MMotorsport Townsville Q2 JLB med2 mpixThe M-Motorsport/Interlloy team traveled north to the streets of Townsville for Rnd#3 of the Australian GT Championship, looking for a solid result on a circuit they felt much better suited the Reiter Engineering built Camaro than the fast flowing Phillip Island venue on which they last competed.

Having claimed pole position at Townsville in their Reiter-built Lamborghini Gallardo in 2014, team-leader Justin McMillan was expecting to be right in the mix on the demanding street circuit, and whilst the end result for he and rising young star Jack Le Brocq wasn’t everything they were hoping for, there were still plenty of positives.

“The car was everything I’d hoped it would be,” McMillan admitted post-event. “The lack of high aero corners, and the ability to fire the car out of slower corners, really played to our strengths, however there is an inherent issue with the car which we’ve now uncovered which meant that we were really fighting it all weekend.

“Like most drivers, I enjoy hanging the tail out under acceleration, but it’s no way to put a quick lap together, yet despite that, and the fact that it bit me in race one, I was quicker than I’d been last year in the Gallardo, and we were often one of the fastest cars on the circuit, so look out when we get it sorted!”

Limited practice saw both Le Brocq and McMillan behind the wheel on Friday for the single timed session, before an afternoon qualifying session saw McMillan turn out the 13th fastest time in the 32-car field.

Le Brocq too impressed in the second qualifier to be 12th fastest and just a second off a third row start, although both drivers admitted they were pretty ‘busy’ during their qualifying laps, and both impacted by traffic.

McMillan started the Interlloy-liveried crowd favourite in race one, making gains off the start before settling into a comfortable rhythm behind the John Bowe Bentley.

“I was surprised to be able to just stick with JB and follow him around. I was comfortable, there was no need to push, and I was just pumping out laps ahead of the compulsory pit stop, but then I got caught out.”

Coming out of one of the tight right-handers, McMillan got on the throttle and the car immediately stepped into oversteer, although this time he wasn’t able to catch it.

“It’s a handful, no question, but I’d been ready for it every other time, but this time it just got a little wide and clipped the wall. There was no immediate structural damage, but the rim broke and deflated the tyre, and being a long way from the pits, I thought it better to pull off the circuit in case the damage was worse.

“Fortunately it was an easy fix once we got back to the garage, and the car was ready for race two. In one way I’m disappointed, but in another, we showed good race pace, and were racing ahead of a lot of guys I was matching speed with last year, so in the end, I’d have to say I was pretty happy.”

Sadly, whilst the car was relatively undamaged, the result meant that Le Brocq would be forced to start at the rear of the 32-car field but he quickly, and cautiously worked his way through the field to be inside the top 15 by lap ten, the V8 Supercar Development Series driver one of the fastest cars on track.

“It wasn’t easy, because some of the guys near the back suddenly felt they were racing you for position, even though we were a lot faster, but it wasn’t something I hadn’t seen before, so you had to be careful where you picked your moment, because you could often find the door slammed firmly shut on you mid corner.

“The pace was good, probably a lot quicker than I was expecting, but tough to show when you’re coming through the pack.”

Pitting just off the tail of the top ten, McMillan dived into the car, punching out a string of consistent laps to find himself caught up in the race for the lead over the closing laps.

“We might have finished higher up the order, but I let - race leader - Nathan Antunes through because there was no need to hold him up, but then the Safety Car came out. If I hadn’t let him through we’d have been able to claim a few more over the closing laps, but still I was happy with our 12th paced finish, and I think Jack’s best was inside the top seven, and the car is nowhere near its potential.

“After three rounds we think we’re onto what’s wrong with the car, and will be working with Reiter Engineering to resolve the handling issues, so I think you’ll see us move forward again when we get to the next round.

“I’m happy that both Camaros ran faultlessly with no mechanical woes, and we showed good pace, now the work starts to be ready and competitive for Sydney!”

