Mercedes wins Hampton Downs enduro

Autex Eggleston Motorsport duo Dominic Storey and Peter Hackett have claimed an emotional victory at Round 3 of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship at Hampton Downs.

The Mercedes-AMG GT3 pairing dominated the race after taking the lead in the early stages before controlling proceedings to claim their first Australian Endurance Championship win.

It’s Storey’s first success, made all the more meaningful for clinching it on home soil in New Zealand.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said an emotional Storey after the race. “To come on home soil makes it all the sweeter.

“This makes up for all the hard work and the hard times.”

For Hackett, the result saw him join David Wall and the late Allan Simonsen as the most successful drivers in Australian GT history, with 17-victories to their names.

“It’s very flattering to be equal with guys like Allan and David,” said Hackett. “We all miss Allan.

“It makes me feel a little old, but I love GT racing, this category and representing Mercedes-AMG.

“We are extremely passionate racers,” he continued. “We make a few enemies sometimes because we’re passionate about racing and want to win!”

Hackett started the race, moving from ninth on the grid into the lead before handing the car to Storey on Lap 62.

Storey then served the team’s second compulsory stop at Lap 79 before managing the gap to Jaxon Evans in the closing stages to win by 27-seconds.

Evans combined with Tim Miles to put in a stunning performance that saw the Valvoline Jamec Pem entry move from tenth to second over the course of the race in an important recovery performance.

The Audi R8 LMS was forced to sit out of the Top 10 Shootout on Saturday afternoon after crashing in qualifying, the team repairing it overnight to allow the championship leaders to take the race start.

An equally strong drive from Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto saw the WM Waste Management entry end the race third, the duo displaying strong pace throughout which included a challenge for the lead in the opening stages.

Mechanical problems for the Mega Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R of Liam Talbot and John Martin hampered their progress in the second half of the race, Martin salvaging an important fourth place in the face of hard-charging Andrew Waite in the Darrell Lea McLaren 650S GT3 he shared with Tony Quinn.

Victory for Hackett and Storey move the duo to second in the championship with 510 points, 76 adrift of Evans and Miles who lead with one round remaining.

The CAMS Australian Endurance Championship now heads to the iconic Highlands Motorsport Park in two weeks (November 10 – 12) for the final round of the 2017 season.