Round 1, 2018 CAMS Australian GT Championship, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park
BMW Team SRM made a strong start to its 2018 Australian GT Championship campaign with Steve Richards and Dean Grant racing their way through four clean races with solid results on each day of racing.
Richards qualified the #100 Laser Plumbing & Electrical BMW M6 GT3 inside the Top 10 and raced to a sixth place finish in the opening race before moving another place up the field to claim fifth in terrible wet weather conditions on Saturday.
The top-five result ensured the team left Albert Park with a good bank of points heading into the rest of the season.
Dean Grant made steady progress across the weekend in the co-driver races on his debut drive of the BMW M6 GT3, making up positions in his first race to finish 14th before consolidating with a 15th in Sunday’s final race.
The weekend saw Jaie Robson claim two race victories aboard the Mercedes AMG GT3 to put himself and the Aussie Driver Search Team in the championship lead after the opening round.
BMW Team SRM also fielded a car in the GT4 class for the first time in the Australian GT Championship with Xavier West driving the BP Ultimate BMW M4 GT4.
West managed to make a dream start to the weekend claiming the win in race one giving both himself and the BMW M4 GT4 the perfect Albert Park debut.
He capped off the weekend with three second place results and a fastest lap in the final race to finish the weekend second overall in class.
“I’m rapt, the weekend has been fantastic. It’s been one of the most enjoyable weekends I think I’ve had running this team, with the vibe around the garage and the BMW M6 not missing a beat. The car has run like clockwork the entire weekend, which is awesome. It’s a really good way to kick-start the season.”
“It was great to have a full race with no red flags or accidents on Sunday. I’m really happy with how it’s gone, I think we did the best job we could have done. Obviously it would have been nicer to come into the weekend more experienced with the car, but it really didn’t do a thing wrong, it was great to drive.”
“We had some great results and built up to that fastest lap in the race, which I’m really pleased about. To adapt to what was a new circuit for me and to be able to be so competitive was a lot of fun. Rolling down the start/finish straight on the Australian Grand Prix circuit for the first time on Thursday, that was a heck of a moment for me.”
CAMS Australian GT Championship, Round 2 at The Bend Motorsport Park on April 14-15.