Klark Quinn takes out Australian GT opener

Klark Quinn

Klark Quinn

A late surge from Klark Quinn saw him record a comfortable victory in the opening Australian GT Championship race at Townsville.

The Darrell Lea McLaren driver held fourth for much of the opening first stint of the race but emerged in second after the mandatory pitstops.

Quinn faced a six second deficit to the pole-sitting Jamec Pem Racing Audi of Tony Bates and Christopher Mies after the stops, but wasted little time in closing the gap.

With just 14 minutes of the race remaining, Quinn slid by Bates where he stayed until the chequered flag.

Bates was unable to hang onto the back of the McLaren and was forced to settle for second.

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Co-driver Mies handed Bates the lead after building up a 10 second advantage before the pitstops.

A solid drive from Roger Lago saw him bring the JBS Lamborghini Gallardo RE-X home in third having held a spot in the top 10 for the entire encounter.

Championship leader Nathan Morcom (Tekno Autosports McLaren) made the most of his shorter pitstop time to claim fourth, after starting the race from 12th on the grid.

Tony Quinn (Aston Martin) was another driver to benefit from a shorter compulsory stop to finish fifth ahead of Greg Taylor (Audi) and the Supabarn Supermarkets Audi of Marcus Marshall/James Koundouris.

After occupying third in the first stint, the Grant Denyer/Jonathon Webb Tekno McLaren managed to salvage eighth despite undertaking the longest compulsory pitstop time.

The Glen Wood/Justin McMillan Lamborghini and the Nathan Antunes/Elliot Barbour McLaren rounded out the top 10.

A strong early showing from the Walkinshaw Racing Porsche resulted in a 11th place finish for John Martin and Neale Muston.

Meanwhile a difficult second stint for Scott Taylor saw the Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes take the flag in 14th, having spent much the first half of the race in second courtesy of Craig Baird.

The Australian GT Championship returns on Sunday for Race 2 at 1125 local time.

Result: Australian GT Championship Race 1

1 Darrell Lea Klark Quinn (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 47 01:02:15.8368
2 JAMEC PEM Racing C.Mies/T.Bates Audi R8 LMS 47 01:02:26.8474
3 JBS Australia Roger Lago (Qld) Lamborghini R-EX 47 01:02:38.2979
4 Direct Plasterboard Outlet Nathan Morcom McLaren 650S GT3 47 01:02:41.5479
5 Darrell Lea Tony Quinn (Qld) Aston Martin Vantage 47 01:02:56.5727
6 GT Motorsport Greg Taylor (NSW) Audi R8 LMS 47 01:02:58.0075
7 Supabarn Supermarkets J.Koundouris/M.Marshall Audi R8 LMS 47 01:02:58.4026
8 McLaren Melbourne G.Denyer/J.Webb McLaren 650S GT3 47 01:02:58.6890
9 Interlloy M Motorsport J.McMillan/G.Wood Lamborghini R-EX 47 01:02:59.8900
10 Beechwood/SLR/Buildmap N.Antunes/E.Barbour McLaren 650S GT3 47 01:03:09.3458
11 Walkinshaw GT3 J.Martin/N.Muston Porsche 911 GT3-R 47 01:03:13.3529
12 Objective Racing Tony Walls (Qld) McLaren 650S GT3 47 01:03:21.9319
13 Hallmarc Developments Marc Cini (Vic) Audi R8 Ultra 46 01:02:24.0179
14 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/C.Baird Mercedes Benz AMG GT 46 01:02:24.5661
15 AMAC Motorsport A.Macpherson/B.Shiels Porsche 997 GT3-R 46 01:02:25.4216
16 Performance West Motorsport Alexander Rullo (WA) Lamborghini Gallardo 46 01:02:26.4353
17 Bondi Wholefoods Ash Samadi (Vic) Audi R8 LMS 46 01:02:36.2520
18 BMW Team SRM S.Richards/M.Twigg BMW M6 GT3 46 01:02:44.2065
19 Fastway Couriers Simon Ellinghham (NZ) Audi R8 Ultra 46 01:02:53.8304
20 Hogs Breath Cafe/Griffith Corp M.Griffith/S.Hookey Mercedes Benz AMG SL 45 01:02:28.6749
21 Modena Engineering Ricky Capo (Vic) BMW Z4 GT3 45 01:03:04.3356
DNF JAMEC PEM Racing Steve McLaughlan (Vic) Audi R8 LMS 30    41:45.3622

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