Oran Park: Three from Three for Washington

Max Twigg had an up and down weekend
Courtesy of the Australian GT Championship

Adelaide’s Bryce Washington has gone to the top of the Australian GT points tally following a perfect week end at the CompliSpace Round 7 of the Championship held at Sydney’s Oran Park circuit at the week end (November 3-4).

Washington, the 2005 Australian GT Champion, took pole position and won all three races in his NATRAD sponsored Lamborghini Gallardo to wrest the Championship lead from Allan Simonsen (Ferrari 430).

In qualifying Washington posted a time of 1:9.0217 to put him .9319 seconds ahead of the Sirena Racing Ferrari of Simonsen while Ian Palmer in the Palmer Steel Industries Lamborghini Gallardo was third fastest 2.3984 seconds astern of Washington.

Damien Flack was next fastest in his Porsche GT3 Cup Car, followed by John Teulan in another Ferrari 430. The big news of the session was the non appearance of Championship contender David Wall who had damaged his Porsche GT3 RSR in a practice accident after coming in heavy contact with a concrete wall, while Ross Lilley debuted in his new Ferrari 360 in 11th position.

Race 1 saw Washington take the win from Simonsen with John Teulan in third, Palmer in fourth and Damien Flack in fifth. Washington also posted the fastest lap of the race with a tour at 1:09.9164.

The Porsches of Sven Burchartz, Paul Tresidder, Paul Bolinowsky and Greg Ward took places sixth to ninth while Ross Lilley improved one spot to finish in tenth position. Max Twigg’s Porsche GT3 Cup failed to finish after breaking a rear suspension arm, as did Peter Lucas’s Lotus Elise that spoilt its previously faultless finishing record suffering an electrical malady.

David Wall’s Porsche was back on the circuit for Race 1 after a praiseworthy all night re-build, but he had to come back into the pits on the observation lap with an electrical problem.

But it was all got for Race 2 when the World of Learning sponsored Porsche of Wall’s took second to Washington. Simonsen finished in third followed by Max Twigg (Porsche GT3 Cup Car), and Ian Palmer’s Lamborghini in fifth, Damien Flack in sixth a d Peter Lucas (Lotus Elise) coming home in seventh.

Simonsen was having an interesting meeting with Ferrari bodywork. He had dislodged the splitter in race 1 after contact with Washington and it appeared to dislodge again in race 2 and then contact with a ripple strip pulled the rear diffuser and body work clean off the car.

David Wall’s Porsche was the next car through and collected a big piece of Ferrari body work on the front of his car that remained there for the rest of the race, with Ian Palmer Lamborghini also collecting some Prancing Horse memorabilia.

Eventually Simonsen was given the meatball flag to come into pits so officials could check the damage but he was allowed back in the race for his third place.

Ross Lilley (Ferrari 360 GT) spun in race 2 and was clipped on the front right by Greg Ward (Porsche GT3 Cup Car) resulting in a ruptured radiator that left him as a non-starter for the final race.

Washington’s win was excellent, but David Wall’s drive from the back of the grid was superb The fastest lap was again claimed by Washington with a time of 1:10.6268.

The final race of the round went to Washington with Wall and Simonsen again in second a third respectively, but this time it was Wall who set the fastest lap with a time of 1:10.4221.

Damien Flack came home in 4th ahead of John Teulan’s Ferrari, Sven Burchartz, Paul Tresidder, Paul Bolinowsky and Ted Huglin in the Consolidated Chemical Company Ferrari 360. The Lucas Lotus was a non finisher, this time with a suspected engine failure that will almost certainly see it with a fresh power plant for its next outing.

Angelo Lazaris was forced to withdraw his Lotus Exige GT3 from the meeting when it broke a drive shaft bearing on lap 1 of practice with no spares being available in the country.

The final round of 2007 Australian GT Championship will be held as the Sandown GT Classic from December 7-9 and will see return of John Bowe (Lamborghini Gallardo) and John Kaias (Aston Martin).

The Sandown GT Classic has already gained added status with the board of CAMS approving the awarding of the Australian Tourist Trophy to the winners of the event.

NB Competitors must drop their worst round at the end of the Championship. The adjusted points below shows the standings after competitors worst round has been dropped up to and including Round 7 Points table after 7 of 8 rounds

Washington 662 adjusted 595
Simonsen 662 adjusted 578
Wall 565 adjusted 509

Flack 577 adjusted 517
Burchartz 503 adjusted 489
Tresidder 435.5 adjusted 401