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D’Alberto/Denyer triumph in AGT opener

Tom Howard

Saturday 12th September, 2015 - 7:20pm

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The Maranello Motorsport Ferrari of Tony D'Alberto and Grant Denyer

The Maranello Motorsport Ferrari of Tony D’Alberto and Grant Denyer

The Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 of Tony D’Alberto and Grant Denyer produced another faultless drive to win the opening Australian GT Championship race of the Sandown 500 weekend.

D’Alberto hassled the Trass Family Motorsport Ferrari 458, driven by Graeme Smyth, for the lead as the pair broke away from the field in the early stages.

After rejoining the race in 11th following the mandatory pit stop, Denyer scythed his way through the field.

The Maranello Ferrari received a boost when championship leader Nathan Antunes (Audi R8), who inherited the lead prior to his pit stop, ran deep into the Turn 9 gravel trap on his in lap.

With the Smyth/Jono Lester Trass Ferrari and the Christopher Mies/Ryan Millier Jamec-Pem Audi dropping to the rear of the field following their longer compulsory pit stops, Denyer pushed hard to reel in the lead duo of James Koundouris (Porsche) and Morgan Haber (Erebus Mercedes SLS).

Slick moves on Haber and Koundouris in quick succession saw Denyer take the lead with 11 minutes remaining where he remained until the chequered flag to score a second consecutive AGT victory.

A hard charging Lester produced a stunning stint to haul the Trass Ferrari from 24th spot after the pit stops to second in the closing laps.

Haber claimed the final place on the podium ahead of the Mies/Millier Audi R8, which managed to snatch fourth from Koundouris in the dying minutes.

Klark Quinn enjoyed a solid drive to sixth in the Darrell Lea McLaren 650S ahead of the AMAC Motorsport Porsche of Andrew Macpherson and Brad Shiels.

After his costly excursion at Turn 9, Antunes brought his Beechwood Audi R8 home in eighth, while Tony Quinn (McLaren 650S) and Steve McLaughlan (Jamec-Pem Audi R8) rounded out the top 10.

The Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche of Theo Koundouris took the honours in the Trophy class, finishing 15th overall.

Andrew Miedecke had guided the Ross Stone Racing entry to 13th on its debut but a post race 26 second penalty demoted the Aston Martin to 18th position.

Challenge class bragging rights belonged to Richard Gartner in the #53 Safe-T-Stop Porsche GT3 Cup car.

The Max Twigg/Geoff Emery Erebus Mercedes SLS suffered a mechanical issue which prevented it from taking the start.

Jan Jinadasa (Lamborghini) was the only retirement from the race.

The second 60 minute Australian GT contest is scheduled to begin at 0905 (local time) on Sunday morning.

Result: Australian GT Championship, Race 1, Sandown

1 Maranello Motorsport T.D’Alberto/G.Denyer Ferrari 458 GT3 2014 45 57:20.4970
2 Trass Family Motorsport J.Lester/G.Smyth Ferrari 458 GT3 45 57:28.2192
3 Erebus Motorsport Morgan Haber Mercedes Benz AMG SLS 45 57:29.8733
4 JAMEC PEM Racing C.Mies/R.Millier Audi R8 Ultra 45 57:33.9662
5 Supabarn Supermarkets James Koundouris (ACT) Porsche 997 GT3-R 45 57:39.8514
6 Darrell Lea Klark Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 45 57:42.8670
7 AMAC Motorsport A.Macpherson/B.Shiels Porsche 997 GT3-R 45 57:43.4942
8 Skwirk / Beechwood Homes Nathan Antunes (NSW) Audi R8 Ultra 45 57:44.1347
9 Darrell Lea Anthony Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 45 58:04.8121
10 JAMEC PEM Racing Steven McLaughlan (Vic Audi R8 Ultra 45 58:05.2065
11 DeFelice Homes Tony DeFelice (Vic) Ferrari 458 GT3 45 58:24.4538
12 Objective Racing Tony Walls (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 44 57:19.9413
13 Voight Contracting S.Voight/A.Tebb Porsche 997 GT3-R 44 57:20.3283
14 HHH Racing/Triffid/ESP Michael Hovey (Qld) Ginetta G55 GT3 44 57:24.1239
15 Supabarn Supermarkets Theo Koundouris (ACT) Porsche 996 GT3-S 44 57:32.6913
16 Interlloy M Motorsport E.Barbour/G.Wood Lamborghini Gallardo 44 57:40.2035
17 Fastway Couriers S.Ellinghham/J.Evans Porsche GT3 Cup Car 44 57:59.6360
18 Miedecke Motor Group Andrew Miedecke (NSW) Aston Martin Vantage 44 58:05.2944
19 Hogs Breath Cafe Mark Griffith (Qld) Audi R8 LMS 44 58:10.0482
20 Adina Apartment Hotels G.Taylor/B.Mawer Audi R8 LMS 44 58:17.2291
21 Flying B Racing Peter Edwards (Vic) Bentley Continental 44 58:40.1497
22 DPM Motorsport Dale Paterson (Vic) Reiter Camaro GT3 43 57:46.7620
23 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/J.McIntyre Reiter Camaro GT3 43 58:06.5798
24 Rentcorp Forklifts Indiran Padayachee Porsche GT3 Cup Car 43 58:26.1840
25 SAFE-T-STOP Richard Gartner (NSW) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 42 57:28.8562
26 Thomson Geer Lawyers Michael O’Donnell (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 41 58:03.5263
27 Donut King Tony Alford (Qld) Nissan GTR 41 58:24.7112
28 Southern Star Developments Rob Smith (Vic) Audi R8 LMS 40 58:49.7600
DNF JJA Consulting Group Jan Jinadasa (Vic) Lamborghini LP560-4 40 52:48.6067
DNF Erebus Motorsport Geoff Emery Mercedes Benz AMG SLS

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