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RESULTS: Monday Night GT3 League 2015 - Round 3 @ Sebring USA

Thursday, April 23, 2015

It seemed like a lifetime since the last race in Japan but the day was finally here to showcase the driving talent around Florida’s old airfield that is now known as Sebring.

Qualify:   >>Result<<

Pat and Allan led the field around for the first qualifying hot laps. Rizzo set a stunning benchmark time at 2:00.564. Francarlo got closest with a 2:01.012, but Ross went even better to reach 2:00.425. The Rizzo’s proved that the Nissans could be mighty quick in qualifying.

Race:   >>Result<<

To the other competitors’ surprise, Pat and Nathan had been promoted to the front row after Ross and Francarlo suddenly switched to backup cars for the race and therefore the back of the grid (Lamborghini and Mercedes respectively). Tim made his way past Nathan on the opening lap, with Pat to set the pace. Steven encountered fuelling issues before the race and was forced to start from pitlane.

Ross climbed to 3rd within 5 laps and then spun. Francarlo took 3rd back from newly promoted Allan almost immediately. Pat dropped his spot to Tim – the first one into the 2:01’s during the race. 10 laps in, Pat clearly gained on the McLaren through the turns, but his Porsche lost out on the straights. With the Rizzo’s also reaching the 2:01 pace and catching, Pat needed to make his move quick. Chris pitted first, albeit with some splitter damage.

Francarlo and Ross pulled in after 14 laps in an attempt to undercut the leaders, all on the popular two-stop strategy. Tim ran wide on lap 15 through the final corner, which gave Pat the opportunity to steal a spot before both turned in hard for pitlane. Pat was on the brakes hard to slow before pitlane when Tim crunched the back of his car on the line. However, it appeared that Tim received the penalty for the incident dropping him from the lead battle pack. Francarlo resumed his pressure on the back of Pat’s car and makes a move stick after 18 laps. Pat put his head down and set his fastest laps yet to snatch it back soon after. Even in the endurance format, battles around the track were often evident - A highlight being drivers bunched closely at the halfway point fighting for 4th-7th. Unfortunately, Scott and Nathan collided within that pack.

Francarlo dropped away from the front runners and headed to pitlane early, which allowed Ross to take up the challenge on Pat and his lead. Ross chose to go one stop earlier than Pat and managed a successful undercut! Tim and Allan found themselves fighting for the final podium spot which turned virtually physical. Allan ended up wide on the grass, re-entered and then into the barriers after a nasty collision with Tim. Both drivers lost their splitters but refused to pit which resulted in them struggling immensely with understeer. Tim held his spot despite challengers approaching him fast. Ross with older tyres, managed to just hold off Pat for the night’s win.

By Matt Anderson

Championship Table:


        2015 GT3 League
Drivers State Bathurst Suzuka Sebring Dubai Laguna Seca LeMans Spa Nordschleife Watkins Fuji Macau ???? Drop Points Total Points Current Place
Pat O'Reilly NSW 15 15 17                     47 1st
Ross Rizzo QLD 0 20 20                     40 2nd
Shane Gilfeather NSW 13 11 11                     35 3rd
Allan Marks NSW 12 13 10                     35 4th
Nathan Tregarthan NSW 11 10 13                     34 5th
Tim Hamilton QLD 17 0 15                     32 6th
Jason Brooks NSW 20 12 0                     32 7th
Francarlo Rizzo QLD 0 17 9                     26 8th
Scott Durham NSW 9 0 12                     21 9th
Chris Herringe QLD 8 0 4                     12 10th
Ryan Healy QLD 4 8 0                     12 11th
Chris Naumovski NSW 6 0 5                     11 12th
Iain McIntosh QLD 10 0 0                     10 13th
David Lord NSW 0 9 0                     9 14th
Adam Reblitz NSW 0 0 8                     8 15th
Eduardo Rubio NSW 0 0 7                     7 16th
Jeremy Pernesz NSW 7 0 0                     7 17th
Steven Wright QLD 0 0 6                     6 18th
Enda Murphy QLD 5 0 0                     5 19th
Bronte Hitchcock QLD 3 0 0                     3 20th
Kyle Lovering QLD 2 0 0                     2 21st


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