Images by Judi McDonald
Porsche 911 GT3-R racer John Morriss has clinched the 2019 GT-1 Australia title, after a pair of dramatic 50-minute races at Winton Motor Raceway.
Morriss and his title rival Matt Stoupas battled for the lead in the early laps of Race 2, but fell down the order after the compulsory pit-stop cycle, due to having longer handicap pit-stop times than their rivals.
While battling back through the field, Stoupas made contact with the MARC II entry of Geoff Taunton at Turn 1, causing both cars to spin off the circuit. Taunton retired from the race, and while Stoupas was able to limp to the line in ninth position after another pit-lane visit to change a deflated tyre, he lost substantial ground in the points to Morriss, who finished third behind Hadrian Morrall (MARC I car) and Adam Hargraves (MARC II).
A shorter pit-stop time put Stoupas in the prime position to win Race 3 and he duly delivered, but second place for Morriss was enough for the Porsche racer to secure the championship.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season, it’s been fantastic,” an emotional Morriss said.
“I lost my daughter last year so it’s been a tough time for me and my family, but coming and racing with such a great bunch of guys has been my therapy.”
MARC I driver Jake Camilleri finished third for the round.
Mark Tracey defeated his Albury rival Cory Gillett in the battle for the inaugural Thunder Sports title, finishing second and first in the two Sunday races aboard his BMW E36 3 Series.
Tracey was once again second behind Matt Sears (BMW E46) in Race 3, but brake problems forced Sears to withdraw from the final, allowing Tracey to win the race and the round.
A gallant Gillett wasted no efforts in attempting to challenge Tracey, even changing a differential after encountering a problem late in Race 3, but the Nissan Silvia driver didn’t quite have the pace to challenge Tracey.
Mechanical problems for Glen Postlethwaite (Commodore) and Tickford Supercar mechanic Corey Walton (Falcon) enabled Brent Edwards (BA Falcon six cylinder) to finish third in the weekend’s final race.
Chad Cotton may have won the round, but second place overall was enough for Future Racer driver Craig White to win his second-consecutive title in the Miniature Race Car Series.
Cotton won all three of the Sunday races, including a spectacular charge through the field in the reverse-grid Race 4, with White scoring a trio of second-place race finishes.
Jack Boyd (Aussie Racing Car) finished third for the round ahead of Peter Klein (Aussie Racing Car) and Stephen Chilby (Legend Car).
Chilby completed a successful weekend of double duty by adding another two Stock Car wins to his tally, fighting with his Oz Truck counterpart Brett Mitchell in both Sunday races. While Mitchell missed out on a race win, he recorded the lap record in Race 4.
David Hender notched up a pair of third-place finishes to finish second for the round ahead of the consistent Robert Marchese.
Rohan Little won the final Classic Porsche race to take the round ahead of Sven Burchartz, while Doug Barbour completed a clean sweep in the Group S class.