Antunes holds on to clinch Australian GT victory

Nathan Antunes took victory in Race 2 at Townsville

Nathan Antunes took victory in Race 2 at Townsville

Nathan Antunes scored his third victory of the Australian GT Championship campaign after coming through an eventful Race 2 on the streets of Townsville.

The Skwirk Audi R8 driver claimed the lead after the mandatory pit stops which he held until the chequered flag despite a late Safety Car that threatened to put his win in doubt.

However, Antunes managed to hold his nerve to win from Maranello Motorsport’s Tony D’Alberto and Grant Denyer, with the McLaren 650s of Klark Quinn in third.

Maranello Motorsport had led the first half of the race courtesy of a strong drive from pole position by Denyer, with the Ferrari 458 GT3 rejoining an effective third after the pit stops.

Antunes held second spot in the opening half of the 46 lap encounter but he rejoined the race in the lead after a late stop.

The Audi driver was aided by a shorter compulsory 109 second pit stop time compared to the 123 second stop duration for the #88 Maranello Motorsport crew.

Once the pit stops were completed D’Alberto was faced with the challenge of closing down Antunes’ lead after quickly passing the second placed Ford GT of Kevin Weeks.

Weeks became a talking point in the race when he was turned around by Max Twigg’s Erebus Mercedes SLS, which left the Ford beached at the chicane, causing a Safety Car with 10 minutes remaining.

D’Alberto tried to fight his way passed lapped traffic to challenge Antunes in the closing laps, but he was unable to prevent the Audi driver from taking the chequered flag.

Tony Walls’ McLaren 650S came through to finish fourth ahead of an identical McLaren driven by championship owner Tony Quinn.

The Jamec-Pem Audi R8 of Steve McLaughlan enjoyed a solid drive to finish sixth with the Lamborghini Gallardo of John Magro in seventh.

The Greg Crick/Christopher Mies Jamec-Pem Audi R8 was eighth after an eventful race that saw Mies given a drive through penalty for contact with Tony Quinn in the opening laps.

Saturday’s on the road race winners Andrew Macpherson and Brad Shiels finished ninth.

James Koundouris rounded out the top 10 despite a spin at the final corner of the last lap which saw him throw away a fourth place finish.

A right rear puncture early in the race ended Trass Family Motorsport’s victory hopes as Jono Lester and Graeme Smyth were forced to settle for 11th position.

Result: Australian GT Championship Race 2, Townsville

1 Skwirk / Beechwood Homes Nathan Antunes (NSW) Audi R8 Ultra 43 01:00:06.5678
2 Maranello Motorsport T.D’Alberto/G.Denyer Ferrari 458 GT3 2014 43 01:00:16.9660
3 Darrell Lea Klark Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 43 01:00:18.1085
4 Objective Racing Tony Walls (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 43 01:00:20.3723
5 Darrell Lea Anthony Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 43 01:00:22.4006
6 JAMEC PEM Racing Steven McLaughlan (Vic) Audi R8 Ultra 43 01:00:22.9364
7 John Magro (Qld) Lamborghini Gallardo 43 01:00:23.2939
8 JAMEC PEM Racing C.Mies/G.Crick Audi R8 Ultra 43 01:00:28.2462
9 AMAC Motorsport A.Macpherson/B.Shiels Porsche 997 GT3-R 43 01:00:35.9733
10 Supabarn Supermarkets James Koundouris (ACT) Porsche 997 GT3-R 43 01:01:02.9600
11 Trass Family Motorsport J.Lester/G.Smyth Ferrari 458 GT3 42 01:00:13.6383
12 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/J.LeBrocq Reiter Camaro GT3 42 01:00:14.7376
13 JJA Consulting Group Jan Jinadasa (Vic) Lamborghini LP560-4 42 01:00:17.4576
14 EVA Racing / Evolve Technik Peter Fitzgerald (Vic) Audi R8 Ultra 42 01:00:17.9261
15 Hogs Breath Cafe Mark Griffith (Qld) Audi R8 LMS 42 01:00:21.6854
16 Adina Apartment Hotels G.Taylor/B.Mawer Audi R8 LMS 42 01:00:23.9056
17 Maranello Motorsport Adrian Deitz (NSW) Ferrari 458 GT3 42 01:00:25.9342
18 Flying B Racing P.Edwards/J.Bowe Bentley Continental 42 01:00:26.6685
19 Motor School B.Foessel/H.Cooper Ginetta G50Z 42 01:00:30.2586
20 Supabarn Supermarkets Theo Koundouris (ACT) Porsche 996 GT3-S 42 01:00:45.0666
21 M.Twigg/G.Emery Mercedes Benz AMG SL 42 01:00:49.8080
22 Walz Group B.Cook/M.Kingsley Porsche GT3 Cup Car 41 01:00:29.1915
23 SAFE-T-STOP Richard Gartner (NSW) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 41 01:00:29.8331
24 Thomson Geer Lawyers Michael O’Donnell (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 41 01:00:37.8775
25 Fastway Couriers S.Ellinghham/M.Campbell Porsche GT3 Cup Car 41 01:00:43.8759
26 Donut King Tony Alford (Qld) Lotus Exige Cup R 40 01:00:32.3635
27 Voight Contracting S.Voight/S.Taylor Porsche 997 GT3 Cup 40 01:00:33.7990
28 DPM Motorsport Dale Paterson (Vic) Reiter Camaro GT3 40 01:00:42.2572
29 Killer Racing Wayne Udy (Qld) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 38 01:00:49.3106
DNF Supaloc Racing K.Weeks/S.Owen Ford GT 2011 GT3 36    48:04.3906
DNF Morgan Haber (Qld) Mercedes Benz AMG SL 31    41:42.3705
DNF Fire Rating Solutions Matthew Turnbull (Vic) Lamborghini LP-560 G 12    16:12.0452

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