Martin takes Shootout GT pole at Hampton Downs

John Martin

John Martin and Liam Talbot will start from pole after winning the Top 10 Shootout for Sunday’s third round of the Australian Endurance Championship at Hampton Downs.

Martin and Talbot topped their respective qualifying sessions in the build-up to the Shootout before Martin set a lap which proved 0.04s faster than that of McLaren driver Alvaro Parente.

The Portuguese banked a 1:43.451s as the session’s penultimate runner, pushing Dominic Storey off pole before Martin’s 1:43.409 to confirm the Walkinshaw GT3 squad’s second consecutive AEC pole.

A strong early lap from Brad Shiels put the AMAC Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3-R on provisional pole, holding on to top spot until Storey’s lap late in the session.

He held on to the fourth fastest time at the end of the Shootout with a 1:45.218s.

Championship leaders Jaxon Evans and Tim Miles missed the Top 10 Shootout despite qualifying for the session.

A crash for Miles in Qualifying 2, aquaplaning off the circuit on the back straight saw the Audi sustain heavy damage to the front end.

Though missing the Shootout, the team remained confident the car would be repaired in time for tomorrow’s race.

Roger Lago and David Russell became an early scratching after a crash in Practice 2 left the Lamborghini R-EX with damage to the front right corner.

A crash for the Gene Rollinson and Andrew Fawcett driven Trass Family Motorsport entry left the Ferrari 458 also out of the event after hitting the barrier exiting Double B.

Steve Richards and Dylan O’Keeffe ended the day seventh in the BMW M6 GT3, one place behind the Max Twigg/Tony D’Alberto Mercedes-AMG GT3.

The Hampton Downs 500 is scheduled for a 10:30 AEDT start on Sunday morning, with the race livestream on Speedcafe.com.

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