News TRT Media Release June 2, 2024 (Comments off) (77)

Osborne on Top

CLAY OSBORNE has launched from second position to claim his maiden Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia race win, at Shell V-Power Motorsport Park in South Australia. 

Starting second, the McElrea Racing Kiwi got the perfect start and led the field uphill to the first corner, beating polesitter Brock Gilchrist into a lead he’d never lose.

Osborne led home Oscar Targett and Gilchrist in Saturday’s 25-minute opener with Ramu Farrell (Pro-Am) and Brad Carr (Class B) on top in the class battles.

In bright sunshine, the field launched into turn one with Osborne getting the better launch of the leading group, while Targett jumped Conor Somers to rise to third.

The Safety Car was called early after a series of events at turn five and six saw recoveries required.

The first was a drama that saw Hamish Fitzsimmons and Lachy Harburg spinning at turn five, fortunately avoiding any major contact as the field took evasive action.

Contact between Andrew Georgiadis and Caspar Tressider then saw the former stranded at turn seven, forcing a recovery.

A restart with 10 minutes remaining saw Osborne judge his jump perfectly and pull away in the race lead while Gilchrist had to fend off Targett in a battle for second, the latter ultimately sneaking through with a strong pass at turn one with a few laps remaining.

With Osborne catching lapped traffic on the final lap, Targett’s Grove Hire car closed on the leader on the final tour of the 3.41km West circuit but ultimately settled for second with Gilchrist third.

Osborne, who had a third, a second and a non-finish in the Phillip Island season opener, became the fourth different winner from four races this season.

Targett’s decisive move saw him move to a clear title lead over Osborne, the three-way tie-break at Round 1 finally broken.

Behind the leaders, Aron Shields gained ground to finish a stout fourth position in his Astrontech / DNA Autosport entry leading home Conor Somers’ Sonic Motor Racing entry.

Somers – who finished within three seconds of the winner at the end of a highly competitive race – also set the quickest lap of the race and what stands overnight as the lap record of The Bend’s 3.41km West circuit.

Caleb Sumich moved forward to sixth position while Ayrton Hodson passed Jake Santalucia to grab seventh mid-race.

Ramu Farrell finished ninth and claimed the Pro-Am class win after an adventurous race for the Sprint Challenge ‘race within a race’.

Brett Boulton finished second in class and 11th outright with Danny Stutterd third in class and just behind.

The outright top-10 was completed by Tyler Greenbury, while Brad Carr won Class B and finished an outstanding 13th outright in the 30-car field.

Fitzsimmons recovered from his lap one off to 17th position and will have work to do on Sunday, while Harburg recovered to 20th.

Two races on Sunday complete Round 2 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series in South Australia, the 45-minute Jim Richards’ Endurance Trophy race to kick off proceedings on Sunday morning, followed by a second sprint race later in the day.

The second race will be broadcast live and free on 7plus on Sunday as part of the Shannons SpeedSeries coverage.

International viewers – including those in New Zealand – can watch via speedseries.com.au/TV.

QUALIFYING REPORT

A 30-minute shootout for pole position has delivered New Zealand star Brock Gilchrist his first one-make Porsche pole, grabbing the top spot by a tiny margin at Shell V-Power Raceway in Round 2 of Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge.

An initially damp track saw a long build before fast times could be set with Gilchrist’s 1m18.9762s best set on his 17th and final lap of the session.

The 20-year-old from Auckland became the third different driver to score a Sprint Challenge pole for Team Porsche NZ, following in the footsteps of Ryan Wood and Marco Giltrap.

His Team Porsche NZ GT3 Cup Car took the top spot by 0.025s over Clay Osborne, who has been quick since the first session of the weekend.

Conor Somers was another to record a personal best result in Qualifying, his Sonic entry making it three teams in the top three with an outstanding third-place effort.

Oscar Targett will start race one on the outside of the second row, with Jake Santalucia in fifth position and Aron Shields in sixth.

The top six cars were covered by just 0.2276 seconds with everyone setting their best laps deep in the 30-minute session.

Championship leader Caleb Sumich was next with Hamish Fitzsimmons eighth but facing down a three grid position penalty for impeding another competitors in the busy session – 30 cars struggling to find pace on the 3.41km circuit.

Ayrton Hodson and Tyler Greenbury completed the top-10 runners with the first five rows covered by just 0.7 seconds.

In Pro-Am, Ramu Farrell continued his strong run of form by taking the class pole and grabbing 11th outright.

David Grieg was a strong second in class and will line up directly alongside Farrell on the sixth row of the grid, with Brett Boulton right behind.

Brad Carr was on top in Class B and a strong 15th outright.

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