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Hardeman, Miles and Barwood crowned 2016 champions

2016 season ends with thrilling Phillip Island finale

Hamish Hardeman is the 2016 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli outright champion following an exciting season finale at Phillip Island, while Tim Miles and Shane Barwood claimed their respective Elite Class and Class B crowns.

While Hardeman ultimately won the war, the opening Phillip Island battle was taken out by his closest points rival, Jaxon Evans. Qualifying second alongside Hardeman, Evans was able to get the best jump off the start line and produced a tremendous lights-to-flag victory over Hardeman and Porsche Junior, Jake Klarich. Sam Shahin placed fourth and edged closer to Miles in the Elite Class points after the latter endured a horror race, finishing sixth in class and ninth outright.

Evans looked set for a second straight victory in race two; though constant challenges from Hardeman ended with Hardeman passing Evans on the approach to the chequered flag as Evans was slightly balked by a lapped competitor – only 0.04secs the difference as the duo crossed the finish line.

Miles bounced back to take the Elite Class race two win, benefiting from an opening lap incident involving class front-runners Shahin and Brian Finn, and Klarich, who’s weekend ended early due to the significant damage from the altercation.

Entering the final race with a substantial 20 point lead, Hardeman placed second in the final race to secure the 2016 GT3 Cup Challenge title in the outright and Professional Class classifications, a highlight in the young racer’s short racing career.

“I’m absolutely over the moon. I’m so happy not just for me, but for the team, my whole family and everyone who has been a part of this. I couldn’t have asked for a better result,” said Hardeman.

“It’s great competing with Jaxon all season long. We have similar abilities and every time we rock up to a new track you know he was going to be straight on the pace. He’s been a great competitor, which makes this victory all the more special; I had to work really hard for it.

“I have to thank Greg Taylor from Residential Group, Michael Northwood from Wild Planet Off-Road and Sven Burchartz from Kalus Kenny Intelex Lawyers for their support throughout the season. Without them and many others, this title wouldn’t be possible.”

Miles went on to finish an impressive third in the final race, though the race two victory gained the Sydneysider an unassailable lead in the standings.

“I’m absolutely chuffed. It was my goal to win the Elite Class at the start of the year but the competition has been really tough all season long, so I’m thrilled to have won,” said Miles, who placed second for the Phillip Island round in class behind first-time Elite Class round winner, Anthony Gilbertson, who was second in class for all three races.

“I loved the season. The McElrea Racing crew did a fantastic job not only preparing the car, but working on me to make sure I drive better. But we’ve had fun the whole way. I really enjoyed myself,” added Miles.

Shane Barwood capped a strong year with victory in Class B for the round and for the season – his first title in the category. With victory in the opening two Class B race, Brendon Cook suffered a DNF in the final race to drop to second in the round class points, with Michael Tsigeridis in third.

“I’m rapt. We are here racing for fun, but you learn a lot along the way. If you keep racing and keep it on the black stuff, you accrue enough points to win the class. There are a great bunch of guys to race with, especially in Class B; it’s a smaller, but close-knit group. It’s was a shame Danny [Stutterd] couldn’t be here this weekend, but it was a great year all round,” said Barwood.

The 2017 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli calendar will be announced in the coming weeks.

Race 1 Results
1. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-it / Willship - 10 laps
2. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing - 10 laps
3. #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster - 10 laps
4. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) htfu - 10 laps
5. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Movie 8 Racing / Hallmark Home - 10 laps
6. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D / Force Accessories - 10 laps
7. #6 Michael Stillwell (Elite Class) Logicar Australia - 10 laps
8. #90 Sven Burchartz (Elite Class) Kalus Kenny Intelex Lawyers - 10 laps
9. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory - 10 laps
10. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows - 10 laps
11. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF Family & Cosmetic Dental - 10 laps
12. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopendic Group - 10 laps
13. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar - 10 laps
14. #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) Hunter French Real Estate - 10 laps

Race 2 Results
1. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing - 11 laps
2. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-it / Willship - 11 laps
3. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory - 11 laps
4. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Movie 8 Racing / Hallmark Home - 11 laps
5. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows - 11 laps
6. #6 Michael Stillwell (Elite Class) Logicar Australia - 11 laps
7. #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF Family & Cosmetic Dental - 11 laps
8. #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar - 11 laps
9. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopendic Group - 11 laps
10. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) htfu - 11 laps
11. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D / Force Accessories - 10 laps
DNF #90 Sven Burchartz (Elite Class) Kalus Kenny Intelex Lawyers - 1 lap
DNF #95 Jake Klarich (Professional Class) Super Rooster
DNF #81 Michael Tsigeridis (Class B) Hunter French Real Estate

Race 3 Results
1. #91 Jaxon Evans (Professional Class) Simulate-it / Willship - 11 laps
2. #10 Hamish Hardeman (Professional Class) Sonic Motor Racing - 11 laps
3. #4 Tim Miles (Elite Class) CSF Radiators / Miles Advisory - 11 laps
4. #19 Anthony Gilbertson (Elite Class) Movie 8 Racing / Hallmark Homes - 11 laps
5. #13 Sam Shahin (Elite Class) htfu - 11 laps
6. #90 Sven Burchartz (Elite Class) Kalus Kenny Intelex Lawyers - 11 laps
7. #82 Brian Finn (Elite Class) Laser 3D / Force Accessories - 11 laps
8. #6 Michael Stillwell (Elite Class) Logicar Australia - 11 laps
9. #99 Ross McGregor (Elite Class) Southern Star Windows - 11 laps
10. #21 Shane Barwood (Class B) Melbourne Orthopendic Group - 11 laps
DNF #9 Tony Martin (Elite Class) The Triffid Bar - 7 laps
DNF #12 Brendan Cook (Class B) OLOF Family & Cosmetic Dental - 7 laps