Talbot maintains Aus GT Championship lead with Townsville podium
Liam Talbot has maintained the lead of the CAMS Australian GT Championship at the Watpac Townsville 400 securing a round podium result after yesterday’s win and two top five finishes in the MEGA Racing Porsche today.
Talbot’s Championship lead stays at 28 points, which is the advantage he entered Townsville holding.
The morning started for Talbot from the pole position in race two, he and Glen Wood entered a spirited battle across the first half of the race, Talbot getting to the lead on lap three. He maintained the race lead until the pitstop scenario played out.
With Australian GT basing pitstops on time dependent on driver ranking and starting position, this advantaged others over the pole-sitting Talbot.
He was able to maintain his speed for the back half of the race through to the finish where he finished in third placing.
The third and final race was similar to the first, albeit with the Walkinshaw GT3-prepared MEGA Racing Porsche starting further down the grid.
Talbot was running in fourth position up until the pitstops which dropped him down the field.
After the stops, he was locked in a battle for the back end of the top five with Roger Lago – the driver closest to him on points coming into the weekend.
Despite the Pirelli rubber being toward the end of its useful life, Talbot pulled a stunning manoeuvre on Lago to go up a position before throwing a late race challenge to Ash Samadi to get into the top five.
The result pushed Talbot to second on points for the round and he sustains the Series lead heading to its final round at Sandown International Raceway in September.
The next hitout for Talbot and the MEGA Racing team will be the second round of the Australian Endurance Championship over the weekend of August 18-20 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Liam Talbot Racing is supported by Australia’s newest Petroleum company, MEGA Fuels and WashIt Australia Mobile Truck Wash, along with Walkinshaw GT3 supporters, Morris Finance and Urban Maintenance Systems.
Quoteboard – Liam Talbot – 3rd in Townsville:
“Today we were able to maximise what we could from the weekend, the Walkinshaw GT3 team did such a great job in preparing the MEGA Racing Porsche for this weekend.
“To still be in the Championship lead after such a tough weekend is MEGA and obviously the best position to be in with one round to go. We would have liked some more points, but we didn’t lose any in a Championship sense, so we’re ready for the final round at Sandown.
“Getting the two places at the end with a couple of overtakes was a great way to end the weekend, we’re not letting anyone get past us in this fight, we’re hunting everyone down and trying to maximise the points where we can.
“We walk away with no damage aside from a couple of scratches after a few other people wanted to push us wide – which is unacceptable and unprofessional – but they got the appropriate penalties.
“They can rough us up and try to push us around, but we’ll come back tougher and stronger – we refuse to relinquish the lead that we now have, bring on the final round at Sandown!”
2017 Australian GT Championship Calendar:
1. Mar 2 – 5 Clipsal 500, Adelaide, South Australia – 4th
2. Mar 23 – 26 Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria – 3rd
3. May 5 – 7 Perth Super Sprint, Barbagallo, Western Australia – 1st
4. Jul 7 – 9 Townsville 400, Townsville, Queensland – 3rd
5. Sep 15 – 17 Sandown 500, Sandown Raceway, Victoria
2017 Australian Endurance Championship Calendar:
1. May 26 – 28 Phillip Island, Phillip Island, Victoria – 6th
2. Aug 18 – 20 Sydney Motorsport Park, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
3. Oct 27 – 29 Hampton Downs, Hampton Downs, New Zealand
4. Nov 10 – 12 Highlands 501 Highlands Park, Cromwell, NZ