Percat/Smollen win thrilling Carrera Cup opener


The victorious #56 Nick Percat and Shane Smollen Porsche

Nick Percat and Shane Smollen came through a thrilling dice with Scott McLaughlin and Stephen Grove to win the first Porsche Carrera Cup Australia enduro encounter at Phillip Island.

The V8 Supercar duo of Percat and McLaughlin were involved in a titanic battle for the lead in the first stint of the race, which saw the pair swap positions on several occasions.

Garry Rogers Motorsport driver McLaughlin produced a highly impressive run from fourth on the grid to put himself in a fight for the lead with Percat.

Percat and McLaughlin pitted with just seconds to spare on the pit window, but the race was robbed of a fascinating battle to the finish, when McLaughlin’s co-driver Grove emerged from the pits stuck on the pit limiter.

Grove quickly got up to speed but lost more than six seconds to Percat’s co-driver Smollen, who then controlled the remaining laps to take the chequered flag by 2.8 seconds.

The #14 OPS Gateway entry of Cameron McConville and John Goodacre claimed the final place on the podium in third.

Nick McBride and Neale Muston finished fourth with Shae Davies and Geoff Emery in fifth.

A strong drive from 15th on the grid from championship leader Steven Richards saw the #1 Laser Plumbing entry finish seventh in the hands of Dean Grant.

Roger Lago, Max Twigg and V8 Supercras ace Tim Slade rounded out the top 10.

A second 36 lap Porsche Carrera Cup enduro race will take place on Sunday.

Result: Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Race 1, Phillip Island 

1 McGrath Estate Agents S.Smollen/N.Percat Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 57:51.8006
2 Grove Group S.Grove/S.McLaughlin Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 57:54.6201
3 OPS Gateway C.McConville/J.Goodacre Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 57:55.8830
4 Bob Jane T-Marts N.McBride/N.Muston Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:04.2103
5 Davbridge Constructions S.Davies/G.Emery Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:05.2051
6 Bob Jane T-Marts N.Foster/D.Thomas Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:09.5046
7 Laser Plumbing & Electrical S.Richards/D.Grant Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:10.6244
8 JBS Australia R.Lago/S.Owen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:10.8808
9 Porsche Centre Melbourne C.Baird/M.Twigg Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:20.1614
10 Veritas / Builtform A.Mastronadro/T.Slade Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:24.5664
11 Copyworld Toshiba M.Almond/J.Karytinos Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:29.7149
12 Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis R.Muscat/S.Walter Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:30.3416
13 Apartment Hotel A.Samadi/D.Fiore Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 58:39.9708
14 AFS/Top Cat T.Bates/D.Gaunt Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 36 59:00.0794
15 Porsche Centre Brighton F.Ross/D.Ryan Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 35 57:52.1113
16 VIP Petfoods D.Padayachee/I.Padayachee Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 35 58:11.2280
17 Team BRM S.Hodge/R.Angus Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 35 58:47.2176
18 Hallmarc M.Cini/C.Mies Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 32 58:28.7132
DNF Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/D.Canto Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 32 54:40.3717
DNF Phase 8 M.Campbell/T.Miles Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 30 49:29.2384
DNF Finanze Ezi James Koundouris (ACT) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup  5 12:36.3319
DNF MotorOne Car Care James Bergmuller (Vic) Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

VIDEO: Percat and Smollen speak after winning the opening race

 VIDEO: Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Nick Percat and Scott McLaughlin dice

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