Major Carves Through Field for Barbagallo Race 2 Win

Photo: Australian GT

Photo: Australian GT

Peter Major has claimed victory on home soil in the second Australian GT Championship race of the weekend at Barbagallo.

The PM Motorsport Lamborghini driver raced his way through the field to cross the line more than seven seconds ahead of the second-placed Audi of James Koundouris and Ash Walsh.

“It’s awesome to win in front of the home crowd, all my mates are here, so it’s a really good result for us and it was good fun too,” enthused Major.

“To come from the back – we were second last at one point – and to get the win is awesome!”

Having started 13th, Major managed to avoid an opening lap incident that claimed the Objective Racing McLaren of Tony Walls and Scott Taylor’s STM Mercedes-AMG GT3.

An incident at turn two saw Walls spin while in third place, the field scattering around him before an unsighted Taylor was left with nowhere to go.

The incident drew the safety car, bunching the field behind race leader Liam Talbot (Mega Racing Porsche) who’d fended off the advances of Fraser Ross (YNA Autosport) at the race start.

At the restart Talbot opened a comfortable buffer at the front of the race, an advantage he held until his compulsory pit stop.

Solid early pace from Tony Bates saw the Moveitnet/AFS Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver emerge at the head of the race following the pit stop cycle, though soon came under pressure from the hard-charging Major.

A well-timed move saw Major take the lead, opening a lead which he then managed to the chequered flag.

Bates then came under the attentions of Max Twigg in the WM Waste Management Services Mercedes, the duo inseparable throughout the final 20 minutes of the 60-minute race.

Having been handed to Walsh, the Supabarn Supermarkets entry proved rapid in the second half of the race.

Both Walsh and Audi stable-mate Kelvin van der Linde were making strong progress through the field following their compulsory stops, and quickly caught and passed Talbot’s Porsche.

Next on the duo’s radar were Twigg and Bates, who also fell victim as Audi sealed the second and third steps on the podium.

Tablot was unable to bridge the gap to the Twigg/Bates battle, trailing the two Mercedes home in sixth place.

It was a result which allowed Talbot to take out the round ahead of Geoff Emery/Kelvin van der Linde with the Ash Walsh/James Koundouris combination third for the weekend, while consistent performances Twigg claim the Gold Driver Cup.

In Championship terms Talbot has extended his advantage at the top of the standings to 28 points over Emery and Roger Lago, who are locked together in the points standings.

The next round of the Australian GT Championship will take teams to Townsville (July 7-9) for the penultimate round of the 2017 season.

However, before then many will be in action again at the opening CAMS Australian Endurance Championship event of the year at Phillip Island (May 26-28).

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