Murphy heads the Kiwi charge at the Hampton Downs 101

Australian driver David Russell posted the quickest time of the day in this afternoon’s Top Ten Shootout to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Hampton Downs 101. Russell clocked 1:30.80s in the Lago Lamborghini REX, just 0.10s faster than the Miedecke Stone Racing Aston Martin of George Miedecke. Michael Caruso will start from third while Christopher Mies who set the early pace in the shootout will complete the second row of the grid.

Greg Murphy was the quickest of the Kiwis, piloting Tony Quinn’s Aston Martin Vantage GT3 to fifth in the one-lap shootout.

“At the end of any shootout you want to go out and do it again because you feel you could have gone faster,” says Murphy. “I probably left a little bit out there but every other driver will say the same thing. The car is so much fun to drive and it’s great to be part of what’s happening here this weekend. ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett got to do his first Top Ten Shootout and while it might not have ended how he would have liked, he’s done a wonderful job.”

New Zealand drifting star ‘Mad Mike’ Whiddett was one of the surprise packages of today’s qualifying session. Whiddett surprised many by making the Top Ten Shootout in his circuit racing debut. He spun out on the final corner of his flying lap but he was still satisfied with his days work.

“The shootout was very similar to qualifying in drifting where you’ve got three corners to shine,” says Whiddett. “Here I had one lap to shine which was difficult because I’m still getting to know the car. I had one lap to warm up the tyres and I was driving one percent harder than earlier in the day which led to that spin on the last corner. But it’s been an amazing experience so far and I’m looking forward to getting out there tomorrow.”

Hampton Downs owner Tony Quinn was a happy man after a successful day on and off the track.

“Me and Greg went okay for a couple of old blokes and I’m delighted how the day has gone,” says Quinn. “The teams and drivers are happy while the fans and the people in the corporate suites have been really complimentary. The carparks were full and tomorrow we’ll have a whole lot more people here but we’ll squeeze them in.”

“You’re always nervous about a new event and yes we’ve had a few teething problems but these things happen. Generally speaking, everyone I’ve met has had a smile on their face and something pleasant to say. The drivers are starting to get to grips with the track. It’s not an easy track but I think the guys are starting to like it. They’re starting to figure out the best lines to take and we’ll see some great racing here tomorrow. Someone referred to us as a niche category this week. Well, we’re not doing too bad for a niche category.”

October 29, 2016

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