The Hampton Downs 101 began in familiar fashion with Dominic Storey hitting the rolling start from 6th position in the #63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 giving fellow Kiwi Greg Murphy a nudge in the process. Storey receiving a 5 second penalty for the minor incident but was unfazed producing a strong sector and moving the team into 3rd.
Following their well-rehersed game plan Peter Hackett took the middle stint on worn tyres with a clear aim to maintain position and stay out of trouble. Showing the ability that has lead to him being one of the most successful AGT drivers in history, Hackett chipped away at the all-star field moving the car into 1st where he remained.
Unfortunately a team mix up meant the car was released from the pits early following the compulsory driver change on lap 67. Storey forced to complete an extra stop (2 min 10 seconds plus pit lane transit time), putting the team just under 3 minutes behind the field.
Storey showed immense focus and determination to climb his way back into 7th place claiming a lap record of 1:30:014 in the process.
“It’s just one of those things, the race was ours. There’s no doubt it’s disappointing,” said Peter, “Dom and I take so many positives from this weekend. We’re seriously fast and we’ve shown that. It’s just a matter of getting everything going our way at the same time, I’m hopeful we’ll get that chance at Highlands in two weeks time.”
The closing laps of the race were action packed with a number of cars retiring from minor incidents and safety cars galore as the pressure mounted.
The pole-sitting Lago/ Russell Lamborghini took the 101 lap race from the Martin/ Padayachee Porsche and the McLaren of Morcom/Denyer who were later penalized and finished 5th being replaced by the Tander/Bilski Audi in 3rd.
The Eggleston Motorsport team has been the first AMG home every round and this was no different; finishing in 7th place in a time of 2:48:27 to take home another 90 championship points.
“We finally found the ‘long stint’ pace today which was lacking at Eastern Creek “ Peter said "This has been such a fantastic experience, the venue is incredible, the event is world class and it’s only going to get bigger.”
“Massive thanks to all the supporters who turned out (and tuned in) to watch, it was an amazing feeling having so many fans cheering us on. “
The final round of the CAMS Australian GT Championship Endurance Series is at Highlands Motorsport Park, New Zealand on November 11-13.
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