Unpredictable weather conditions and a superb tyre strategy by Dylan Thomas has reaped the CXC Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9 driver a gutsy victory in the first of two one-hour races that made up the third round of the Australian Manufacturers Championship at Phillip Island yesterday.
Thomas elected to mark up a softer set of his two-tyre replacements at the compulsory pit stop and that gave him far superior pace in the second half of the race where rain fell at times, to catch and pass his Class A Extreme Performance Mitsubishi rivals.
Garry Holt was the early leader with Ryan McLeod taking over the Eastern Creek Karts Evo to retain the lead after the round of pit stops. However they were on a medium to hard tyre set and didn’t have the grip to retain the front running position.
Des Wall (Evo 9) chased McLeod down to take the lead for one lap before Stuart Kostera who had taken over from Inky Tulloch (starting from the rear of the grid) took over the front running until Thomas sailed passed.
With Thomas taking the win by three seconds, McLeod salvaged second from Kostera on the last lap. Wall was next ahead of the front running Class C Mazda 3 MPS of Jake Camilleri. Then followed the BMW 130i of Peter O’Donnell despite two drive-through penalties and the Evo X of Dean Lillee/Jim Pollicina, an early outright contender caught out by tyre choice.
In ninth, one lap behind the winners was the Class D winning Ford Fiesta of Phil and Decklan Kirkham, Colin Osborne’s Mazda 3 MPS and the Richard Gartner Class D Renault Clio. Behind the Mark Eddy/Francois Jouy Honda Integra was Class I winning BMC Mini JCW of Danny Stutterd while Class E was a close contest where eventually the Grant Phillips/Andrew Turpie emerged ahead of the Toyota Echo of Madison Gray and Samantha Bennett.
All that action can be seen on Speedweek, screening at a time to be advised on both SBS and Speed TV on Fox.
There will be updates on Facebook and Twitter (@2011_AMC) across the weekend.
AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND THREE RACE ONE RESULT
1 Dylan Thomas (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:01:16.5993
2 G.Holt/R.McLeod (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 1:01:19.6820
3 S.Kostera/I.Tulloch (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 1:01:23.4833
4 Des Wall (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) 1:01:31.7349
5 Jake Camilleri (Mazda 3 MPS) 1:01:56.4071
6 Peter O'Donnell (BMW 130i 1:02:29.9173
7 J.Pollicina/D.Lillie (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X) 1:02:31.5187
8 D.Kirkham/P.Kirkham (Ford Fiesta) 25 laps
9 Colin Osborne (Mazda 3 MPS) 25 laps
10 Richard Gartner (Renault Clio) 25 laps
11 M.Eddy/F.Jouy (Honda Integra) 25 laps
12 Danny Stutterd (BMC Mini JCW) 25 laps
13 Trevor Keene (Mini Cooper S 25 laps
14 Adam Dodd (Mazda 3 MPS 24 laps
15 G.Phillips/A.Turpie (Proton Satria GTi) 22 laps
16 M.Gray/S.Bennett (Toyota Echo) 22 laps
17 Matt McGill (Toyota Celica) 20 laps
Fastest lap: Dylan Thomas 1:59.3524
Class A – Extreme Performance 1 Dylan Thomas (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9)
Class C – Performance Touring 1 Jake Camilleri (Mazda 3 MPS))
Class D – Production Touring 1 D.Kirkham/P.Kirkham (Ford Fiesta)
Class E – Compact Touring 1 Grant Phillips/Andrew Turpie (Proton Satria GTi)
Class I – Mini Cup 1 Danny Stutterd (BMW Mini JCW)