Leahey and Sherrin Day 1 winners in combined categories
Saturday 11th November, 2023 - 10:40pm
In the debut of his GT4-spec BMW G82 M4, Tim Leahey won the Monochrome Invited / Mobil 1 Production Car races at Bathurst in the Shannons SpeedSeries finale.
In both, he finished ahead of Karl Begg (McLaren 570S) with tearaway points leader Shane Smollen (Porsche Cayman 718) and Chris Pappas (McLaren) each taking a third place.
In Production Cars, it was Iain Sherrin (Class X BMW F82 M4) who was the winner in both, ahead of Grant Sherrin (M4) and Beric Lynton (F80 M3) in the first, then Iain Salteri (M4) and Grant Sherrin in the second.
The first race in the morning was delayed when the Tony Levitt Mercedes AMG C63 driven by Luke King had a small oil fire. The delay became longer when a kangaroo took to the track out of Griffin Bend and hopped all the way to McPhillamy Park.
The shortened race was taken out by Leahey ahead of Begg and Smollen. Leahey was the fastest qualifier before a pitlane infringement relegated him to the second row. He quickly jumped to second behind Smollen and passed the Porsche on the second lap (of three). Begg relegated Smollen on the final lap to finish a close second.
Steve Jukes was fourth until the GT4 BMW’s turbo hose popped off which elevated Pappas to fifth ahead of Jacob Lawrence (GT4 M4). Seventh place Iain Sherrin had Bailey Love (Mercedes AMG) and Adam Garwood (Ginetta G56) between himself and his brother Grant.
Lynton and Simon Hodges (M4) ensued ahead of Coleby Cowham (Class A2 Ford Mustang), Chris Lillis (A2 Chev Camaro), Ben Gersekowski (B1 BMW E92 M3), Tyler Mecklem (A1 Mitsubishi EVO X), Brian Callaghan and Jacques Oosthuizen in A2 HSVs.
The McLarens were best away in the late afternoon second race with Begg ahead of Pappas. However Leahey was able to chase them down to take the lead. Begg was able to stick close to the race leader until Leahey had contact with Dean Campbell on top of the mountain which resulted in Campbell’s EVO X crashing into the concrete wall.
The race came under Safety Car conditions under which it finished. Griffith finished fourth ahead of Smollen, Garwood and Lawrence. Iain Sherrin was eighth outright and ahead of Salteri (in Hodges’ BMW), Grant Sherrin, Love, Jukes, Lynton and Lindsay Kearns in the Mustang he shares with Cowham.