TEKNO Autosports driver Nathan Morcom was the star of the first Australian GT Championship race of the season at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Morcom started in 3rd in the #60 McLaren, but after a great jump at the start made his way to second. He had a great battle with teammate Nathan Antunes in the #61 before the compulsory pitstop. Morcom was in fourth after the pitstops were completed but managed to get back to second place within three laps and held on for his first podium of the year.
Elliot Barbour took over from Antunes after he set a new lap record of 1:20.4130 in the #61 on lap 15. Barbour was running fifth until they fell to seventh on lap 20. But that didn’t last long and he got back to fifth by race end.
In the #59, Grant Denyer started in ninth and made his way to 7th when he handed the car over to Jonathon Webb. Webb found himself down in 14th by the time all the lead cars had pitted. He managed to climb back up to 12th at the chequered flag.
Nathan Morcom started well in the #60 from the front row and led the race but on lap 14 he was spun by #1 Audi driver Christopher Mies at turn nine. Morcom came in that lap for his compulsory pit stop and by the time he returned to the track he was down in 19th. He did manage to climb back up to 15th including passing two cars on the final lap.
Elliot Barbour started from fifth in the #61 and was running well until he ran down the escape road following a safety car and then struggled to get the car started again. He dropped a lap and eventually finished 22nd.
Grant Denyer started from 11th and found himself as high as seventh when he swapped with Jonathon Webb. By the time all cars had pitted he was 13th but made a late charge to come home ninth.
Nathan Morcom started from eighth in race three and fought his way to 2nd but Craig Baird got past him in the Mercedes Benz AMG GT not long before teammate Grant Denyer took third place as well. Post-pitstops, Morcom was running in twelfth but managed to fight his way to third at one stage.
Denyer meanwhile had the #59 in second for the first several laps but dropped to fourth by the time he gave the car to Jonathon Webb. Webb crossed the line in 10th however was given a 17 second penalty for a racing incident and dropped to 13th officially.
Elliot Barbour’s 61 stopped on lap 14 and looked to be out of the race. He managed to get the car going but was right at the back of the field. The car was then retired a few laps later.
Jonathan Webb/Grant Denyer
#59 McLaren Melbourne McLaren 650S GT3
Qualifying 1: 4th
Race 1: 12th
Qualifying 2: 11th
Race 2: 8th
Race 3: 13th
#60 SLR McLaren 650S GT3
Qualifying 1: 19th
Race 1: 2nd
Qualifying 2: 4th
Race 2: 14th
Race 3: 9th
Nathan Antunes/Elliot Barbour
#61 Beechwood Homes McLaren 650S GT3
Qualifying 1: 3rd
Race 1: 6th
Qualifying 2: 3rd
Race 2: 22nd
Race 3: 23rd
The next round of the Australian GT Championship is at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18-20.