Foster/Thomas Win Race Two, Smollen/Percat Claim Event
Smollen and Nick Percat have been crowned 2015 Pro-Am
champions following another spectacular Porsche Carrera
Cup Australia race at Phillip Island while Nick Foster
and Dylan Thomas won race two on their way to the
Professional Class round honours.
Smollen and last year’s Pro-Am champion Stephen Grove
started race two from the front row, though both
encountered issues early; Smollen jumped the start and
incurred a five-second post-race time penalty while
Grove spun in the opening laps, dropping to the rear.
While most teams opted for their Professional drivers to
start race one, the combinations of Adrian
Mastronardo/Tim Slade and Foster/Thomas opted for the
opposite – Slade and Foster instead starting the Sunday
race. The duo made the most of the approach, charging to
first and second place ahead of the pit stop window.
By the time all driver changes were complete Mastronardo
was leading from Thomas, though Percat was making his
way through the field with Nick McBride in tow.
Thomas moved to first place and eventually claimed the
race win after an exciting final lap battle with Percat,
who had caught the leader on the closing lap.
Smollen and Percat finished second - the five seconds
added to their race time not affecting their position -
from Richard Muscat/Sam Walter, Mastronardo/Slade,
McBride/Neale Muston and Grove/Scott McLaughlin in
The result handed Smollen and Percat the 2015 Pro-Am
victory, which Smollen describes as an amazing feeling
after experiencing heartache at the 2014 event.
“We were pretty frustrated last year when we had the
race pace but failed to finish race one,” said Smollen.
“It’s great to get the Pro-Am win this year and it
certain helps our Challenge championship chances heading
into the middle part of the season.
“It was great this weekend having the peace of mind
having the McElrea Racing team behind me and having a
great co-driver in Nick. It was therefore up to me and
I’m pretty happy with my performance as well. This is
exactly what we set out to do.”
Percat was pleased to return to Carrera Cup for the
weekend and thrilled to leave Phillip Island as Pro-Am
“Thanks to Shane for getting me back this year. The race
was really enjoyable coming through the field. I knew in
the back of my head that I had the five-second penalty
but I wanted to push for the win. Credit goes to the
Sonic team, who’s strategy worked also. Having the
Professional driver come through the field and catch the
Challenge driver and finishing so close shows you can
use either strategy and still get a similar race time.”
Foster has been the pacesetter of the 2015 season but
strong results have eluded the racer in the opening two
rounds, meaning his race two win and ultimate
Professional Class round victory was a welcome change of
“We put our best foot forward today. I couldn’t quite
keep up with Slade but I knew Dylan would do a solid
job; it’s a two driver race and we both did our part.
Yesterday didn’t work out but today did, so the opposite
strategy worked in the long run. It’s great for the team
getting one-two on the Professional podium and
Mastronardo third in the Challenge class.”
McBride and Muston placed second in the Professional
Class – actually equalling Foster and Thomas in points
but dropped to second for the round after finishing
behind in the final race – from third placed Shae Davies
and Geoff Emery, who finished fifth and eighth in the
two Pro-Am races.
Grove and McLaughlin placed second in the Challenge
class for the weekend from Slade and Mastronardo, who
stood on the Carrera Cup podium for the first time.
Steven Richards retains the lead of the championship by
58.5 points from McBride, Baird and McConville, who
didn’t make the start of race two with drive issues.
Smollen has jumped to the Challenge class point lead
from Grove, Tony Bates, Roger Lago and Mastronardo in
Porsche Carrera Cup Australia returns to the track at
Townsville on July 10-12,2015.
Race 2 results
1. N.Foster/D.Thomas (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:41.1604s
2. S.Smollen/N.Percat (McGrath Estate Agents)
3. R.Muscat/S.Walter (Wilson Security/PAYCE/Genis)
4. A.Mastronadro/T.Slade (Veritas / Builtform)
5. N.McBride/N.Muston (Bob Jane T-Marts) 57:56.5485s
6. S.Grove/S.McLaughlin (Grove Group) 58:02.3224s
7. C.Baird/M.Twigg (Porsche Centre Melbourne)
8. S.Davies/G.Emery (Davbridge Constructions)
9. R.Lago/S.Owen (JBS Australia) 58:20.1691s
10. J.Bergmuller/A.Davison (MotorOne Car Care)
11. S.Richards/D.Grant (Laser Plumbing & Electrical)
12. M.Campbell/T.Miles (Phase 8) 58:23.8194s
13. S.Taylor/D.Canto (Scott Taylor Motorsport)
14. A.Samadi/D.Fiore (Apartment Hotel) 58:52.6285s
15. M.Cini/C.Mies (Hallmarc) 58:53.5822s
16. D.Russell/J.Koundouris (Finanze Ezi) 59:09.5219s
17. D.Padayachee/I.Padayachee (VIP Petfoods) 58:36.8104s
18. S.Hodge/R.Angus (Team BRM) 59:04.8768s
19. T.Bates/D.Gaunt (AFS/Top Cat) 58:15.8335s
DNF John Goodacre (OPS Gateway)
DNF Michael Almond (Copyworld Toshiba)
DNF Fraser Ross (Porsche Centre Brighton)