15 Oct NEW PAIRING OF SMOLLEN/CAPO DELIVERS PENULTIMATE ROUND WIN AT THE BEND
Round five of the 2023 Monochrome GT4 Australia championship has been won by the #56 Prestige Connex Porsche Cayman 718 duo of Shane Smollen and Ricky Capo. This is the first time the racers have teamed, and it is safe to say they are happy with the result, winning three of the weekend’s four races.
Second overall for the weekend was the #32 Randall Industries BMW F82 M4 of Jacob Lawrence/John Bowe, thanks to a race win and second placing on Saturday (for Saturday’s full wrap, please click here). Third outright for the weekend was Mark Griffith in the #19 Daimler Trucks Daimler Trucks Brisbane Mercedes AMG GT.
Smollen started race three from the second row on the grid, quickly grabbing the lead from pole sitter and race starter Lawrence at turn one. Smollen then skipped away from the field with an extended lead for much of the race. Smollen and Capo would go on to win both of the day’s races, with early attempts from the #40 GT4 Australia McLaren 570S of KarlBegg/Paul Morris and Lawrence/Bowe entries unable to make a lasting impact.
Making up for running out of fuel in Saturday’s race two and starting ROG in race three, Begg quickly made his way through the pack before handing over to co-driver Morris in 2nd place, where the pair would go on to finish the race. Race four was a mirror finish of race three, delivering a second 2nd place finish for Begg/Morris across the weekend.
Race three was again largely trouble-free for the Monochrome GT Australia racers aside from an unforced error that saw Lawrence spin and drop down the order from 2nd to 7th before recovering to 3rd and handing over to John Bowe, where the pair would finish the race.
Midway through race three, Griffth put two left wheels in the grass while passing a Mobil 1 Australian Production Car (Monochrome GT Australia shares its grid with Mobil 1 Australia Production Cars in 2023), sending him spinning off the track and recovering to finish 4th after a laps-long battle with Bowe/Lawrence (finishing 3rd) for the remainder of the race.
Race three did see one safety car period, however, triggered by a mechanical issue with a Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars racer.
In race four, #32 (Lawrence/Bowe) and #19 (Griffith) battled for the final spot on the podium, with Griffith edging his way in front. This exchange would see the two racers swap finishing positions from Sunday’s early race, with Lawrence giving it everything he had in the final moments of the race to finish fourth behind Griffith.
“It was great to team up with Ricky, and I was just really happy with the team’s performance all around this weekend,” Smollen said.
“I guess from a championship point of view, that mitigated the damage, and we can look forward to Bathurst with a solid lead and hopefully finish races and record a championship. For the moment, it’s just one race at a time.”
“Thanks to Autohaus Hamilton, Aaron at KirkWorks, and Prestige Connex.”
“It was really a pleasure racing with Shane, who I’ve known since the start of this year. We’ve never been able to capitalise on a driving pairing up until now, so it felt a little overdue, and it was even more satisfying to get the win with him.” Capo said.
“A big thank you to Autohaus Hamilton and to a personal friend, Hamish Ribartis.”
The 2023 Monochrome GT4 Australia season continues with the sixth and final round of the season at the Bathurst International across November 10-12 with four x 30-minute sprint races alongside the Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars. Entries are open now at www.ausprodcars.com.au
For further information about Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars and Monochrome GT4 Australia, please contact email@example.com or visit www.ausprodcars.com.au.