Penalties alter outcome of thrilling Porsche Sprint Challenge race
Monday 16th October, 2023 - 12:53pm
Aron Shields was declared the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge enduro winner at The Bend when the race and round result changed after the flag.
McElrea Racing’s Lachlan Bloxsom stalled at the start and fought through to cross the line first only to be penalised post-race for contact on Team Porsche NZ/Earl Bamber Motorsport’s Marco Giltrap.
In a race that featured four different leaders and numerous minor place changes, TekworkX Motorsport’s Shields crossed the line third behind Bloxsom and Grove Racing’s Oscar Targett.
Targett also incurred a time penalty (for passing under yellows) which denied him the round win which went to series leader Giltrap who crossed the line fourth ahead of Sonic Racing’s Marcos Flack with the top five covered by just 1s at the end of 21 laps.
Giltrap took the early lead as polesitter Targett dropped to fourth before he climbed to second by lap three. He was overtaken on Lap 10 by Shields who then took the lead away from Giltrap on lap 14.
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Caught out by a lapped car spinning, Shields was delayed sufficiently for Giltrap to sneak by. Subsequently, Targett and Bloxsom were able to relegate Giltrap with two laps to go. Bloxsom jumped to the lead on the following lap and fended several challenges from Targett to cross the line first.
Giltrap was the Round 5 winner over Targett, Flack and TekworkX’s Hamish Fitzsimmons. The penalties dropped Bloxsom to fifth and Targett to eighth behind New Zealand world karting champion Clay Osborne (penalised 5s for a start infringement) and Harrison Goodman.
Sam Shahin had a spin on the warmup lap, and another on the first lap, yet still came through for the Pro-Am victory. Second was Brett Boulton, despite a penalty, with Matt Slavin third. Newcomer Jacques Jarjo took out the Class B honours.
With a round to go, Giltrap is handily placed with 71-point margin over Shields with another 32 points to Targett. There is a 118-point gap between Shahin and Slavin in Pro-Am while Phil Morris still leads Class B over Carr and Lachy Harburg.