Smollen wins GT4 opener

Shane Smollen. Image: InSyde Media.

Shane Smollen has taken out a 35.5s victory in the new Mobil 1 Australia Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia Series. It was the first of four races at Phillip Island at the third round of the Shannons Speed Series.

The GT4 Porsche Cayman 718 went nowhere off pole position, with Smollen stalling, yet those behind managed to avoid contact and Smollen resumed, albeit in eleventh position in the designated 30-minute race. Despite the light rain and damp conditions, Smollen had charged through to lead the 29-car field by the end of the second lap, after which he drove off into the distance.

Similarly equipped Tony Quinn was the early leader and then second before challenged by Karl Begg (GT4 Mercedes-AMG GT). Begg ultimately passed the Queensland Raceway owner to secure second on lap eight of the 13-lap journey.

Fourth place was a race-long duel between Steve Jukes (GT4 BMW F82 M4) and Cameron Crick (Class A1 Mitsubishi Evolution X). The latter did get ahead for a short period, no doubt with the assistance of four-wheel-drive, but Jukes was again in front when the chequered flag was waved.

Behind them Chris Lillis (HSV Clubsport R8) picked up four places after the start. He held position until eventually rundown and passed by Coleby Cowham (Ford Mustang GT) for sixth and Class A2 honours.

Fellow Mustang driver Chris Delfsma looked secure in eighth spot until a hiccup on the final lap allowed Mark Griffith (GT4 Mercedes-AMG) and Grant Sherrin (Class X F82 BMW M4) to sneak by in the run to the flag.

Ensuing were Jack Sipp (Class X F82 BMW M4), Andrew Miedecke (Ford Mustang), Iain Sherrin (Class X F82 BMW M4) and Brian Callaghan (HSV VY GTS). Next was Tom Needham (Mazda3 MPS) who took out Class C honours while the other classes went to Rob Rubis (Class B1 BMW 135i), Liam Moyse (Class D Toyota 86) and Phil Alexander (Class E Mazda3 SP25).

Race 2 in the Mobil 1 Australia Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 takes place at 12:15 local time/12:15 AEST tomorrow.

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