Lago shines in Clipsal Australian GT opener

Roger Lago took out the opening Australian GT race

Roger Lago took out the opening Australian GT race

Roger Lago emerged victorious in the opening race of the Australian GT Championship at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

The Lamborghini driver ran inside the top 10 for the first half of the race before finding himself in the lead following the mandatory pit stops.

Aided by a shorter compulsory stop time, the Brisbane driver enjoyed a relatively lonely race as he took the chequered flag by 8.7s from Tekno Autosports’ Nathan Morcom.

A solid run from the Darrel Lea McLaren 650S of Klark and Tony Quinn claimed the final spot on the podium.

The brand new Mercedes AMG GT3 of Craig Baird and Scott Taylor led the early laps with the former marching into a 3.4s lead from Morcom, the #1 Audi of Geoff Emery and Nathan Antunes’ Tekno McLaren.

However, a safety car caused by Hayden Cooper who became stranded in the Turn 11 gravel trap before the pit stop window opened hampered his victory hopes.

After handing the car to Scott Taylor, the Erebus run Mercedes came home in a lowly 17th position.

Mark Griffith endured an impressive run in his Mercedes AMG GT3 to finish fourth as he made the most of his shorter pit stop time compared to the front runners.

The Lamborghini shared by Glen Wood and Justin McMillan edged the Auntes/Elliot Barbour McLaren to fifth spot in a thrilling dice to the flag.

Tony Walls settled for seventh having found himself in contention for a podium after the pits tops ahead of the Peter Hackett/Dominic Storey Eggleston Mercedes.

Marcus Marshall brought the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi R8, he shares with James Koundouris, to the finish in ninth.

Meanwhile, a stellar drive from reigning champion Christopher Mies saw the German surge from 19th after the pit stops to complete the top 10.

The Steven Richards/Max Twigg BMW M6 GT3 finished in 20th position on its race debut.

Result: Australian GT Championship Clipsal 500, Race 1 

1 JBS Australia Roger Lago (QLD) Lamborghini R-EX 24 36:11.4833
2 Tekno Nathan Morcom McLaren 650S GT3 24 36:20.2232
3 Darrell Lea K.Quinn/T.Quinn McLaren 650S GT3 24 36:24.1246
4 Hogs Breath Cafe/Griffith Co Mark Griffith (QLD) Mercedes Benz AMG GT 24 36:27.8424
5 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/G.Wood Lamborghini R-EX 24 36:28.9686
6 Tekno N.Antunes/E.Barbour McLaren 650S GT3 24 36:29.1469
7 Objective Racing Tony Walls (QLD) McLaren 650S GT3 24 36:30.7912
8 Eggleston Motorsport P.Hackett/D.Storey Mercedes Benz AMG GT 24 36:31.0112
9 Supabarn Supermarkets J.Koundouris/M.Marshall Audi R8 LMS 24 36:31.5607
10 JAMEC PEM Racing C.Mies/G.Emery Audi R8 LMS 24 36:31.6227
11 Eggleston Motorsport Matthew Solomon Mercedes Benz AMG GT 24 36:32.3996
12 McLaren Melbourne J.Webb/G.Denyer McLaren 650S GT3 24 36:39.6702
13 HBS Motorsports Simon Ellinghham (NZ) Audi R8 Ultra 24 36:57.6912
14 Modena Engineering Ricky Capo (VIC) BMW Z4 GT3 24 37:00.9491
15 AMAC Motorsport Andrew Macpherson (NSW) Porsche 997 GT3-R 24 37:05.3763
16 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/C.Baird Mercedes Benz AMG GT 24 37:05.7987
17 Team ASR Ash Samadi Mercedes Benz AMG SLS 24 37:09.9507
18 Koala Motorsport B.Griguol/T.Macrow Ferrari F430 GT3 24 37:10.7614
19 SR Motorsport S.Richards/M.Twigg BMW M6 GT3 24 37:18.3087
20 JAMEC PEM Racing Steven McLaughlan (VIC) Audi R8 LMS 23 36:13.7265
21 Skwirk Online Education Rod Salmon (NSW) Audi R8 Ultra 23 36:30.6903
22 Veloce Motorsportn – ULX110 Keith Wong (SA) Porsche GT3 Cup Car 23 36:31.9513
23 Adina Apartment Hotels Greg Taylor (NSW) Audi R8 LMS 23 36:39.4537
DNF Waltec Motorsport J.Martin/A.Tebb Porsche 997 GT3-R 15 28:23.4653
DNF M Motorsport Hayden Cooper (QLD) Lamborghini Gallardo  5  7:24.2599
EXC Taplin Real Estate Dean Canto (SA) Lamborghini Gallardo

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