The AMRC (awesome MR crew) came to the 2nd round of the 2022 Championship in a more humble frame of mind than we had when we rolled up at the AGP, 6 weeks earlier. Because we had chosen to head to the tropics after round 1 to do a 2-day test at Hidden Valley in Darwin, we didn't get to test at Winton unlike all the other professional teams. This meant we were quite prepared for our worst round of the season, as the chilly Victorian layout also hasn't been too generous to us over the years.
Harri qualified 3rd. In race 1 he got a great start and took over 2nd place behind O'Keeffe. Using superior race craft, he used a lapped car to pounce and take a lead he wouldn't relinquish. In race 2 he started from pole but lost a spot to a very assertive Russell at turn 3 on the opening lap. In race 3 he had another trade mark flying start to take the lead of the race which he consolidated with a handy lead and cruised to his second win of the weekend and his first ever Carrera cup round win.
Christian was disappointed to flat spot his tyres early in the session and only qualify 18th. In race 1 he charged from grid 18 to 13th by the end. In race 2 he started 13th and again had to use plenty of controlled aggression to take another 5 positions to work his way up to 8th and take fastest lap. In race 3 he had another very constructive first few laps to take another three scalps and then he found himself running near the front of a high-speed freight train till the chequered flag.
Jackson qualified 2nd in the MR stable with a respectable 12th in the 18 Pro-driver field. He made a position on lap 8 and another on lap 14 to finish 10th. In race 2 he had a blinder first lap and got up to 7th then 6th on lap 3 before a couple of minor mistakes dropped him back the order to 11th spot. In race 3 he moved up to 9th on the opening lap then fought hard with Hedge and Almond, to take a well deserved top 10.
Bayley was also frustrated to qualify down the order at Winton. In race 1 he was able to race with the other Pros and learn plenty in the process. In race 2 got off the line a lot better and had a great race moving up 4 spots to take 14th. In race 3 he spent most of the race in a group of far more experienced Carrera Cup racers and was impressively able to fend off Bathurst winner Youlden for the whole race, taking a terrific 11th.
Tim qualified 7th in Pro-Am. In race 1 he had a great tussle with former Pro-Am champs Jane and Talbot, finishing in his qualifying position. In race 2 he was doing a cracking job and running as high as P3 until he was unceremoniously turned around by another Pro-Am driver. In race 3 he drove the best he had all weekend, and would have likely been on for a podium finish for the weekend without the unfortunate incident in race 2.
Well, what can we say??? Huge congrats to Harri for surging from 4th in the championship to a 70 point lead, and completely underpinning his 2022 campaign. It wasn't easy, but he drove a champion all weekend.
To come to Winton as the only team that hadn't tested and take the round win was nothing short of miraculous and again proved why our guys (and girls) are the best in the business. If you needed any other proof of that, after replacing the whole bodyshell in Pancho's car after the AGP, in race 2 he posted the fastest race lap of all cars for the whole weekend.
Bayley did an exceptional job to hold off Youlden for a whole race in only his 4th ever Porsche race weekend and Jackson continues to improve every race weekend.
Finally, many thanks to our good friends at Blacklocks Lavington for the use of their utes to safely carry our valuable equipment over to the V8 pitlane for our sessions.
Many thanks to the awesome MR crew, Lethal Leigh, Hayden, Will and Luffy the supercoach, our drivers, their families and sponsors. See you at Darwin for round 3, next month!