Jamec Pem wins again in AEC in Sydney
Jaxon Evans and Tim Miles have again combined to deliver the Jamec Pem Audi team victory in the Australian Endurance Championship Sydney Motorsport Park 501.
The #75 R8 crew therefore backs up its victory in May’s Phillip Island 500 as the sister #74 entry of Kelvin van der Linde and Geoff Emery finished third.
They were split by the #911 Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R of Liam Talbot and John Martin.
The race got off to a dramatic start when pole-sitter Talbot and fellow front row starter Emery touched in the first corner.
Emery spun and sailed far off into the outfield but pulled up just before the gravel trap and rejoined the circuit at the back of the order.
Scott Taylor suffered an even bigger moment at the same corner just a lap later when he ran off the edge of the track and flicked back across the circuit before copping a huge hit with the inside wall.
Taylor, who had been attempting to stay in front of Dylan O’Keeffe (#124 KFC Audi R8), was seen standing up outside his #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT, before being conveyed to the medical centre.
Cars #6 (Zagame Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan), #19 (Griffith Mercedes-AMG GT), and #74 pitted under the resulting Safety Car, replacing their am drivers with pros.
Kelvin van der Linde joined the train in 14th in car #74, but the factory Audi driver made incredibly light work of climbing through the field when the race restarted on Lap 11.
He needed only three laps to get to second, by which time Talbot lead by 4.7s, and another three laps to round up the Porsche.
With the am drivers trying to save fuel in order to make their minimum driver distance of 59 laps in a single stint, van der Linde disappeared.
By the time Mercedes-AMG factory driver Dominik Baumann, in Mark Griffith’s #19 car, took over second position on Lap 29, van der Linde was over 30s ahead.
Cameron McConville in car #6 passed Talbot for third on Lap 37, just as then-fifth placed O’Keeffe kicked off the first full round of pit stops
Van der Linde was called in at the end of Lap 40 and Baumann two laps later.
Those positions remained effectively unchanged before McConville split them when he pitted at the end of Lap 44.
Out in front, Talbot, O’Keeffe, and Miles managed to stretch their first stint to 59 laps, with all pitting as soon as they got to the threshold.
However, James Bergmuller came up half a lap short and became stranded on-track in Steven Richards’ BMW M6, triggering the second Safety Car period of the race.
Van der Linde, who had also moved on to something of a fuel-save mode, thus lost a 30-plus second lead over McConville.
Behind them, Peter Edwards was third but waiting to serve his first CPS (not counted under Safety Car) and Baumann also on the lead lap, while Jaxon Evans took over #75 in eighth and Talbot was ninth.
The race restarted on Lap 64 and van der Linde rebuilt his lead to over 10 seconds before McConville handed car #6 over to Adrian Deitz for a 58-lap run home.
The rest of the field soon followed in order to fill up for the run to the finish, handing Deitz the race lead after car #74 lost time in the pits due to the LED windscreen timer going out.
However, Emery only needed four laps to regain the lead for the #74 Audi on Lap 77.
Griffith, back in car #19, moved into second position on Lap 85, but Evans in turn passed Griffith on Lap 87 as Deitz began to fall down the order.
The final 40 laps became a race in three, with Evans initially facing a 32s deficit to Emery but catching up to be on the tail of his team-mate on Lap 109.
Emery appeared to let the young Kiwi through at the final corner, with the threat of then third-placed Martin already apparent.
That threat did materialise when Martin latched onto the rear of Emery’s Audi and passed on Lap 118, with Evans now 8.6s up the road.
The move set up a grandstand finish, with Martin at times making up a second per lap.
While traffic looked like it might cost Evans precious seconds, he managed to clear the back-markers easily enough to win by 3.2s in a race which was shortened by a lap due to time certainty.
Emery ended up just over 40s adrift of his victorious team-mates in his and van der Linde’s comeback from the first-corner collision.
O’Keeffe/Daniel Gaunt finished fourth and Edwards/Graham Smyth (#88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488) fifth.
Peter Hackett/Dom Storey (#63 Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT) were off the lead lap in sixth after needing a late fuel stop, while Baumann/Griffith ultimately took seventh and McConville/Deitz eighth.
Warren Luff also required a late splash and dash in Fraser Ross’ McElrea Racing McLaren 650S, consigning them to ninth, with the top 10 rounded out by Andrew Macpherson and Brad Shiels (#51 AMAC Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan).
The #5 GT Motorsport Audi R8 of Grant Denyer and Greg Taylor and the #8 Mercedes-AMG GT of Tony D’Alberto and Max Twigg were disqualified for failing to take their second compulsory pit stop inside the mandated pit window.
The #23 Lago Racing Lamborghini R-EX of David Russell and Roger Lago never took the start.
Results: Sydney Motorsport Park 501
|1||Valvoline||T.Miles/J.Evans||Audi R8 LMS||128||3:32:09.9047|
|2||MEGA Racing||L.Talbot/J.Martin||Porsche 911 GT3-R||128||3:32:13.1089|
|3||Valvoline||G.Emery/K.Linde||Audi R8 LMS||128||3:32:51.6563|
|4||Kentucky Fried Chicken||D.Gaunt/D.O’Keefe||Audi R8 LMS||128||3:33:12.9110|
|5||Maranello Motorsport||P.Edwards/G.Smyth||Ferrari 488 GT3||128||3:33:36.0069|
|6||Eggleston Motorsport||P.Hackett/D.Storey||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||127||3:32:30.4682|
|7||Hogs Breath Cafe / Griffith Co||M.Griffith/D.Baumann||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||127||3:32:52.6172|
|8||Timken / Zagame Autosport||A.Deitz/C.McConville||Lamborghini Huracan||127||3:33:09.2766|
|9||YNA Autosport / McElrea Racing||F.Ross/W.Luff||McLaren 650S GT3||127||3:33:36.3375|
|10||AMAC Motorsport – IMAK-Kwikmit||A.Macpherson/B.Shiels||Lamborghini Huracan||126||3:33:32.3652|
|11||Haemokinesis / Whispering Vine||J.Manolios/R.Millier||Lamborghini Huracan||123||3:32:13.4152|
|12||Darrell Lea||T.Quinn/J.Reid||McLaren 650S GT3||123||3:33:46.0837|
|13||BMW Team SRM||S.Richards/J.Bergmuller||BMW M6 GT3||121||3:32:52.3462|
|DNF||WM Waste||M.Twigg/T.D’Alberto||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||116||3:14:27.9169|
|DNF||GT Motorsport||G.Taylor/G.Denyer||Audi R8 LMS||115||3:14:11.1456|
|DNF||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Scott Taylor (QLD)||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||1||1:41.6811|
Championship points: After Round 2