After the success of the ‘Highlands 101’ after the close of the 2013 season in New Zealand last year (seen below), Australian GT series organisers and teams were keen to see an endurance format event included in the 2014 calendar, with Phillip Island chosen as the venue for the inaugural Australian 101-lap event.
“Highlands was such a success that we felt we’d add one to the regular season calendar, and Phillip Island was chosen as the perfect venue,” Australian GT category manager Ken Collier explained. “We wanted a good mix of sprint and endurance races, because teams were telling us that the longer races were something they were keen to pursue. By the look of the entry list for this round, they clearly stood by their words.”
Whilst 26 cars for the second round of the championship is further proof of the ongoing success of the series, the list of co-drivers for the 101 is a veritable ‘who’s-who’ of Australian motorsport.
Tony Quinn has continued to pull a rabbit out of the hat, introducing yet another big-name driver to join him in the VIP Petfoods Aston Martin Vantage – three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander.
Tander jumps into the seat vacated by fellow V8 Supercar regular Fabian Coulthard, the New Zealander otherwise committed preventing he and Quinn from taking back-to-back 101 wins after an emphatic victory at Highlands Motorsport Park last November.
In all, nine V8 Supercar regulars (full-time and endurance event drivers) will join the field for the Phillip Island 101 including; Tander, Craig Baird, David Russell, Steve Owen, Steven Richards, Tony D’Alberto, Daniel Gaunt, Warren Luff and Karl Reindler. Add in too the talents of 2014 Le Mans 24 hour rookie James Winslow and there is a truly quality grid in prospect.
GT CHAMPIONSHIP CLASS
1. Klark Quinn/Craig Baird (Darrell Lea McLaren MP4-12C)
7. Tony Quinn/Garth Tander (Darrell Lea Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
23. Roger Lago/David Russell (Lago Racing Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
36. Richard Muscat/Jack Le Brocq (Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3)
47. James Koundouris/Steve Owen (Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche GT3-R)
48. Justin McMillan/Steven Richards (Interlloy Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
49. Tony DeFelice/Tony D’Alberto (Vicious Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
88. Peter Edwards/John Bowe (Il Bello Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
GT TROPHY CLASS
6. Rod Salmon/Nathan Antunes (Skwirk.com.au Audi R8 LMS GT3)
14. Peter Conroy/Dean Grant (Peter Conroy Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) 33. Jono Lester/Simon Ellingham (Fastway Couriers Porsche 997 GT3 Cup) 35. Indiran Padayachee/Duvashen Padayachee (Rentcorp Porsche 997 GT3 Cup)
51. Andrew MacPherson/Ben Porter (IMAK Int. Porsche 997 Cup-S)
52. Keith Kassulke/Jonathan Venter (Ascari KZR-1 GT3) 69. Theo Koundouris/Sam Power (Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche 997 Cup-S)
71. Dean Koutsoumidis/James Winslow (Equity-One Audi R8 LMS GT3)
72, Ockert Fourie/John Magro (Audi R8 LMS GT3) 73. Michael Hovey/Matt Cambell (Associated Projects Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
75. Steve McLaughlan/Warren Luff (JAMEC PEM Audi R8 LMS GT3)
77. Jan Jinadasa/Dan Gaunt (JJA Consulting Group Lamborghini Gallardo LP520)
GT CHALLENGE CLASS
3. Ben Foessel/George Foessel (Motor School Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
21. Jeff Neale/Terry Knight (RockStar Racing Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
25. Brendan Cook/Matt Kingsley (Walz Group Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
GT4 SPORTS CLASS
9. Tony Martin/Grant Bromley (TM Motorsports Ginetta G50 GT4)
19. Mark Griffith/Karl Reindler (Hog’s Breath Cafe Ginetta G50 GT4)
54. Tony Alford/Ryan McLeod (Donut King Lotus Elise)