Walkinshaw Porsche withdrawn from Enduro
Walkinshaw Racing has been forced to withdraw its Porsche from Sunday’s opening round of the Australian Endurance Championship at Phillip Island.
The Melbourne operation’s brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R sustained rear suspension damage following contact with Roger Lago’s Lamborghini during today’s second Australian GT Championship sprint race.
The team is unable to repair the damage in time for tomorrow’s three hour endurance at the Victorian circuit.
The incident occurred in the early stages of the second 60 minute race with Aaron Tebb at the wheel. Tebb and John Martin finished the opening heat in 13th position.
Walkinshaw boss Adrian Burgess is confident the parts required to fix the car will arrive in the coming days.
“We had a bit of wheel-to-wheel contact with Roger Lago and we have damaged a few parts that are in fairly short supply so it is an early bath for us,” Burgess told Speedcafe.com.
“Getting hold of the parts will be fine but unfortunately they are not in the country at the moment. There are not many of these cars and many parts to keep these cars running.
“It will be fixed within a matter of days.
“It is disappointing to miss Sunday’s race. We were up to fourth in the first part of the first race and then the Safety Car came and mixed things up.
“It is early days for us in this program but the car has shown good pace. The guys are doing a good job.”
The Walkinshaw Porsche joins the Mark Griffith Mercedes AMG GT3 on the sidelines for Sunday’s race.
Griffith’s Erebus Motorsport run Mercedes suffered a heavy hit with the wall at the Hayshed in qualifying.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s race the battle at the front is likely to be fought out between Audi and McLaren, having shown strong pace throughout the weekend.
Nathan Morcom scored victory in the opening race for the Tekno Autosports McLaren.
Audi showed its pace by claiming pole position in qualifying before coming close to winning the second race courtesy of the #2 Jamec Pem Racing R8 of Garth Tander and Steve McLaughlan.
The Audi Customer Racing Australia R8 GT3s suffered three punctures during the opening racing but the team believe they have solved the issue with a car set-up tweak.
A change to the rules this year will see the field unable to pit during Safety Car periods which is likely to be a factor in the race.
“We have definitely got the pace but we had some geometry problem with the cars and a couple of right rear tyre failures but we are top of that now,” said Audi Customer Racing Australia boss Troy Russell.
“We are confident going into the race so we will just press on. I think it is going to be a battle between everyone.
“The way you cannot stop under Safety Car this year is going to throw a spanner in the works so it is going to come down to pace.”
Tekno Autosports’ boss Jonathon Webb is convinced the race will develop into a battle with Audi.
“I think it is us versus Audi and if we can have a clean race we will be at the sharp end of the field come tomorrow,” said Webb.
Qualifying for the Australian Endurance Championship is scheduled to begin at 1035 with the race due to start at 1305.
Speedcafe.com will broadcast all the action from the Shannons Nationals meeting at Phillip Island.