Whilst M-Motorsport will be working closely with Reiter Engineering to further improve the car, McMillan too has his own plans to get further knowledge of the popular American inspired GT3 car, revealing that he will join Clipsal 500 partner Tomas Enge in a 12-Hour GT race in the Czech Republic later in the year.

“It’s all a part of the development program we have in place with Reiter,” McMillan confirmed. “I want to work more closely with them, and in turn they want to assist us as a team, and me as a driver to get the most out of the car, and nothing does that better than race miles. I’m looking forward to it!”

The fourth round of the Australian GT Championship will be held once more on the V8 Supercar program, on the weekend of 11-13 September at Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek.

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Keep up to date with further announcements from the M Motorsport/Interlloy race team by visiting; www.facebook.com/MMotorsportGT3



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Rnd#3 2015 Australian GT Championship
Townsville, Queensland (10-12 July)
Qualifying #1: (10 July)
1. Tony D’Alberto (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 1:12.9713
2. Steve Owen (Ford GT GT3) - 1:13.4001
3. Nathan Antunes (Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) - 1:13.4746
4. Klark Quinn (McLaren 650S GT3) - 1:13.7628
5. Graeme Smythe (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 1:13.8080
6. James Koundouris (Porsche GT3-R) - 1:14.1658
13. Justin McMillan (Interlloy Chevrolet Camaro GT3) - 1:15.7446

Qualifying #2: (11 July)
1. Jono Lester (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 1:12.1179
2. Christopher Mies (Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra) - 1:12.1639
3. Nathan Antunes (Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) - 1:12.6556
4. Bradley Shiels (Porsche GT3-R) - 1:12.8518
5. Grant Denyer (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 1:12.9519
6. Klark Quinn (McLaren 650S GT3) - 1:12.9997
12. Jack Le Brocq (Interlloy Chevrolet Camaro GT3) - 1:14.0345

Race#1 (60-minutes): (11 July)
1. Tony D’Alberto/Grant Denyer (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 46-laps
2. Tony Quinn (McLaren 650S GT3)
3. Max Twigg/Geoff Emery (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
4. Nathan Antunes (Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra)
5. James Koundouris (Porsche GT3-R)
6. John Magro (Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3)
DNF. Justin McMillan/Jack Le Brocq (Interlloy Chevrolet Camaro GT3) - 7-laps

Race#2 (60-minutes): (12 July)
1. Nathan Antunes (Skwirk/Beechwood Audi R8 GT3 ultra) - 43-laps
2. Tony D’Alberto/Grant Denyer (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3)
3. Klark Quinn (McLaren 650S GT3)
4. Tony Walls (McLaren 650S GT3)
5. Tony Quinn (McLaren 650S GT3)
6. Steven McLaughlan (Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3 ultra)
12. Jack Le Brocq/Justin McMillan (Interlloy Chevrolet Camaro GT3) - 42-laps

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2015 Australian GT Championship (points after round three of six)

GT Championship Class

1. Tony Quinn (330-points), 2. Nathan Antunes (318), 3. Christopher Mies/Greg Crick (300), 4. Tony D’Alberto/Grant Denyer (236), 5. Klark Quinn (234), 6. Max Twigg/Geoff Emery (229), 7. Jono Lester (216), 8. James Koundouris (178), 9. Tony Walls (165), 10. Steven McLaughlan (150), 21. Justin McMillan (60), 29. Jack Le Brocq (34)

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Former Formula One (Prost Grand Prix) driver and international GT star Tomas Enge is the latest high profile signing to the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli, the Czechoslovakian driver joining the M-Motorsport/Interlloy team alongside team owner Justin McMillan in a very different looking operation for the 2015 season.

A regular on the Australian GT podium with co-drivers Steven Richards and David Russell in his #48 Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3 last season, McMillan has made a wholesale change in 2015 by signing Enge and the stunning new Reiter Engineering prepared Chevrolet Camaro GT3.

