News TRT Media Release June 3, 2024 (Comments off) (72)

Wild Porsche Action

OSCAR TARGETT has survived one of the most unpredictable Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia rounds in history to claim Round 2 of the championship at The Bend at the weekend. 

The Grove Racing / EBM driver claimed a dramatic race three victory to win the round overall over Brock Gilchrist and Aron Shields – but the story was in no way as simple as the results indicate.

The results now mean that Targett – the only repeat race winner of the season so far – holds a narrow outright series lead heading into Round 3 in Townsville, Brock Gilchrist just eight points behind. 

Home-town hero Pan Boyaci claimed The Bend’s win in Pro-Am over Danny Stutterd and Lachy Harburg, while Jacque Jarjo won the Class B battle at the South Australian venue.

Stutterd’s consistent weekend aboard his TekworkX Porsche ensures he now leads the Pro-Am standings by 51 points over Lachy Harburg. Jarjo leads the Class B stansings. 

Targett’s pathway to victory in South Australia was far from easy after he was penalised 10 seconds following race two on Sunday morning. That result dropped him from second on the road to 14th position which is where he started race three later in the afternoon.

Brock Gilchrist won the Enduro race on Sunday morning with Jake Santalucia and Hamish Fitzsimmons – who charged from 24th on the grid following his challenging race one on Saturday – climbing to third position.

Targett was one of several to storm through the field in race three, which saw Gilchrist lead early. The Grove racer charged from 14th to seventh on the opening lap and had climbed as high as fourth by lap eight.

A storming Fitzsimmons passed Gilchrist for the lead on lap seven, however was carrying a five-second penalty for overlapping on a Safety Car restart, meaning he had to pull away in front in order to remain on the podium.

Gilchrist had settled into second position and was being chased by Kiwi compatriot Clay Osborne when the pair made contact at turn six on the ninth lap of the race – causing Gilchrist to slip down the order and Osborne out of the race with left front damage on his McElrea entry.

That elevated Targett to second position, the Michelin Junior ensuring he finished well within striking distance of Fitzsimmons, ensuring he would claim the race victory once the five second penalty was applied. The TekworkX driver slipped to third at the line, with Aron Shields’ promoted to second.

The contact between Gilchrist and Osborne was more critical for the former, who finished eighth which was not enough to retain the points lead for the round overall – the Team Porsche NZ driver ultimately finishing second overall behind Targett.

The Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series heads to Townsville in July for Round 3 of the series, the first time the category will have competed on a street circuit in its 15-year history. 

Targett holds an eight-point lead over Gilchrist in the standings with Aron Shields moving to third following a strong weekend at The Bend. 

Round 1 winner Caleb Sumich remains fourth overall with Fitzsimmons fifth. All five Michelin Juniors are within one race victory of the series lead. 

In Pro-Am, Stutterd leads Harburg by 51 points with the ever-consistent Brett Boulton surviving a challenging weekend to remain third in the standings, while Ramu Farrell dropped to fourth and David Grieg to fifth. 

Jacque Jarjo has a commanding lead over Brad Carr in Class B, while Hamish Fitzsimmons epic comeback in Race 2 on Sunday morning ensured he remained at the lead of the Jim Richards Endurance Trophy points following two races, Brock Gilchrist and Jake Santalucia next. 

Sprint Challenge’s first visit to The Bend’s West Circuit resulted in several records being established, including the first time in series’ history six different drivers had won six races in a row – Brock Gilchrist’s victory in the Sunday morning enduro adding his name to prior winners Clay Osborne, Caleb Sumich, Hamish Fitzsimmons and Oscar Targett – and Nash Morris, who won the final race of the 2023 season. 

Osborne left with the West circuit lap record, set in Race 2 at 1m18.2243s. 

Round 3 of the Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia Series will be held at the NTI Townsville 500 between 5-7 July this year alongside the Repco Supercars Championship. 

STANDINGS:
After 2 of 6 rounds

PRO: 

1 Oscar Targett 275
2 Brock Gilchrist 267
3 Aron Shields 240
4 Caleb Sumich 232
5 Hamish Fitzsimmons 228

PRO-AM

1 Danny Stutterd 305
2 Lachlan Harburg 254
3 Brett Boulton 230
4 Ramu Farrell 212
5 David Greig 184

CLASS B

1 Jacque Jargo 354
2 Bradley Carr 164
3 Keith Diano 150
4 Stephen Moylan 126

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