Habul takes second AGP win, but Twigg holds  Australian GT points lead

Habul takes second AGP win, but Twigg holds Australian GT points lead

17.03.2019: CAMS Australian GT Championship Melbourne Sunday, March 17th, 2019 Reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge Bronze Driversí Champion Kenny Habul continued his winning streak at the Australian Grand Prix after a 20-year hiatus since his first laps o

CAMS Australian GT Championship
Melbourne
Sunday, March 17th, 2019




Reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge Bronze Drivers’ Champion Kenny Habul continued his winning streak at the Australian Grand Prix after a 20-year hiatus since his first laps of the circuit in an open-wheeler, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver storming from pole position to lead home Scott Taylor Motorsport team-mate Max Twigg and race three winner Peter Hackett to claim a second AMG 1-2-3 for the event.



For fellow front-row starter and race one winner Fraser Ross, the McLaren driver suffered a brake system failure on the grid, the car unable to move after stopping inside his P2 grid box ahead of the start, a technical issue forcing the front brakes to lock solid, the field then forced to circulate  behind the Safety Car as the 720S was recovered from the main straight.



Behind the three AMG’s a horde of Audis battled, with local teenager Ryan How ultimately claiming his fourth consecutive Trophy Series victory, whilst Shane Barwood claimed his second Trofeo Challenge win of the event to close in on points leader Nick Karnaros, and in GT4, Ryan Simpson sealed his GT-debut with a second win to take the points lead in the McLaren 570S GT4.




Race#4 (25-minutes)



With Ross stranded on the grid for the start of the race, the field circulated behind the Safety Car as the recovery crews picked the 720S up on a tilt tray to return it to pit lane. Once let loose though the battle at the front very quickly became a fight between the three Mercedes-AMG drivers, with Habul leading Twigg and very quickly Peter Hackett who had started sixth as a result of his race two oil drama, the race three winner through on Geoff Emery and Ryan How.



Behind the leaders Scott Taylor and John Morriss picked up on their race three battle, whilst from the rear of field after his race three retirement, Nick Kelly was quickly through the field to be inside the top ten by lap four, but well down on Trophy Series sensation Ryan How.



How had the only glitch of his impressive weekend to drop a position to Tony Bates on lap three, the #125 generation one Audi caught between gears, How forced to slow and address the situation, allowing the duelling Porsches of Taylor and Morriss to close in.



Lee Partridge was also storming through the field as a result of his race three retirement, the ‘Aussie Driver Search’ Audi inside the top ten by lap three and monstering Dale Paterson in the Camaro GT3. Paterson was lamenting a lack of grip having been forced to use well worn rubber for the final race.



Further back Shane Barwood and Nick Karnaros were having a terrific fight for the lead of Trofeo Challenge, whilst in GT4 Ryan Simpson was able to comfortably hold his rivals at bay on the way to a second win and a good haul of championship points.



Up front Kenny Habul was putting in an impressive display, the US-based Australian ultimately crossing the line almost eight seconds clear of Twigg who was able to hold Hackett at bay across the closing laps.



Geoff Emery held on for fourth, the reigning champion lamenting a lack of drive off the corners despite being able to stay within sight of the AMGs. Emery’s long-time rival Tony Bates was fifth in his best run of the weekend with Ryan How holding out Lee Partridge for sixth, despite the latter throwing everything at the 17-year old on the final lap.



Nick Kelly made it an Audi 4-5-6-7-8 with Tony Quinn recovering from his race three setback to be ninth at the flag ahead of the Porsches of John Morriss and Scott Taylor, and Dale Paterson in the Camaro.



Shane Barwood grabbed his second win in Trofeo Challenge to close down Nick Karnaros’ points lead, with David Greig third, the latter shadowing Karnaros across the closing laps.



Richard Gartner was next ahead of Trophy Series rival Joseph Ensabella with Ryan Simpson getting the better of the battle with Justin McMillan in GT4 to claim his second win of the round and extend his championship points lead on debut.



Jim Manolios took the gorgeous new Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVO to fourth in Trofeo Challenge and fourth in points, whilst Mark Griffith was able to use the V6 power of the Ginetta G55 to hold out Justin McMillan for second in GT4, McMillan third.



Victor Zagame claimed fourth in GT4, whilst David Crampton was all smiles after completing his first race at the Grand Prix after electrical issues in race two to claim fifth in Class.



For the Australian GT regulars who were treated to a record crowd across the four days of the Australian Grand Prix event, the focus now turns to Barbagallo Raceway in Western Australia for round two of the season with a pair of races under lights at the recently resurfaced facility that last hosted AGT in 2017.



That event, scheduled for competition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (2-4 May) will see three 40-minute races all of which are scheduled for LIVE coverage on Fox Sports Australia (Foxtel Channel 506).




-motorsport media - photo AGT

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17.03.2019 / MaP

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