“The decision to change from the Lamborghini to the Camaro wasn’t taken lightly,” McMillan admitted. “We had a great season with the Reiter-prepared Gallardo last year, but with the Camaro coming online, and the success that Inky Tulloch and Craig Lowndes enjoyed at Highlands, I thought it was time to make a change.

“Honestly, despite having been a long-time Lamborghini supporter, my heart is in muscle cars and Hot Rods - I’ve built them over the years, and I have a number of them - and the Camaro suits that style for me. A big thumping 7.9-litre Chevrolet V8 wrapped in a GT3 body - what’s not to like..!

We’ve also made a commitment to assist in the development of the car too, and with three Camaros now in the region, it made perfect sense to make the switch this year.

“Since day one of our involvement with Reiter and the Camaro I’ve been involved in testing at Adria (Italy), and was very hands-on with the inky Tulloch car. A second car for Australian GT is on the way, and my car is close behind it, so there will be two cars competing in the full 2015 series, and potentially Inky may make one or two appearances.”

Clipsal won’t be Enge’s first visit to Australia, the 38-year old having represented his country in the former A1GP series. He’s no stranger either to the Camaro, nor street circuits, having contested the Thailand Super Series for the Vattana Motorsport team where he finished runner-up to team-mate Chonsawat Asavahame (Gallardo) in the #25 Camaro GT3 this year, winning the final round in early December on the Bangsean street circuit.

“Tomas has been with Reiter since 2012 and as a result, has been right through the development of the Camaro from day one,” McMillan explained. “He’s run in both Thailand where he was always either first or second in their Supercar/GT3 category, and in the ADAC GT Masters where he was always amongst the leaders.

“He may not have driven Clipsal before, but he’s a driver with immense experience and he will be able to extract the absolute maximum from the Camaro, especially around somewhere like Clipsal where torque will play a big part of firing out of the slower corners.

“Craig Lowndes admitted at Highlands that it was a fantastic car to drive, very controllable, and despite the torque (800Nm) and horsepower (650bhp) it was good on its tyres, so we should have a very competitive package!”

Whilst McMillan’s new Camaro is due to land in Australia in the next few days, his commitment to his Reiter Lamborghini will continue at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12-Hour, where he will be joined once more by Richards and new recruit, Craig Baird.

“I’m really looking forward to Bathurst,” McMillan admitted. “This will be my third 12-Hour, and with the team we have, I believe we’re right in the equation for an outright result, especially as we were leading early last year with Steve before the incident at the top of the mountain which saw Ross Lilley caught out on the resultant oil across Skyline.

“Both Steve and Bairdo are proven front runners, and I’d like to go out with the Gallardo on a high note, so we’ll be working hard to be amongst the leaders over the closing stages.”

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Keep up to date with further announcements from the M Motorsport/Interlloy race team by visiting; www.facebook.com/MMotorsportGT3

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2015 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Rnd#1 - 26 February-1 March, Clipsal 500, Adelaide, SA*
Rnd#2 - 22-24 May, Phillip Island, Victoria**
Rnd#3 - 10-12 July, Townsville, Queensland*
Rnd#4 - 21-23 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW*
Rnd#5 - 11-13 September, Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria*
Rnd#6 - 13-15 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, NZ
(* with V8 Supercars, ** with the Shannons Nationals)

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 M Motorsport is proudly supported by Interlloy Engineering Steels and Alloys, Australian Post Tensioning, Vibrabody and Freem. About Interlloy

Interlloy Pty Ltd is Australia’s lead supplier of Engineering Steels and Alloys to engineering machine shops both nationally and internationally. Founded in 1987 and now employing over one hundred and forty (140) people in five states of Australia, Interlloy has become the major supplier of Special Steels to the General and Heavy Engineering Industries, Toolmaking, Mining, Gas & Oil Fields, Automotive, Manufacturing, Petrochemical, Pump, Power Generation and Transport Industries. For more information, please visit; www.interlloy.com.au For more information on the M-Motorspot/Interlloy team, please contact Sean Henshelwood at Signature Series Group [SSG] via sean@signatureseries.com.au

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