Saturday, Feb 10 06:57pm
AUTHOR: Matthew Hansen

Carters Mercedes-AMG claims last-gasp Rush Hour victory in Manfeild

After a race of attrition punctuated with safety cars, Dwayne and Matt Carter in their Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3 have won the third Rush Hour feature race of the Speed Works Events season. 


The pairing outlasted their two key rival teams — both in Porsches — to win by 12 seconds. Brian McGovern finished second, after late mechanical issues hobbled his pace and ruined any chance of an underdog win. Rod Gimblett completed the podium in his ex-V8 SuperTourer Commodore. 


The Carters entry led the race early over Paul Kelly's Porsche 911 GT3. But the Porsche spun at the end of the back straight, beaching itself in the sand, prompting the first safety car, and dropping itself several laps off the leaders in the process. 


Numerous other cars struggled with issues. The Honda Civic EK4 of Australian visitor Jordan Cox was in and out of pit lane at this time with separate issues, John de Veth's SaReNi Camaro GT3 retired early, and the Radical of Barry Cutelli spun off at turn three (causing safety car number two). 


As the safety car periods and pit-stop strategies resolved themselves, the race boiled down to a battle between the race leading McGovern and Carter (Dwayne Carter now driving) in the closing laps. And the inclusion of rain further complicated matters. 


The gap between the two hovered around 20 seconds, ebbing and flowing with traffic  and respective tyre temperature. But issues for McGovern in the final laps saw the gap drastically drop off. The Porsche driver was lapping almost 10 seconds off the pace, and appeared vulnerable in the final few minutes. 


Sure enough the pass was made with three minutes to go. After drafting behind McGovern on the back straight, Carter went inside him at the final corner without argument. As McGovern continued to battle issues, Carter went on to collect the chequered flag by 12 seconds. 


Gimblett finished the podium one lap behind, with Tim James behind. Paul Kelly and co-driver Daniel Gaunt ended up finishing fifth, some two laps off the pace. Adrian Redding, Cutelli, Rob Williams, and Sam Wright completed the finishers. 


Results (top 10)


1. Dwayne Carter/Matt Carter  44 laps
2. Brian McGovern  +12.174
3. Rod Gimblett  +1 lap
4. Tim James  +1 lap
5. Paul Kelly/Daniel Gaunt  +2 laps
6. Adrian Redding  +3 laps
7. Barry Cutelli  +4 laps
8. Rob Williams  +13 laps
9. Sam Wright  +14 laps
10. Jordan Cox  +33 laps