News TRT Media Release April 14, 2024 (Comments off) (82)

Sumich Scores

WEST AUSTRALIAN junior star Caleb Sumich has claimed a dramatic opening round of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series in a sensational conclusion to the first round of the new season. 

The Perth-based teenager had run fourth in the final race of the weekend at Phillip Island before a remarkable turn of events saw him claim not only his maiden race victory – but the overall round win as well.

Sumich, who is in his second Porsche season, took advantage of a collision between the drivers in third and second – and then a post-race penalty to the leader – to claim the big trophy in a dramatic conclusion to an incredible Sprint Challenge season opener.

Sumich won on a countback by virtue of claiming the final race of the weekend, while Team Porsche New Zealand’s Brock Gilchrist was second.

Race one winner Oscar Targett finished third overall after a post-race penalty in the final race dropped him from the top step of the podium.

Danny Stutterd won the Pro-Am class for the round over Ramu Farrell and Lachlan Harburg, while Jacque Jarjo claimed the Class B trophy.

The scene was set for a thrilling showdown following the Enduro Cup race earlier on Sunday, won by Hamish Fitzsimmons in his maiden Sprint Challenge race victory.

Clay Osborne finished second and Oscar Targett third meaning any one of the three could claim the round should they win the finale.

The young trio swapped the lead between them multiple times to set up the three-way battle for the round in the sprint race decider.

That turned into a frenetic affair with Osborne taking an early lead after running side by side on the outside of turn one at the start.

He and Fitzsimmons battled for the race lead on the opening lap, before Targett then assumed the attack from lap two.

Targett raced to the lead four laps into the race, following a restart from a Safety Car period, however his move on Osborne came as the pair crossed the control line – race control deeming that the young Queenslander had overlap prior to the line.

He was assessed a five second time penalty as a result, meaning the battle was then on between Hamish Fitzsimmons and Osborne.

Lap five would be the turning point when Fitzsimmons made contact with Osborne after dropping two wheels off the circuit on the run into MG corner, his TekworkX entry making contact with Osborne’s McElrea car and forcing both out of the race.

That brought the Safety Car out for a second time with Targett crossing the line in first position with Sumich in second.

Targett’s five-second penalty, however, dropped him to 12th in the final order; Sumich becoming the third winner from three races and also sweeping to the round win.

Aron Shields completed his remarkable comeback to second place with Brock Gilchrist’s third seeing him tied on points with Sumich, the latter claiming the win by virtue of finishing higher in the final race.

In the battle for Pro-Am, Brett Boulton claimed both races on Sunday at Phillip Island in a stout recovery from his race one non-finish.

That DNF would prove costly however, Danny Stutterd’s win and pair of second place finishes delivering him the round result.

Ramu Farrell was second overall with Lachy Harburg third – Boulton fourth in points for the round to commence his title quest.

The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia field takes a short break before their next round at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia this May 31-June 2.

Prior to that the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia Championship returns to action this week at the ITM Taupo Super400 event in New Zealand – the second ever international event for an Australian one-make Porsche category.

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