McElrea Racing

GT3 Cup Challenge Round 5

It’s always great to race at your home track and we had a very busy weekend running 5 cars – a third of the entire field!

The highlights of the weekend were Tim Miles having his first race in the ex-Tony Walls 2011 model, Australian GT Driver Simon Ellingham having his first race weekend in GT3CC and most impressively, Matt Campbell winning his first National Championship by gaining an unassailable lead in the B Class category for pre-2010 model cars.

McElrea Racing’s Carrera Cup Pro Drivers Shae Davies and Warren Luff were busy all weekend doing video analysis and one-on-one coaching for our GT3CC drivers as part of our MR Driver Development Program.

Scott Taylor – GT3 Cup Challenge – A Class, 10th, 6th, 8th

Scotty had a much better weekend than the last round at Winton.

He qualified 7th and finished 10th in race 1 after an eventful 40 laps.

He was on-track for a much better result until contact with debris from another car damaged a shock absorber and created a vibration which forced him to pit to have the crew check for damage before continuing.

In race 2 Scotty drove a superb race of speed and consistency to start from the rear of grid and make his way to 6th in A Class by the end of the race.

In Race 3 he came off second best in a dice with team mate Tim Miles…

Scott is now looking forward to his Carrera Cup debut at Sydney Motorsport Park in two weeks.

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Taylor drove a superb race of speed and consistency in race 2.

Tim Miles – GT3 Cup Challenge – A Class 6th, 7th, 4th

Tim Miles had a great first weekend in A Class in his new 2011 model car ‘Beyonce’.

It was a promising start to the weekend with him running in the top 3 in Friday’s practice.

For unknown reasons Tim’s health was not at it’s best on Saturday morning, but he was still able to qualify a gallant 6th in A Class.

Tim had an epic race with his highly fancied team mate Matt Campbell in the first race and using the superior power of the newer car forced his way past Matt to finish 6th.

Unfortunately for Tim he damaged a front tyre in race 1 and the regulations dictated that a replacement tyre meant starting from the rear of the grid in race 2.

He drove up to 7th in race 2, but saved his best for last by driving one of his best races in his GT3CC career to finish 4th in A Class in race 3.

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After starting at the rear of the grid, Miles drove through to 7th in race 2, setting up an impressive 4th in the final race.

Simon Ellingham – GT3 Cup Challenge – A Class 9th, 9th, 6th

This was Simon’s first race in GT3 Cup Challenge with most of his racing being the less intense enduro racing in NZ and the Australian GT Championship.

Simon benefitted greatly from having his regular MR Engineer Hayden from his AGT campaign doing his data and Luffy on the radio coaching him throughout the weekend.

He did his PB laptime in qualifying to line up 8th in A class.

As expected, this style of sprint racing threw plenty of action at Simon with standing starts, more aggressive wheel-to-wheel racing and the demands of getting up-to-speed as quickly as possible in each race.

We were extremely happy with his progress over the weekend finishing with an impressive 6th in the final race of the weekend.

He is only out of the car for 10 days before his next AGT round at Sydney Motorsport Park on 22-24 August.

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Ellingham gained valuable experience in the super-competitive field..!!

Matt Campbell – GT3 Cup Challenge – B Class 1st, 1st, 1st

Well what can you say about this guy, (except please help him find some financial backing to continue..!!)

As usual Matt drove the wheels off the oldest car in the field to qualify and finish first in B Class in all 3 races.

In race 1 he had a great dice with the front runners for the first 10 laps until his narrower tyres started to deteriorate (B Class cars have narrower tyres than the A Class cars). He then had an epic scrap with team mate Tim Miles for the last 10 laps.

He drove another great race to finish 7th outright in race 2 before a sensational race 3 netting him 4th outright ahead of 6 of the newer A class cars.

Matt deservedly sealed the GT3 Cup Challenge B Class Championship with the final round at Phillip Island still to run.

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Matt Campbell dominated and won the B Class Championship in his first season..!!

Grant Sparks – GT3 Cup Challenge – B Class 5th, 5th, 5th

Sparksey was faced with a greater challenge than his team mates at QR as he had missed the last round at Winton while holidaying in Europe and the last test day due to work commitments.

As a result, we had to work on getting him up-to-speed on Friday and improving his pace over the weekend.

Like Simon, he achieved a personal best lap time in qualifying. He did a solid job in the first race and was having fun in race 2, until he was hit from behind by Brendan Cook while the field was under the safety car!!

By the end of race 3 he was ready for more racing, so we are looking forward to getting Sparksey further up the field at Phillip Island next month.

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Sparksy continues to be a 'diamond in the rough' matching the fantastic artwork on his car with limited track time due to personal commitments...