Klark Quinn has claimed his third Australian GT Championship after a dramatic day of action packed racing at Highlands Motorsport Park.
The Darrell Lea McLaren 650S GT3 driver bounced back following a final lap clash in the opening race to claim third in Race 2, which proved enough to hold out Nathan Morcom and seal the title victory.
“This one is certainly the most special,” Quinn said after the race. “The Australian GT standard is so high now and every year it just goes up and up.
“Nathan [Morcom] was giving it everything and he did a great job to drive through the field from last to first. I was just trying to keep up with him.
“I saw he did a bit of damage to his car and that gave us the opportunity to get ahead of him when he came into the pits [in race two].
“I knew I just had to stay ahead of him and do nothing silly to win the championship but those last ten minutes were intense.
“It’s been a day of highs and lows but I’m so happy with how it’s turned out.”
Quinn and Morcom battled it out for supremacy at the head of the first race before contact between the two left Quinn beached in the gravel at Lakeside on the final lap.
Morcom carried on to take the flag but would be penalized post-race and sent to the rear of the grid for the Race 2.
As a result, the win went to Craig Baird and Michael Almond, ahead of the Greg Murphy/Tony Quinn RJ’s Aston Martin Vantage and the McLaren pairing of Grant Denyer and Frenchman Come Ledogar.
In Race 2 an aggressive start saw Morcom race his way to third place after just twelve laps, though damage to the rear of the Direct Plasterboard Outlet McLaren hurt his outright pace.
Roger Lago emerged at the head of the race after the pit stop window closed but soon came under pressure from Quinn who seized the initiative.
A late-race safety car played into the hands of Morcom, who’d lost ground during the pit stop sequence, but soon found himself swamped by Christopher Mies and Garth Tander in the two JAMEC PEM Audi R8 LMS entries.
With one hand on the championship trophy, Quinn didn’t fight too hard when Nathan Antunes launched an attack in the final laps, while Craig Baird managed to navigate by the Scott Taylor Motorsport entry beyond the Darrell Lea McLaren.
Quinn though held in third place, crossing the line ahead of team-mate Greg Murphy who co-drove with Tony Quinn in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
Morcom ended the race seventh place, a result which crowned Quinn as Australian GT Champion for the third time.