Tony Walls has claimed his second win of the 2016 CAMS Australian GT Championship following a dramatic finale around the streets of Townsville.
Walls took control of the race following the pit stop sequence, holding the lead until two corners from home when a hard-charging Klark Quinn managed to find a way by the Objective Racing McLaren.
A strong start to the race saw Quinn open a small but comfortable lead in the opening phase of the race, before a stunning charge through the field in the final stanza set up a nail-biting finale.
Walls, in the Objective Racing entry, held a 5.4 second lead at lap 40 over a determined Quinn, who edged his way closer until he was in the wheel tracks of Walls’ McLaren on the final lap.
A yellow flag at turn 11 for Simon Ellingham’s Fastway Audi R8 LMS limited Quinn’s passing opportunities, the Darrell Lea driver tucking back in behind Walls car as they approached the yellow flag zone.
Walls ran deep into the turn, leaving Quinn to take the racing line and move into the race lead.
However, in the heat of battle Quinn had made his move too early and had 25-seconds added to his race time to finish seventh, leaving Wall to claim a stunning second Australian GT race win.
Earlier, Roger Lago had valiantly defended second place from Quinn for almost ten laps before the Darrell Lea McLaren 650S GT3 found a way through and set off in pursuit of race leader Walls.
Lago in the JBS Australia Lamborghini R-EX finished five seconds beind Walls with Craig Baird in the Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 just half a second behind in third place.
John Martin and Neale Muston combined for fourth place, the Walkinshaw GT3 Porsche GT3-R proving strong under brakes to climb from eleventh after Race 1.
Tony Bates held on the second in the Audi R8 LMS in the opening laps, resisting intense pressure from Nathan Antunes before the McLaren driver found a way by.
Nathan Morcom and Marcus Marshall followed Antunes’ Beechwood/SLR/Buildmap entry through before Antunes impressive forward march was slowed with a long brake pedal.
Antunes and Elliot Barbour managed the car to 19th place at the flag, one spot back from Justin McMillan and Glen Wood in the Iterlloy M Motorsport Lamborghini which had suffered a puncture in the opening laps.
Christopher Mies took over the #1 JAMEC PEM Audi from Bates after 20 laps with the German carving his way foward after their stop to fifth place.
James Koundouris and Marcus Marshall, who ran as high as second, ended the race in a solid six place to claim valuable championship points while Tony Quinn was classified eighth and Steve McLaughlan an impressive ninth place having been among the thick of the action in the early stages.
Jonathon Webb drove the McLaren 650S GT3 he shares with Grant Denyer hom to ninth place, one spot up from team-mate, and championship leader heading into Townsville, Nathan Morcom in the Direct Plasterboard Outlet entry.
A trio of Audi’s then followed, Marc Cini heading Ash Samadi and Greg Taylor.
Steve Richards and Max Twigg continue to come to grips with the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 with Andrew Macpherson and Brad Shiels following them home.
A puncture ended Ricky Capo’s race after just two laps, the Modena Engineering BMW Z4 GT3 retiring at the beginning of the third lap.
Two strong results across the weekend saw Roger Lago take out the round ahead of Klark Quinn and the Tony Bates/Christopher Mies combination.
With Quinn in seventh and Morcom eleventh the championship battle continues, meaning the champion will be crowned at the very last round of the season at Highlands Motorsport Park (November 11-12).