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Australian GT: Bathurst, Klark Quinn Wins Opener

But Controversy Make The Headlines.

Defending Champion, Klark Quinn took out the opening round of the 2013 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli.

The race took place as part of the first 50 minutes of the 2013 Liqui Moly Bathrust 12 Hour with 14 crews nominating for points in the race.  Five cars would pull out after 50 minutes and not complete the 12 Hour event.

The teams could put any of their nominated 12 Hour drivers in for the GT event and all drivers in that car would score points, rather than just the driver in the car.

The race would run without compulsory pitstops.

Maranello Motorsports would take the flag with Mika Salo at the wheel but they would be demoted to second according to a little known driver seeding rule that can be applied to a race without pitstops.  Normally seeded drivers would take a longer pitstop to make up for their driver skill.

Naturally Klark was delighted to take the win to start his title defense.

“How good’s that, it was certainly action packed. It wasn’t expected, but I’ll take every win I can. To win at Bathurst, no matter what race you’re in or what car you’re in is fantastic, I’m really proud,” Klark said after the race.

“I didn’t have any nasty moments, the car’s going pretty good but we’re having a few brake issues which is just me pushing a little bit too hard for a 12-hour, I just needed to back off a little bit.”

Quite how the driver seeding rules and the penalties were applied were not outlayed in the post race communications from the GT management.

Star drivers like Mika Salo (Maranello), Greg Murphy (Trofeo) and Tim Slade (Erebus) would start the race but seemingly only Salo would take a penalty.

The race was run mostly under safety car and as the race ended, the yellow flag was out.  The confusion around the results continues as the GT management did not release time gaps with the race results.

This overshadowed a great Class B battle between the GT4 Ginettas and Porsche Cup Cars.

Ben Fossel would take the win in a Porsche. and, unfortunately Mark Griffith would be taken out by another crash in his Ginetta.

Fossel would take out the category in his Porsche but his joy for the win would be tempered by time under safety car.

A major crash during the race involved Tony Quinn in the Aston Martin and he suffered broken ribs in the accident and could not make his Bathurst 12 Hour drive as a results.

This was not the start of the season that the GT Championship would have hoped for.  They have a chance to redeem themselves at the start of March as the teams make their way to Adelaide to support the V8 Supercars at the Clipsal 500.

Sam Tickell

Race Result

1. Quinn/Quinn/Van Gisbergen (VIP Petfoods Porsche Type 997 GT3-R) – 14-laps
2. Edwards/Bowe/Simonsen/Salo (Il Bello Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
3. Manolios/Murphy/Capelli (Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3)
4. Koutsoumidis/McInnes/Middleton/O’Young (Equity-One Audi R8 LMS)
?5. McMillan/Richards/Lilley (GB Galvanizing Lamborghini Gallardo LP600)
6. Salmon/Lowndes/Luff ( Audi R8 LMS ultra)
7. Weng Sun/Baird/Griffin (Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
?8. Slade/Holdsworth/Hackett (Erebus Racing Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3)
9. Schneider/Jaeger/Roloff (Erebus Racing Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3)
10. Tony Quinn (VIP Petfoods Aston Martin Vantage GT3) – 11-laps
11. Lago/Russell/Kox (JBS Swift Lamborghini Gallardo LP600)
12. Michael Hovey (ESP Print Management Ginetta G50 GT4) – 13-laps
13. Ben Foessel (Motor School Porsche Type 996 GT3 Cup)
14. Mark Griffith (Griffith Corporation Ginetta G50 GT4) – 5-laps