Friday, Oct 12 07:30pm
AUTHOR: Supplied/Rob Tighe

Dom Storey quickest in Hampton Downs 500 practice

Kiwi driver Dom Storey set a blistering pace in practice at this afternoon’s Laser Plumbing & Electrical Hampton Downs 500.

Storey and his co-driver Peter Hackett are looking to go back-to-back at Hampton Downs after their impressive victory last year.

Storey clocked a 1:32.401 in practice in the Mercedes AMG GT3 ahead of Liam Talbot/John Martin (1:32.568) in the Porsche 911 GT3 R and Adrian Deitz/Cameron McConville (1:33.007) in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Jonny Reid, the former A1 Grand Prix driver, recorded an identical time to Deitz and McConville in the Audi R8 LMS run by Auckland team, International Motorsport.
Fraser Ross, who currently leads the Australian GT Championship in the McLaren 650S GT3 finished in the middle of the pack. Ross holds a 16-point advantage over second-placed Hackett, but with 320 points up for grabs, none of the top eight can be ruled out.
It was a frustrating session for Australian-based Kiwi, Steve Richards went from winning the Bathurst 1000 with Craig Lowndes last weekend to struggling with technical problems with his BMW M6 GT3. Richards is just 35 points off the championship lead going into the last race of the season. Last year's championship winner, Geoff Emery, is also still firmly in contention along with Tony Bates who teams up with Kiwi driver Daniel Gaunt.
The Australian Endurance Championship is also balanced on a knife-edge with four driving pairings in with a realistic shot at claiming the crown. Max Twigg and Tony D'Alberto lead the pack while chasing them hard are Richards and Michael Almond and Tony Bates and Daniel Gaunt.
Tony Quinn has shown some pace in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the South Island Endurance Series in recent weeks and he’ll team up with Highlands professional driver Andrew Waite for this weekend’s main event.

With nine of the 11 cars on the starting grid for the Hampton Downs 500 still in with a mathematical possibility of winning either the Australian GT Championship or Australian Endurance Championship, it promises to be a thrilling weekend of racing.

The Hampton Downs 500 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1.55pm.