More than 70 drivers have taken to the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit to do battle in the CAMS Victorian Supersprint Championship as Liam Hooper claimed a well-deserved victory in difficult conditions.
With drivers getting multiple shots at posting the fastest time on the Victorian circuit, the Subaru WRX pilot was in fine form throughout the day coming out on top in both the two sessions he took part in.
The Tasmanian's winning time of 1:40.2 came on his penultimate lap in the final session, as he came so close to breaking into the 39-second barrier mark on multiple occasions.
On the same lap, fellow WRX pilot Michael Garland also posted his best time of the day, finishing one second slower than Hooper.
While Hooper ended his session just one lap later, Garland did everything he could to pass the leader, using up the maximum 11 laps available to competitors.
Garland’s best opportunity came on the third lap of the session, but he was only able to get within half of a second of his own time, forcing him to settle for second outright.
Following the event, Hooper was thrilled with his maiden victory outside of Tasmania.
“I feel great. It’s been a long time coming,” Hooper said.
“The car has been in development for a long time and in the last five months, we have spent a lot of time with Brad Sheriff from Race Tech Performance and he has made all the difference.
“We now have the car in a position where everything is working together.
“We basically came over to Phillip Island with no expectations. It was difficult conditions and we had never driven at Phillip Island before, so I am thrilled to win because it took a lot of people to help us get there.
"Everything ran really smoothly. It was nice to come over and race with some new cars and new people for the first time out of Tasmania, which was cool.
"I love the Supersprint format because you get a little action out on the track, you get some traffic but you are also competing against the clock, so there is always some strategy in it and I enjoy that.”
Rounding out the podium was Mazda RX7 pilot Christopher Howell after crossing the line in one minute and 42 seconds the third lap of the final session.
Howell’s position came at the expense of Gregory Lynch who was occupying third spot thanks to his second best outright time from session seven.
The HSV driver was unlucky not to be able to improve on his time and ended the day in fourth, two tenths of a second behind Howell.