Smollen’s Championship Swing at Eastern Creek
Shane Smollen has returned to winning form at Eastern Creek; taking second in the Challenge Class in round three of the Australian GT Series. Smollen battled the elements in race one to salvage third in class and 12th outright before finishing first in class and 10th outright in a dry race two.
“We didn’t have luck on our side yesterday but today was exciting,” Smollen remarked at the end of the round. “Everything went well; the car was consistent, Autohaus Hamilton have it prepared well and I’m stoked we had a fast consistent round.”
Race one of the weekend was tainted by the changing weather. Rain fell moments before the start of the race with the entire field fitted with slick tyres. Smollen wrestled his 997 GT3 Cup Car around the wet Sydney circuit, including a moment at turn nine, until his mandatory pit stop which was extended due to a misplaced wheel pin. Following his pit stop he closed the considerable gap between him and second placed Paul Tressider to finish a mere six tenths of a second behind him.
The dry race two begun with carnage and Smollen was forced to dodge cars left, right and centre into the first turn. After jumping two positions before the safety car was deployed, Smollen opted to pit early as other class competitors stayed out. Along with his consistently quick pace this strategy secured him the class win; crossing the line 13 seconds before second place, and a top 10 outright result.
With this weekend’s podium result, Smollen has jumped in the GT Challenge standings, closing the gap between Challenge leader Ray Angus and him. The next round of the Championship is held at Phillip Island on July 10 – 11.
Shane Smollen wishes to thank the following:
- McGrath Estate Agents