The second round of the Shannons Nationals started Friday at the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit with drivers across four categories looking to set the scene for their weekend.
Here are the day’s highlights:
Carsales TCR Australia Series
Garth Tander demonstrated his versatility in the newly arrived Audi RS. Tander set the pace in Practice 1 with a 1:37.22. Dylan O’Keefe narrowly missed out on topping the timesheets in Practice 1, but changed that during Practice 2 with a 1:36.63 against Tander’s Practice 2 time of 1:36.99.
Third fastest time of the day went to Andre Heimgartner who clocked 1:37.50 during Practice 2. John Martin in the Subaru WRX was only separated from Heimgartner by ten hundredths of a second, demonstrating that fans should expect some close battles between drivers tomorrow.
TCR returns to the track for qualifying tomorrow at 11:30am. Race 1 will follow at 2:15pm.
CAMS Australian Endurance Championship
Testing for the Australian Endurance Championship drivers started today in preparation for Sunday’s 180 minute race. Cameron McConville in the Lamborghini Hurricane posted the fastest time of the field with a 1:27.37. Jamie Whincup jumped behind the wheel of a Supercar of a different variety – a Mercedes AMG GT3. Whincup’s 1:27.41 was the second quickest time of the session. Max Twigg rounded out the top three times with a 1:28.05 in the Mercedes AMG GT3.
Qualifying for the Australian Endurance Championship starts tomorrow from 12:40pm EST.
Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge
Current Challenge leader Harri Jones (QLD) was the pacesetter for the GT3 Cup Challenge today, clocking 1:32.09. Fellow Queenslander Ryan Suhle finished practice with the narrowest of margins to the leader – a mere one one-hundreths of a second away. Max Vidau (SA) returned to form after issues in the Sydney round, posting the third fastest time during practice with a 1:32.14.
The GT3 Cup cars return to the track for qualifying at 9:35am tomorrow.
CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship
The F4s will have twice the fun this weekend with Phillip Island being a double round for the drivers. Luis Leeds was consistently the quickest across all practice and qualifying sessions, earning himself a position on the front row for Race 1. Starting beside Leeds was Lochie Hughes (QLD), and behind them in the second row sat Ryan Suhle (QLD) and Emerson Harvey (VIC).
Leeds wrapped up a great day behind the wheel by claiming the Race 1 win. Hughes failed to hang onto second, with Suhle slipping in front during the third lap and staying there for the rest of the race. Antonio Astuti (VIC) had the pace, which saw him set the fastest lap time of the race and secure third.
Formula 4 will kick off Saturday’s program of events, with Race 2 at 9:10am EST.
The Shannons Nationals live stream will begin tomorrow at 8am EST. The live stream and timing can be accessed from www.thenationals.com.au