With Jaxon leading the Australian Porsche Carrera Cup championship since the first round at the Adelaide 500 back in March, we were very keen to get to our home track, the GC600 on the treacherous streets of Surfers Paradise for the final round of the championship.
We also had Tim sitting 4th and Anthony 5th in the Pro-Am championship, who were both keen to get into the top 3 and Adam had made great progress since joining us for round 5 at Darwin.
This circuit was very mean to us in the early 2010s but has recently been extremely generous to us and our drivers. As a result, our excitement was quite controlled knowing how easily things can turn bad at this unforgiving circuit.
Jaxon qualified 3rd and was happy to be starting from the second row. He got a good start and held position running ahead of two-time world endurance champion, Earl Bamber until lap 10. He drove a very intelligent and measured race to finish 4th and gain enough points to win the championship.
In race 2 Jaxon's start was good but he was held up into the turn 1 chicane, letting Wood by into 4th. He made a great pass on Wood into turn 4 then pulled a lead. He didn't quite have the car speed to catch Bamber so took another 4th.
Jaxon's third race was won by an extraordinary first lap where he jumped Dave Wall of the line to slip into P3 then he took advantage of some shenanigans between Bamber and McBride in front at turn 4 to drag past Bamber down the back straight. He held off a robust attack and contact from Bamber at the end of the first lap to stamp his authority on the race and take a hugely popular win to close out his 2018 campaign.
Adam qualified a disappointed 12th in Pro class and started from grid 15. He had a good start and first lap to jump two spots. He made two more spots on lap 2 to run 11th. He got more comfortable with the tricky layout and made two more positions on lap 12 and 15. On lap 22 he made his final pass to finish a well-deserved 8th.
In race 2 Adam got a good start and had a solid first lap but lost a position to a hard-charging Moffat. He continued to get comfortable and familiar with the 'concrete canyon' picking up another place when Hill crashed out. Unfortunately, he dropped back to 9th on the last lap when Love managed to force his way past.
Adam got another good start in race 3 and drove his most motivated and determined race since joining MR, to be right amongst the leading pack of Pro drivers. Unfortunately, a failure in the transmission driveline cut his race short which was a bitter disappointment considering he was driving his best race of the season.
Anthony did an outstanding job in qualifying to take his third Pro-Am pole position in his maiden season in the ultra-competitive Carrera Cup championship. At the start of race 1, he got a good start but got boxed in by slower starting cars ahead. He hounded Adrian Flack for the first half of the race but decided to conserve tyres and take a solid 2nd place.
In race 2 Anthony got away from the start line well and did all he could to make the crucial lap 1 pass on race 1 winner Flack, but wasn't quite able to make a safe pass. Once the race settled into a rhythm Flack created a small lead which he held over Gilbo until the end of the 12 lap race.
Gilbo's final race of the season was not unlike his two races earlier in the weekend. He got a cracker start and the funnel effect into turn 1 cost him an opportunity to pass Flack for the Pro-Am race lead. He drove a very solid and sensible race to hold off a highly motivated teammate and take his fourth consecutive podium finish.
Tim qualified 3rd in Pro-Am and started race 1 from grid 14. He had another cracker start but was unable to take advantage of it on the tight street circuit. He battled gearshift issues but did an excellent job dicing with and prevailing over Pro-Am championship leader Grove to take a strong 3rd.
The awesome MR crew changed the gearbox in Tim's car after race 1. He had a good start but had a big moment as the field funnelled into the turn 1 chicane, making contact with the rear of Gilbo's car requiring all his vast skill to rescue the situation. After the first lap excitement, he had a relatively quiet run to the finish for another 3rd.
In race 3 Tim had planned for a blinder of a start in an effort to halt his pesky run of 3rd place finishes. Unfortunately, Flack and Gilbo ahead got equally blinding starts, so after another fast but controlled race, Tim had to be content his third 3rd place for the weekend.
Obviously, the whole team are thrilled for Jaxon and his 2018 Porsche Carrera Cup championship win. The AMRC (awesome MR crew) are equally and deservedly proud of their own performances to look after all our Carrera Cup drivers during the season and to assist Tim and Gilbo to three Pro-Am rounds wins between them along with Jaxon's round wins.
Adam came on board mid-season and was certainly kicking some goals by the back-end of the year – it would be great to be able to look after him next year. It is likely Tim and Gilbo will be back in search of the Pro-Am crown and we hope we will see Jaxon's star continue to rise in Europe next year.
As this is our last round for 2018, we would sincerely like to thank all our drivers, families, sponsors, supporters, followers and friends on social media and anyone who likes what we do. We have some very exciting plans brewing for 2019, so stay tuned !!