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Garth Tander Joins Australian GT For Phillip Island 101
Posted by: newsla on May 21, 2014 - 07:04 AM
Sports Cars
Garth Tander Joins Australian GT For Phillip Island 101

• an impressive 26-car field will meet the starter for the 101-lap event
• nine active V8 Supercar drivers join the Phillip Island field


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After the success of the ‘Highlands 101’ after the close of the 2013 season in New Zealand last year, Australian GT series organisers and teams were keen to see an endurance format event included in the 2014 calendar, with Phillip Island chosen as the venue for the inaugural Australian 101-lap event.

“Highlands was such a success that we felt we’d add one to the regular season calendar, and Phillip Island was chosen as the perfect venue,” Australian GT category manager Ken Collier explained. “We wanted a good mix of sprint and endurance races, because teams were telling us that the longer races were something they were keen to pursue. By the look of the entry list for this round, they clearly stood by their words.”

Whilst 26 cars for the second round of the championship is further proof of the ongoing success of the series, the list of co-drivers for the 101 is a veritable ‘who’s-who’ of Australian motorsport..

Tony Quinn has continued to pull a rabbit out of the hat, introducing yet another big-name driver to join him in the VIP Petfoods Aston Martin Vantage - three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander. Tander jumps into the seat vacated by fellow V8 Supercar regular Fabian Coulthard, the New Zealander otherwise committed preventing he and Quinn from taking back-to-back 101 wins after an emphatic victory at Highlands Motorsport Park last November.

In all, nine V8 Supercar regulars (full-time and endurance event drivers) will join the field for the Phillip Island 101 including; Tander, Craig Baird, David Russell, Steve Owen, Steven Richards, Tony D’Alberto, Daniel Gaunt, Warren Luff and Karl Reindler..

Throw in new Le Mans 24 Hour recruit James Winslow, former V8 Supercar star John Bowe and the all-conquering Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 piloted by two of the most exciting young drivers in the country and you have the recipe for three hours of the finest motor racing you will see anywhere in the world.

For those of you who cannot get to Phillip Island this weekend, don’t worry, you will be catered for with live-streaming for the full three hour race starting from 2:00pm (AEST) on Saturday, May 24. Log into www.thenationals.com.au for more details, and keep in touch with www.facebook.com/AustralianGT

GT Championship (for 2012-2013 specification GT3 cars)
You’d be hard-pressed to look past the Erebus Mercedes with two of the hottest young stars to enter Australian GT in the last two seasons driving together, but don’t discount the speed of dual-champion Klark Quinn and Craig Baird, nor the McMillan/Richards and Lago/Russell Lamborghinis with Phillip Island suiting the slick Italian machines. Expect too that Garth Tander will be right in the mix, Tony Quinn’s NZ 101 performance last year proves that you could not rule them out as contenders either..!

GT Trophy (for GT3-spec cars 2011 and older)
Anyone game to put money on this… wouldn’t think so. Audi came up trumps at Sandown, but only after some of the other teams struck trouble. Phillip Island will be different, the Audi is better suited to the fast flowing coastal circuit, but with some hot new entries into the category and some serious co-drivers lining up with the car owners, there could be any one of six teams capable of winning, and don’t discount Audi making a return to the top step either, especially with the likes of Warren Luff and James Winslow on board..

GT Challenge (Challenge class cars - Porsche/Ferrari)
Former GT3 Cup Challenge champion Matt Kinsgley is the star performer of the Challenge class, and on his day, he’s almost unbeatable, but with former rival Terry Knight in the field, the race result is no sure thing. Don’t discount the reigning champion either.. Ben Foessel is young, he’s fit and he’s fast, he’s also keen to show he’s every bit a match for Kingsley..

GT Sports (GT4 category cars)
Karl Reindler proved to be Mark Griffith’s secret-weapon at the Bathurst 12-Hour, and he’s back.. He’ll have his work cut out though in the V6 Ginetta against the more powerful Lotus Elise which now has journey-man driver Ryan McLeod in the second seat alongside Tony Alford. This will be a battle to watch closely, a battle which may go all the way down to the final lap..

Friday, 23 May
Practice #1 - 9:40am (20-minutes)
Practice #2 - 11:20am (20-minutes)
Practice #3 - 1:10pm (30-minutes)
Saturday, 24 May
Qualifying - 11:05pm (25-minutes)
Race (101-laps) - 2:05pm (time certain - race finish by 5:00pm)

The Australian GT Championship in its current guise has been contested at the Phillip Island circuit every year since 2005, and in three of those years (2005/2006/2012) the series competed at the Victorian circuit twice. In bad news for the outright teams, the Erebus Motorsport team has been the dominant team at Phillip island since 2012, with Maro Engel and Jack Le Brocq sharing the last three wins at the circuit in Australian GT, Le Brocq re-setting the outright lap record last time around to a stunning 1:27.1505.

Keep track of round six of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli via the AGT website - www.australiangt.com.au and via Facebook; AustralianGT

The event will also be live-streamed on Saturday, you can watch the footage by logging-on to www.thenationals.com.au

Tickets are available at the gate for the Sandown event; Saturday - $20/adult ($15 concession), Sunday - $30/adult ($25 concession), weekend - $35 (kids under 16 free)

1. Klark Quinn/Craig Baird (Darrell Lea McLaren MP4-12C)
7. Tony Quinn/Garth Tander (Darrell Lea Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
23. Roger Lago/David Russell (Lago Racing Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
36. Richard Muscat/Jack Le Brocq (Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3)
47. James Koundouris/Steve Owen (Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche GT3-R)
48. Justin McMillan/Steven Richards (Interlloy Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
49. Tony DeFelice/Tony D’Alberto (Vicious Racing Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
88. Peter Edwards/John Bowe (Il Bello Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)

6. Rod Salmon/Nathan Antunes (Skwirk.com.au Audi R8 LMS GT3)
14. Peter Conroy/Dean Grant (Peter Conroy Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup)
33. Jono Lester/Simon Ellingham (Fastway Couriers Porsche 997 GT3 Cup)
35. Indiran Padayachee/Duvashen Padayachee (Rentcorp Porsche 997 GT3 Cup)
51. Andrew MacPherson/Ben Porter (IMAK Int. Porsche 997 Cup-S)
52. Keith Kassulke/Jonathan Venter (Ascari KZR-1 GT3)
69. Theo Koundouris/Sam Power (Supabarn Supermarkets Porsche 997 Cup-S)
71. Dean Koutsoumidis/James Winslow (Equity-One Audi R8 LMS GT3)
72, Ockert Fourie/John Magro (Audi R8 LMS GT3)
73. Michael Hovey/Matt Cambell (Associated Projects Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
75. Steve McLaughlan/Warren Luff (JAMEC PEM Audi R8 LMS GT3)
77. Jan Jinadasa/Dan Gaunt (JJA Consulting Group Lamborghini Gallardo LP520)

3. Ben Foessel/George Foessel (Motor School Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
21. Jeff Neale/Terry Knight (RockStar Racing Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)
25. Brendan Cook/Matt Kingsley (Walz Group Porsche Type 997 GT3 Cup)

9. Tony Martin/Grant Bromley (TM Motorsports Ginetta G50 GT4)
19. Mark Griffith/Karl Reindler (Hog’s Breath Cafe Ginetta G50 GT4)
54. Tony Alford/Ryan McLeod (Donut King Lotus Elise)

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