Great Racing On Show As Record Falls At Motor Festical
ON A DAY WHEN another chapter in Bathurst’s lap record chase was written, the Bathurst Motor Festival has delivered a packed day of on-track action at Mount Panorama.18-year-old Formula 3 rookie Chris Anthony, from Cooma in the New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains, won today’s Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship race and re-set the famous Bathurst outright lap record for the second time this year, going fractionally quicker than kiwi Shane van Gisbergen’s benchmark set during the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.Anthony set the new mark at 2m03.8245s, just 0.03s quicker than van Gisbergen’s existing benchmark, mid way through today’s 12-lap race and while en-route to his maiden victory.”I didn’t realise I got the lap record!,” Anthony said following his stunning win.”I didn’t realise it when I looked at the time on my dash, but Mark (Rundle, Team BRM manager) came on the radio and said ‘you’ve won, you’ve won.. and you’ve also beaten Shane van Gisbergen’s lap record!’.”I couldn’t believe it. I did not expect this, knowing how strong Ben Gersekowski and Simon Hodge are. It will sink in tonight, I’m sure.”Today’s exciting Formula 3 race saw Anthony lead home Gersekowski and Hodge, Chelsea Angleo impressing in her first ever Bathurst race with fifth position outright and a class victory. Australia’s fastest racing cars will race again tomorrow for another 12-lap encounter.The racing was spectacular across the board today with the NSW Production Sports Car, Production Touring Car and Historic Group N classes all delivering plenty of action in their opening races.The Shaw Vineyards Production Touring Cars are set for a thrilling one-hour race tomorrow after staging a pair of entertaining ten-lappers today.Dylan Thomas won the ‘Driver A’ race held on Saturday morning, despite driving with a broken wrist this weekend. Thomas’ Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X comfortably edged out Steve Hodges’ HSV GTS and Martin Miller in a VZ Clubsport.The ‘Driver B’ race later in the day was a thriller, a race-long fight between a BMW and two Holdens’ an edge-of-the-seat affair for the entire duration. Tony Virag (GTS) led Steve Hodges early, both chased by the pole-sitting BMW M3 of Nathan Geier.The three traded places on several occasions with Geier ultimately working his way past with two laps remaining to take the victory.Dean Neville dominated the action in the Group N Historic Touring Cars, wining both of today’s six-lap races in his ’69 Chevrolet Camaro.Darryl Hansen (Ford Mustang) and Jason Foley (Falcon GT) finished second and third, respectively, in race one while Michael Anderson (Falcon) edged out Hansen for second and third in the afternoon race. The Group N Historic Touring Cars return for a third and final race of their weekend tomorrow.Neale Muston and Duvashen Padayachee battled for the lead in the first CUE Production Sports Car series race, the two Porsche’s evenly matched throughout with Muston grabbing the victory by just 0.2 seconds after a race-long dice between the Porsches.Rod Salmon (Audi R8 LMS) and Steve McLaughlin (Audi R8 LMS) finished third and fourth, respectively, with Porsche driver David Ryan rounding out the top five in his GT3 Cup Car.Ryan then went on to win a safety-car riddled second race, with three interventions from the pace car required within the 10-lap distance.The late caution helped Ryan stave off a flying David Wall, who started last but stormed through the field in the Porsche he is sharing this weekend. The V8 Supercar ace was catching the leader prior to the final safety car being called. Steven McLaughlin finished third in his Audi R8 LMS Ultra.The Prod Sports field will end the weekend with what is set to be a spectacular one-hour enduro Sunday afternoon.William Jordan (Nissan GTR), Jon Taylor (Clubman JTS), Gary Shipton (Ford Mustang) and Keith Short (Toyota Corolla) all topped their respective regularity sessions, lapping closest to their nominated benchmark times and scoring the least amount of penalty points compared to their rivals.Andrew Hibbard (Porsche Boxter) and Michael Clout (Porsche GT3 Cup Car) topped the two sessions for the Porsche Club of NSW.The action continues with a big Easter Sunday program that concludes with one-hour enduro races for the New South Wales Production Sports and Touring Car classes.