The first official practice of the Hampton Downs 101 played out under blue skies at the North Waikato race track. Twenty-four cars took to the track for two practice sessions ahead of qualifying and the Top Ten Shootout tomorrow.
New Zealand driver Dominic Storey impressed in the Mercedes AMG GT3 setting the second quickest time behind Roger Lago and David Russell in a Lamborghini. Storey and his co-driver Peter Hackett are currently fourth in the Australian GT Endurance Championship and on today’s form are likely to be one of the favorites for Sunday’s 101 lap race. Other cars in the top ten today included an Audi R8, Nissan GTR, Aston Martin, BMW M6 and Porsche GT-R.
“This is exactly what makes GT racing so special worldwide,” said Australian GT Manager, Ken Collier. “The mix of marques and the system of international balance of performance makes it a unique spectacle. After the first two practice sessions the top ten cars are separated by less than a second and we expect the racing to be equally close over the weekend. The new track layout here at Hampton Downs has challenged the drivers but they’ll get quicker as the weekend progresses.”
Kiwi drifting star ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett teamed up with Klark Quinn in the McLaren 650S GT3 for his circuit racing debut and was satisfied with his first hit-out.
“I need to stay consistent and calm down a little bit. I’m getting faster and faster which is exciting and we’ve got pretty solid numbers on the board already. I just can’t wait for tomorrow. I’ll be drifting in the MadBul RX7 during the lunchtime show but I’m more excited about jumping back in the McLaren.”
Tomorrow’s action at Hampton Downs includes qualifying for the Australian GTs, the Top Ten Shootout between the top ten qualifiers and races featuring the support categories including Central Muscle Cars, GTRNZ and Aussie Racing Cars. Kiwi driver Alyssa Clapperton, making her debut in the Aussie Racing Cars, will take on Australia’s Charlotte Poynting in the CAMS Trans-Tasman Women’s Challenge.
Zade Quilter October 28, 2016
Posted In: News
Once in a lifetime experience
Murphy heads the Kiwi charge at the Hampton Downs 101