The Adelaide 500 is always a fantastic start to our racing season providing a significant challenge for our drivers, cars and crew. We were thrilled to welcome back championship contender Cooper Murray who is joined by GT3 Cup Challenge champion Harri Jones in Pro class and Pro-Am championship contenders Tim Miles and David Ryan.
Cooper did a terrific job in qualifying to take the first pole position of his Carrera Cup career by 2.7 tenths of a second. In race 1 he got a good start and lead the field into the Senna chicane. He pulled a 1-second buffer to Wall and controlled the race for the full 15 laps to take his first win of the new season.
In race 2 Cooper got away well and led Wall by a small margin for the first half of the race until he managed to create a gap and take his second win of the weekend.
Race 3 started the same as the first two races with another clean getaway. Unfortunately there was an accident further down the pack on lap 3 so Cooper won his third race behind the safety car.
Harri did a terrific job in qualifying running in the top 3 until brushing the wall and bending the rear suspension. He started race 1 from grid 12 and he got away well but his pace was hampered by uneven corner weights, so he was unable to make the progress he was intending on.
In race 2 Harri started from grid 11 and was able to make up one place while getting valuable Carrera Cup experience. He was fortunate not to be taken out after Almond hit the wall, darting out in front of him.
In race 3 Harri knew he needed a solid lap 1 to make progress while the field was running 2-wide for the first half of the lap and he delivered as well as possible with a decisive move into 9th. Unfortunately the safety car intervention prevented him from making any further progress.
Tim did a cracking job in qualifying to take his first Carrera Cup Pro-Am pole for our first double pole since 2016. In race 1 he had electronic issues with his dash which lead to an uncharacteristically sluggish start. Unfortunately his race ended in the wall at turn 1 after being hit from behind by another Pro-Am driver.
Tim had a great race 2 from the rear-of-the-grid and passed 6 cars on his way through the pack to 4th in Pro-Am. He had great pace and just missed the fastest Pro-Am lap by 0.003 seconds!
Tim started race 3 from grid 15 and 4th in Pro-Am class. He had a clean first lap and was ready to move forward before the two Pro-Am cars ahead tangled and ended up in the wall, forcing the safety car, but promoting him to 2nd.
Given his lack of recent race mileage over the last few years David did a great job to qualify 7th in Pro-Am. He got into a great rhythm in race 1 and pushed through to 4th in the 15-lapper. He was issued a 5 second penalty for excessive kerbs hops in the turn 1 chicane which dropped him to 5th in the charts.
In race 2 David started from grid 17 and had another solid race with Cini taking 6th in Pro-Am after dropping a spot to Tim.
In race 3 David again started from grid 17 and did another terrific job to keep his nose clean and take his best Carrera Cup result of 3rd which contributed to a sensational 2nd place for the round.
Obviously we are thrilled to guide Cooper to his first three wins of the 2020 championship and second round win since joining MR in June last year. Harri did a stellar job in his first Carrera Cup round – especially on the mean streets of the Adelaide 500. He already has race winning pace and we have no doubt will be on the podium very soon. David exceeded his expectations by taking his first podium in round 1 but we have no doubt his pace and intelligent approach will deliver many more throughout the season. Tim’s pole proved that he will be a Pro-Am championship contender this season, and if not for being punted off in race 1 he would had been on the podium, and likely the top step. We are now looking forward to the fast smooth Australian Grand Prix circuit in 3 weeks.