09 Sep TWIN SATURDAY WINS FOR SMOLLEN AT SANDOWN
Shane Smollen has taken the opening two Monochrome GT4 Australia race wins at Sandown Raceway today, ahead of two further 30-minute outings tomorrow for round four of the category’s 2023 season.
While race two was relatively stress-free for Smollen, the #56 Prestige Connex Porsche Cayman 718 racer had to fight tooth and nail for the first victory of his weekend.
After an early race mistake saw him pinch the tyres and spin at Dandenong Road, Smollen was overtaken by Karl Begg in the #40 Monochrome GT4 Australia McLaren 570S.
This would be the beginning of a race-long battle, which lapped traffic coming into play at inopportune times across the battle.
As the final lap board was shown, Smollen made a move on the inside of turn one to take the lead, with Begg quickly jumping on the back of the Porsche ready to mount a challenge over the coming lap.
However, lapped traffic would again create some obstacles for the sparring pair and especially so in the final corners, where Begg had a hip-and-shoulder moment with a lapped entry which derailed any last gasp passing aspirations for Begg as they approached the checkered flag.
The contact was investigated post-race and deemed a racing incident with no penalty applied, however Begg would miss the next race due to resulting radiator damage. He is expected to make a return for Sunday’s running.
Third for race one was Steve Jukes in the #26 Verve Racing BMW F82 M4, who took advantage of a late race mistake from Mark Grifith in the #19 Daimler Trucks Brisbane Mercedes AM GT to make the pass for third.
In race two, Smollen enjoyed a much clearer run to the finish line, while Jukes had a strong race to secure a personal best GT4 Australia race result of second, while Griffith was third.
Newcomer Jacob Lawrence brought home 5th and 4th today in the #32 Randall Industries BMW F82 MR, while Renee Gracie was 6th in race one while battling clutch issues in her #181 OnlyFans Ginetta G55, which ultimately saw her ruled out of participating in the rest of the weekend.
Sunday will host two further races for the Monochrome GT4 Australia category, which is sharing its grid with Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars this year. They will hit the track at 9.50am and 1.25pm, with the final race of the weekend to be televised on Stan Sport.
For further information about Monochrome GT4 Australia and Mobil 1 Australian Production Cars, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ausprodcars.com.au.