the grid, but luckily we were able to get up to eighth position and maintain our Championship lead.
Challenge Class combatants Peter Boylan and Tim Poulton had a race long battle with Poulton coming out on top at the flag, but neither Championship contender could stop the fast finishing Porsche 997 Cup Car of Dean Koutsomidis.
Tomorrow sees another 30 minute race scheduled for 1400 with both Championship and Challenges Class outright honours on the line.