Andrew Macpherson has made a triumphant return to the NSW Production Sports Car Championship at Wakefield Park on Sunday, winning both 30-minute races aboard his Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Macpherson’s main opposition in the GT Class came from Nick Kelly in the Industrie Clothing Audi R8. In the first of the two qualifying sessions, the margin between the two cars was 0.2s and in the second session, it was an even closer 0.05s.
In Race 1, Kelly lost some ground to Macpherson at the start, but rapidly closed the gap to Macpherson’s Porsche and applied relentless pressure for around 20 minutes.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Kelly lunged at Macpherson into Turn 10 but the rear-engined Porsche had superior traction on the exit of the corner and Macpherson was able to stay ahead. Several seconds later, disaster struck for Kelly when he clipped the inside kerb at Turn 1, unsettling his Audi and sending it on a wild ride into the wall at Turn 1.
Kelly’s Audi was severely damaged but amazingly, he escaped the crash without the slightest of injuries.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the Audi’s safety features,” Kelly said afterwards.
“I’m not even slightly hurt, which is amazing because it was a big impact. But it’s a shame, it was a really good battle and it was shaping up for an exciting finish.”
Kelly’s demise left Porsche 997 GT3 pilot Jason Miller to take second outright and first in Class A ahead of the Fernandez Motorsport pair of Sergio Pires and Marcel Zalloua, while Andre Nader took out Class B ahead of Valery Musman. Glenn Townsend was an unfortunate retirement due to a jammed gearbox in his Lotus.
While Macpherson was unchallenged out the front in Race 2, the three Class A combatants put on a superb display of hard and clean racing in their Porsches, with all three drivers spending time in the lead.
In the end, a fluffed gear-shift from Zalloua out of Turn 10 on the second-last lap allowed Miller to capture the lead and drive to his second class win for the day.
“That was the best battle I’ve ever been in,” Miller said.
“All three of us were right on the limit for the entire race. Marcel and I both made slight mistakes and I was fortunate that he made his mistake after me, so I was able to win.”
“I accidentally shifted into first gear coming out of Turn 10, that was what allowed Jason to get past,” Zalloua added.
“It was such a fun race; I felt like Sergio and I were a bit stronger coming out of the corners than Jason, but he was very good under brakes.”
Having taken back control of his BMW M4 from Andre Nader, Adrian Wilson won Class B ahead of Steve Wan (who swapped with Valery Muzman in the Lotus).
The Production Sports Cars’ next outing is at Sydney Motorsport Park on 2 August.