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Murray Claims Convincing Race One Win
Author, Daniel Jordan

Cooper Murray was the standout performer in the opening Phillip Island race for round three of the Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia championship, while Marcel Zalloua and Ben Stack endured a race-long battle for the Pro-Am lead.

After claiming pole position, Murray took the race one lead into the opening corner but was not able to pull away from the chasing Max Vidau. The duo pushed for the first half of the race until Vidau left the track on lap eight and was thereafter stranded in the turn two run-off area, handing Murray a lengthy margin to his nearest rival, Simon Fallon.

Murray ultimately claimed an impressive 10-second victory from Fallon, with Chelsea Angelo claiming third place; her second top-three result so far this season.

“I’m very happy with the win and it’s a great way to start the weekend. The team gave me a great car; I just had to drive it straight to come away with the win,” said Murray.

“Max was there at the start and then dropped away, so there wasn’t a huge amount of pressure for the final part of the race. It’s now great to have a gap in the points in case something does go wrong, but we’re not even half way through the season and there’s a lot of racing remaining.”

Marcel Zalloua and Ben Stack were in a tussle for the Pro-Am lead for the majority of the 11-lap race, a battle that Zalloua ultimately won by a mere 0.3secs. The result was the equal season-best result by a Pro-Am driver in the overall results.

“I’m pretty shocked with the result to be honest. It was an amazing race and it’s fantastic to get the Pro-Am win and place fourth overall,” said Zalloua.

“I rate myself as pretty much a rookie so to be that far up the order and stay there… I’m pretty chuffed.

“Ben had some heat on me for most of that race. I managed to get past early and I was hanging on for dear life for the rest of the race.”

Pro-Am points leader Danny Stutterd placed sixth outright and third in the Pro-Am class from Michelin Junior Jimmy Vernon, Shane Barwood, Sam Fillmore and Luis Leeds; Leeds and Vernon both overcoming opening lap dramas to come through the field and finish in the top 10.

David Greig was the best of the Class B runners, placing 11th outright in his second-generation 997-series 911 GT3 Cup car, with Andrew Goldie and Christian Pancione placing second and third in the class.

The remaining two Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia races at Phillip Island will feature on Sunday, both of which can be viewed via the Shannons Nationals live stream, available from www.thenationals.com.au.

Race Schedule
Sunday June 3, 2018
9:10am – Race 2 (12 laps)
12:05pm – Race 3 (12 laps)

Results: Race 1
Position Car Driver Class Laps Race time Fastest Lap
1 36 Cooper Murray Pro 11 17:00.6961 1:31.4597
2 96 Simon Fallon Pro 11 17:10.7848 1:32.3714
3 38 Chelsea Angelo Pro 11 17:27.9361 1:33.2757
4 17 Marcel Zalloua Pro-Am 11 17:37.9111 1:34.5492
5 65 Ben Stack Pro-Am 11 17:38.2174 1:34.6571
6 23 Daniel Stutterd Pro-Am 11 17:42.7347 1:35.0260
7 7 Jimmy Vernon Pro 11 17:53.4810 1:34.7704
8 21 Shane Barwood Pro-Am 11 17:54.8600 1:35.8023
9 27 Sam Fillmore Pro-Am 11 17:57.1371 1:35.3353
10 230 Luis Leeds Pro 11 17:57.7519 1:34.1714
11 87 David Greig Class B 11 17:58.9734 1:35.9598
12 99 Ross McGregor Pro-Am 11 18:02.8036 1:36.4378
13 22 Andrew Goldie Class B 11 18:05.9559 1:36.4080
14 84 Brett Boulton Pro-Am 11 18:06.3408 1:35.5271
15 73 Michael Hovey Pro-Am 11 18:10.5224 1:36.6461
16 131 Graham Williams Pro-Am 11 18:11.3919 1:36.0878
17 76 Christian Pancione Class B 11 18:11.6310 1:35.3632
18 10 Michael Loccisano Pro-Am 11 18:15.9696 1:37.3542
19 29 Rob Woods Pro-Am 11 18:16.0838 1:37.1274
20 88 Phil Morriss Class B 11 18:16.9304 1:37.0133
21 117 Sergio Pires Class B 11 18:25.2473 1:37.1535
22 57 Richard Bloomfield Class B 11 18:36.2995 1:37.9015
DNF 77 Max Vidau Pro 8 12:24.5641 1:31.6493
DNF 9 Tony Martin Class B 6 12:23.7976 1:39.8349
DNF 15 Vince Misuraca Class B 1 1:48.6803 1:48.6803