Team TEKNO was back out at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth for the Australian GT Championship alongside the V8 Supercars last weekend, taking to the track for two 60-minute races across Saturday and Sunday.
Race 1 began on a damp track, which saw the need for the whole field to be fitted with wet tyres to start the race. This later progressed to a visible dry line that ultimately hampered the performance of the wet weather tyres and saw the Safety Car brought into action on Lap 16, before the pit stop window was set to begin. Jonathon Webb in the #59 McLaren Melbourne 650S GT3 opted to swap to slicks under the safety car period alongside Nathan Antunes in the #61 Beechwood/SLR/Buildmap McLaren 650S GT3, however went a lap down as a result. Following the mid-point of the race after more pit stops and the compulsory time penalties applied, with just over 15 minutes in the race remaining another Safety Car deployment saw the field compressed with Nathan Morcom in the #60 DPO McLaren 650S GT3 sitting in P3. As the racing resumed Morcom dived into P2 behind Steve McLaughlan’s Audi R8 LMS whilst holding off Marcus Marshall, where he would eventually finish to claim a spot on the podium after starting in P14. Meanwhile, the #61 of Nathan Antunes finished in P13 ahead of Jonathon Webb in the #59 in P14.
The second race of the weekend on Sunday morning saw Audi driver Geoff Emery hitting the wall head-on at Turn 7 on the opening lap. The field was slowed behind the Safety Car as the race continued for about 20 minutes under caution before it was finally suspended with a red flag. The race was then resumed with 19 minutes remaining on the clock, with race officials counting the red flag period as a compulsory pit stop and thus adding 50-percent of the compulsory pit stop time to the overall race time. Elliot Barbour took the #61 Beechwood/SLR/Buildmap McLaren 650S GT3 up to P9 from P13 prior to the red flag before Nathan Antunes took over for the second half of the race. Craig Baird grabbed the lead to the chequered flag ahead of Klark Quinn and John Martin. However, upon the compulsory pit stop times being added Antunes inherited P2, while the #59 of Jonathon Webb finished in P5 ahead of Nathan Morcom in the #69 in P6. This proved enough for Morcom to take out the overall round win and bank some solid championship points.
“We didn’t expect that,” Morcom exclaimed.
“I lost the tyres towards the end and I wasn’t going to hold them up – if you fight with somebody you lose time, and I wasn’t racing them, I was racing the clock to the cars further down the road.”
Jonathon Webb/Matthew Kingsley
#59 McLaren Melbourne 650S GT3
Race 1: 14th
Race 2: 5th
#60 DPO McLaren 650S GT3
Race 1: 2nd
Race 2: 6th
Nathan Antunes/Elliot Barbour
#61 Beechwood/SLR/Buildmap McLaren 650S GT3
Race 1: 13th
Race 2: 2nd
Catch Team TEKNO at the next round of the Australian GT Championship at Phillip Island on 27-28 May.