Phillip Island: Perfect Oz GT Debut for Bowe

John Bowe had a great weekend in his Lamborghini
Courtesy of the Australian GT Championship

John Bowe achieved the perfect debut for the Team Lamborghini Australia Gallardo GT3 by taking pole position in qualifying and winning all three races at Round 5 of the Australian GT Championship held at Phillip Island at the weekend (August 10-12).

Bowe, who is competing in his last fulltime year in the V8 Supercar Championship Series and whose stellar career includes the unique triple by being the only driver to have won the Australian Touring Car Championship, the Australian Drivers Championship (open-wheelers), and the Australian Sports Car Championship together with two Bathurst victories, guided the brand new Gallardo to victory despite ferocious opposition and vastly indifferent weather conditions.

The best ever field of GT machinery ever assembled in Australia took to the circuit on Friday for three practice sessions and it was Bowe and South Australian driver Bryce Washington in the NATRAD Gallardo that traded fastest times with Bowe achieving a 1:33.6512 as opposed to Washington who posted a best time of 1: 33.8552.

Allan Simonsen in the new Coopers Racing Ferrari 430 was also quick together with Craig Baird in the Consolidated Chemical Company Ferrari 360GT, Will Davison in the John Kaias owned Aston Martin DBRS9, David Wall (Porsche GT3 RSR), Sven Burchartz (Porsche GT3), and Ian Palmer (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3).

Allan Simonsen's first weekend in his Ferrari 430 extended his championship lead
Courtesy of the Australian GT Championship

On Saturday the two practice sessions were headed by Washington and Allan Simonsen respectively with Washington posting what was to be the fastest time of the weekend with a lap of 1:33.0372 in session 1 while Simonsen stopped the clocks at 1:48.7492 in session 2 after poor weather had enveloped the Phillip Island circuit.

It was Bowe however who put the time in when it counted in qualifying heading the 23 strong grid with a lap of 1:45.3165 followed by Davison (Aston Martin DBRS9), Washington (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3), Baird (Ferrari 360 GT), Simonsen (Ferrari 430), Ian Palmer (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3), John Teulan (Ferrari 430), and David Wall (Porsche GT3 RSR) in 8th.

The normally front front running RSR was severely hampered by not having traction control or ABS of the newer FIA GT3 cars The first 12 lap race held on Sunday saw Bowe take victory from Simonsen, Baird, Washington, and Davison in 5th after a spin whilst trying to overtake Bowe for the lead Porsches driven by David Wall, Sven Burchartz, and Max Twigg filled positions 6th through to 8th with Mark Eddy bringing his Ferrari 360 Challenge home in 9th and Damien Flack rounding out the top ten in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car.

In race 2 Will Davison rapidly coming to grips with the Aston Martin finished in second position less than 5 seconds behind Bowe with Simonsen giving the Coopers Racing Ferrari 430 another race podium with third place.

Washington was fourth in his Gallardo followed by Baird in the Ferrari 360 GT, Ian Palmer (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3), and David Wall (Wall of Learning Porsche GT3 RSR) in 7th.

The final race of the day put the icing on the cake for Bowe and Lamborghini Australia with another victory, while Davison (Aston Martin DBRS9) again put in a great drive for another second place.

Results from race 3 were confirmed today (Monday August 13) after some confusion following the race which saw numerous pit stops and safety car interventions.

The Ross Lilly Porsche had a difficult weekend
Courtesy of the Australian GT Championship

The leading group swapped positions throughout the 12 lap journey in an event that truly showed what the GT Championship is capable of delivering in terms of exciting racing with Baird coming home in 4th followed by Sven Burchartz (Porsche GT3), Damien Flack (Porsche GT3 Cup Car), Mark Eddy (Ferrari 360 Challenge), Grant Sherrin (Porsche GT3 Cup Car), Bryce Washington (Lamborghini Gallardo GT3), and David Wall (Porsche GT3 RSR) rounding out the top ten.

Both Washington and Wall were caught out during the race on dry tyres, being unable to come in due to congestion in pit lane as a result of the entire grid attempting to come in a race that would not normally have required a stop. This matter is to be addressed by the organisers.

Results from the weekend can be found >here

Round 6 of the 2007 Australian GT Championship will be held at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on September 1-2.

2007 Australian GT Championship Results (After 5 of 8 rounds):
Allan Simonsen - Ferrari 430 482
Bryce Washington – Lamborghini Gallardo 457
David Wall – Porsche GT3 RSR 413
Damien Flack – Porsche GT3 Cup Car 255
Peter Lucas – Lotus Elise 233.5

2007 Porsche Drivers Challenger Points (After 5 of 8 rounds)
Damien Flack – Porsche GT3 Cup Car 397
Sven Burchartz – Porsche GT3 379
Max Twigg – Porsche GT3 Cup Car
332.5 Gary Dann – Porsche GT3 Cup Car 264
Peter Fountas – Porsche GT3 Cup Car 257

Visit the Championship web site at