Gartner unstoppable at Queensland

The Safe-T-Stop Lamborghini of Richard Gartner made it a clean sweep at Queensland Raceway, as part of Round 3 of the CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series presented by Pirelli.

Gartner charged to his first Australian GT pole position on Saturday, converting it into his maiden win in the weekend’s opening race.

Fronting the field from pole, Gartner drove a brilliant opener, despite intense pressure from Rod Salmon as the pair circulated nose to tail for much of the 50-minute race.

Though faster through the corners, Salmon was unable to match Gartner’s Lamborghini in a straight line as the two leaders locked horns in an enthralling contest.

Roles were reversed in Race 2, with Salmon getting away at the start to lead until the pit stops, at which point Gartner once again assumed control to win the race from Wayne Mack.

Mack had emerged from the pits ahead of Salmon in Race 2 with the pair battling until the penultimate lap.

However positions were reversed post-race, with Salmon relegated to third after a five-second penalty was applied for a jump start.

Mack experienced a mixed weekend, having started from pit lane before charging through the field to fourth place in Race 1.

His results saw him claim fourth for the weekend, narrowly missing out on a podium as the consistency of Steve McLaughlan continued with the leader banking crucial series points.

McLaughlan had fallen to fifth early in the opening race, dicing with debutant Aaron Cameron in the opening laps, before a measured performance in Race 2 saw him add 145-points to his tally for the round.

An impressive drive saw Cameron claim the MARC Class victory in both of the weekend’s races, while Brad Woods and Tyler Everingham combined to take second for the round.

John Goodacre secured third in class, while Jake Camilleri struggled with mechanical issues across both races despite demonstrating strong speed.

Challenge Modern class went to Mark Griffith, who raced his way into the top ten in Race 1 after starting from the rear of the grid.

He recorded another top 10 in Race 2 to secure class honours ahead of Scott Hookey while Ferrari confirmed all three class podium places courtesy of John Nikolovski and Jamie Arratoon who shared the Arakin Racing Ferrari 458 Challenge.

Gartner’s perfect weekend propels him to third in the points standings with 391points, overhauling Rick Mensa who nursed a long brake pedal to the flag in the second race.

Two podiums see Salmon edge closer to McLaughlan at the top of the standings, the Valvoline Jamec Pem racer now just 87 points clear at the top of the standings with two rounds remaining.

Salmon also reset the Queensland Raceway lap record, lowering the benchmark to a 1:10.990 midway through the opening race, shaving almost a second and a half off the previous marker.

The CAMS Australian GT Trophy Series presented by Pirelli now heads to the penultimate round of the Shannons Nationals, as teams head to Phillip Island on 8-10 September.