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RESULTS: Monday Night GT3 League 2014 - Round 9 @ Austin Texas USA

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This week’s GT3 league made the torturous trek over to southern USA.  Both Sydney and Gold Coast were in for the trip, but getting there was only the first haul.   The hour-and-half-long race was sure to test some drivers….

Qualify:

Given the conditions, and some very minor technical difficulties, the advertised 20min qually session was reduced down to just 10 minutes.

From the onset, it was a very clean race.  The Rizzo brothers showed again why they are among the top 3 drivers this series, qualifying first and second.  Jason rounded out the top 3, with Allan, Scott and Tim closely behind.  It wasn’t all bad for Iain, Shane, Enda and Nathan though as they qualified within a few seconds on the grid.

Race:

The race got underway and the field got through unscathed on the tricky uphill blind turn 1. Heading down the hill they tried to make it 3 wide going into the sweeping but like a pimple someone had to get squeezed out. Again they made it through relatively unscathed. Everybody nervous on cold tyres was tip toeing through the next few turns and once they sniffed a straight and an opening they all went for it. Tim Hamilton went I bit too hard as he hit the inside crest on T10 and had a spectacular spin which sent him to the back. Shane Gilfeather almost lost it as well but managed to save it somehow. He only just managed to straighten it up to get in the braking zone for T11. As Shane locked up his tyres Nathan Tregarthan couldn’t see where he was going and gave a slight tap. The front of the field all trying to get the draft down the long straight but they were all equal on power so it was down to braking zones.

The track was a bit harsher on tyres due to the rapid weight transfer of the cars manoeuvring through the tight turns. The first to pit was Francarlo Rizzo on L10. The others tried to stretch it to 15 laps on a set. This would have saved a pit stop and some valuable time. A lap later they knew they weren’t going to make it so they came in a couple of laps later. The race looking like a 3 stopper Francarlo now showed the strategy. Both he and Brother Ross were dominating out front while Hamilton had to work his way to the back of the duelling Brooks and Marks in P3 & 4.

By Lap 24 the top 5 found each other together on the track and boy did they put on a show? For about 7 laps they were all battling for position until they swamped the back of Tregarthan who had just exited the pits on fresh tyres. There was nothing that Nathan could have done as a couple of guys ran wide off the circuit. Back in the pack and Enda Murphy who was showing some pace early on had to retire due to damaged suspension. Iain McIntosh was doing a solid job to stay on the lead lap mastering the Ferrari around the tricky circuit.

Mid Pack and Scott McDonald and Shane Gilfeather had made about 7 position changes between them in P6 & 7. They sure showed how professional drivers can run alongside each other without swapping too much paint. The BMW Z4 had the legs to pull out of the draft of McDonalds Ferrari as they go down the back straight. McDonald would just get it back through other parts of the race.

After the 5 car battle for the lead mid race Ross Rizzo just got in the groove and sailed away stretching his lead to take the win by 22 seconds over brother Francarlo. Jason Brooks brought his car home to make it McLaren 1st, 2nd  and 3rd. Allen Marks is improving each week and drove a fantastic race against Jason Brooks and Tim Hamilton. Shane was snoozing in the last sector of the race as McDonald was punching out his best times to catch him. Shane locked it up on the last turn of the 2nd last lap to hand McDonald 6th place. Shane crossing the line in 7th ahead of Tregarthan and  McIntosh.

By Shane Gilfeather / Daniel Gialdini


Race Results:

 

Finish Start Diff +/- Driver Car Laps Race time Fastest lap Qual. time
1 2 +1 Ross Rizzo McLaren MP4-12C 40 86:03.383 2:04.347 2:03.974
2 1 -1 Francarlo Rizzo McLaren MP4-12C 40 +0:22.159 2:04.317 2:03.873
3 3 - Jason Brooks McLaren MP4-12C 40 +0:34.939 2:04.939 2:04.079
4 4 - Allan Marks Ferrari F430 40 +0:57.223 2:05.596 2:05.129
5 6 +1 Tim Hamilton Audi R8 LMS ULTRA 40 +0:59.812 2:04.891 2:07.018
6 5 -1 Scott McDonald Ferrari 458 Italia 39 +1 lap 2:05.788 2:06.678
7 8 +1 Shane Gilfeather BMW Z4 39 +1 lap 2:06.338 2:08.608
8 10 -2 Nathan Tregarthan McLaren MP4-12C 39 +1 lap 2:06.787 2:14.374
9 7 -2 Iain McIntosh Ferrari 458 Italia 35 DNF 2:09.397 2:08.492
10 9 -1 Enda Murphy McLaren MP4-12C 30 Suspension 2:10.679 2:10.914

Drivers Standings:

 

        2014 GT3 League
Drivers State Race 1  Race 2  Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Race 9 Race 10 Race 11 Race 12 Total Points Current Place
Ross Rizzo QLD 20 20 20 20 20 20 17 17 20       174 1st
Jason Brooks NSW 17 13 17 10 17 17 20 15 15       141 2nd
Francarlo Rizzo QLD 15 17 15 17 15 15 7 20 17       138 3rd
Tim Hamilton QLD 7 15 13 15 13 13 17 12 12       117 4th
Allan Marks NSW 8 8 8 11 12 11 13 11 13       95 5th
Nathan Tregarthan NSW 3 10 10 13 9 12 10 10 9       86 6th
Shane Van Gilfeather NSW 0 12 11 12 10 10 11 7 10       83 7th
Pat O'Reilly NSW 9 9 7 0 8 9 12 9 0       63 8th
Chris Herringe QLD 12 6 0 9 7 0 0 0 0       34 9th
Nikolai Valge NSW 10 11 12 0 0 0 0 0 0       33 10th
Iain McIntosh QLD 0 0 9 0 0 0 0 8 8       25 11th
Chris Paras NSW 0 7 0 0 5 7 0 0 0       19 12th
David Lord NSW 0 0 0 0 0 6 9 0 0       15 13th
Iain Salteri QLD 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       13 14th
Matt Anderson NSW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0       13 15th
Enda Murphy QLD 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 7       13 16th
Ryan Healy QLD 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       11 17th
Stuart Vaughan NSW 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 0       11 18th
Scott McDonald NSW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11       11 19th
Tim Calvert NSW 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0       8 20th
Andy Lardner QLD 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0       8 21st
Rob Cooper QLD 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       6 22nd
Nicholas Fittock NSW 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0       6 23rd
Sam Owen NSW 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0       6 24th
Justin Wilson NSW 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       5 25th
Luke Bannano NSW 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       4 26th
Andrew Clarke NSW 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0       4 27th
Evan Golbach NSW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       2 28th
Todd Varacalli QLD 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0       1 29th

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