The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit held its Winter Endurance Access, with four categories doing battle on the iconic track across the weekend.
Headlined by the MRF Australian Production Cars Series, the categories took to the track in mixed conditions with the Australian Prototypes Series, Radical Australia Cup and InBalance 2L Sports Sedans all enjoying an entertaining weekend.
MRF Australian Production Cars Series
Grant and Iain Sherrin finished the weekend as round winners after claiming race two honours in what was a tough battle for the duo.
The Sherrins had faced intermittent electronic issues in the first race causing them to cross the line in seventh and the problem returned one again during the late stages of the second race, however they had built a strong enough lead to secure victory despite the problems.
“We are not sure what is happening to cause the car to go into limp mode and force us to reset each time, but we were able to get it done today,” Grant said.
“The issue surfaced for Iain on the start but then it went away and his stint went really well from there.
“Through some amazing pit stops from the crew and some great race strategy we were able to build a 44 second lead which really came in handy when the car started going back into limp mode in the final laps of the race.”
Finishing the round in second place was Dimitri Agathos and Matthew Boylan thanks to their second race runner-up, which saw them, pip Anthony Soole and Andrew Fisher despite sharing the same amount of points.
Sunday’s second endurance race ended up in heartbreak for Saturday’s front two cars as race one winners Ellexandra and Zak Best crossed the line in 12th and just scraped into the top five for the round, while Saturday’s runner-ups Cem Yucel and Iain Salteri ended the second race in second last.
The Australian Prototype Series
David Barram comfortably won the second round of the season after claiming two wins on Sunday to be one of two drivers to complete a clean sweep of races over the weekend.
Barram was too good for the rest of the competition in the final day of action, leading both races from start to finish as he put a disappointing ending to last month’s first round in Sydney behind him
Reigning champion Jason Makris ended the day in second place, finishing behind Barram in all three races, while the battle for third ended up being the most entertaining as John-Paul Drake fought off round one winner Mark Short to finish on the podium’s final step.
“It feels good to win, very good,” Barram said.
“Friday was tough, the car wouldn’t run and we were very worried that we couldn’t find the reason, actually. I was on edge every time I tried to start the car.
“It was a great weekend and probably the pinnacle of my 35 years. I really liked it and I’ll certainly be trying my hardest to bring the title home. That’s what it’s all about this year. It’s the focus.”
Short didn’t leave the event empty though, taking home the round’s Hankook Cup, while Peter Paddon was the best of the Radical class.
Radical Australia Cup
On the Radical front, it was a solid weekend for Peter Paddon on double duties as he took out his second round of the 2019 season in thrilling fashion, after his pole position points earned him the victory over fellow title contender Chris Perini.
Despite not winning a race for the weekend, Paddon’s two runner-up finishes put him just one point behind Perini in the round points after the latter posted a win and a third place.
However, with earning two extra bonus points for landing pole, Paddon finished just one point ahead of Perini, while a third place to Paul Braico in race one helped him secure the final spot on the podium.
The series’ other title contender in Mitch Neilson redeemed himself on the second day of action to secure a win after a horrid opening race saw him retire and register no points.
InBalance 2L Sports Sedans
The largest field of the weekend saw 29 cars compete across two classes in the Sports Sedans and APRA Pulsars.
Mini Cooper S JCW pilot Iain McDougall was too strong for the outright field, claiming the only other clean sweep throughout the weekend.
McDougall looked untroubled throughout the event as he also took the Sports Sedans class in the process ahead of fellow Mini Cooper driver Craid Lindsell and Brendan Woods.
It was a slow start for Lindsell, finishing the first race in fifth however a combination of DNFs to two of race one’s top three and two runner-up finishes in the remaining races saw him finish second outright.
In the Pulsars, two wins on Sunday to Matthew Boylan saw him named the class winner, while Shane Eberhart ended the weekend in second ahead of Lee Nuttall.
It was a tight battle for third as Nuttall pipped race one class winner Michael Osmond in the final race to claim the final step of the class podium