Round 2 of the Shannons Nationals saw us at Phillip Island celebrating the 100th round. This is an incredible milestone for the series. With 5 categories competing over the weekend there was a bit of everything. Also thrown into the mix was the weather, as rain was expected on the Sunday, this was sure to be a cracker of a race ahead. Walking the pit lane I saw Mad Mike but no bulls in the stables. I questioned Mike on the whereabouts of the mad drifting machine for some Dori Dori action at the Island. He informed me that he’s here for Enduro Racing… Can you drift the Mclaren? Ummmm No. Damn!
Saturday gets a bit more serious with teams dialling in their settings in the morning for qualifying. Putting it all on the line to fight for that perfect lap and front row spot. Watching everyone in action, it was great to see such a wide range of cars. Radicals, Porsche GT3 and Carrera Cup, Formula 4 and the Endurance Category. After seeing some intense action throughout the day, it was time for the Enduro Qualifying. Something we had all been waiting for. Hearing and seeing these beasts driven in anger is a site to behold and sensory overload to your ears. When you hear a wailing Lambo, or an AMG GT 2, both with differing unique sounds but both truly jaw dropping. These are the cars I’d pick for tunnel passes just to hear that beautiful exhaust note reverberate off the tunnel walls or shopping centre tunnel entrances to set off every car alarm known in the complex. It was the AMG GT combo of Peter Hackett and Dom Storey that took pole with a time of a 1:28.3876. Sitting alongside in 2nd was the Porsche 911 GT-R of Liam Talbot and John Martin. The second row saw Geoff Emery and Garth Tander on third in the Audi R8 LMS, alongside the Lamborghini of Peter Major and Glen Wood. Sundays race was set to be the biggest in GT history.
Saturday night Phillip Island had encountered heavy rain and thunderstorms, so the the forecast for the day was the odd shower on and off with storms. Arctic conditions lay ahead at the Island. Not great for photographers but alas these are the things we do for what we love. The race started out dry but did not last long. The Porsche streaked off into the lead during the first phase of an action packed race. Rain was due to fall and rain it certainly did, not long into the race. The heavens opened and had teams scrambling for pit stops. Some also took it as a time to do a quick top up of fuel as well as the obvious tyre change. What unfolded in the pit lane from the sudden scramble was utter bedlam! Cars everywhere. Cars unable to move due to the sheer number of cars double parked in pit lane. It was like the Monash, just needed an e-tag. After the pit stop traffic managed to clear itself and it was back on again out on the track with drivers battling right through the field.
At the end of the day, it was the Hungry Jacks Audi R8 LMS of Jaxon Evans and Tim Miles that took 1st position after originally qualifying 6th. 2nd was the AMG GT of Hackett and Story despite the pit lane dramas, and 3rd went to Fraser Ross and Warren Luff in the McElrea McLaren 650S. Enjoy a selection of pics from the event below.