Drake on top in opening APS race
John-Paul Drake is one step closer to being crowned the champion of the 2022 GC Marine Australian Prototype Series after claiming victory in a shortened opening race at The Bend AutoFest.
An exciting qualifying session in the morning put Drake on pole position for the opening race, going over a second quicker than newcomer Chien-Wen Liew.
Series rival Ricky Capo rounded out the podium, setting up what is sure to be an exciting encounter.
The start was slightly delayed after a mix up with starting grid positions, and that delay caused a couple of issues at the back of the grid, with Radical pairing Michael Whiting and Peter Carr not able to launch off the line.
Once the race got underway, a dream start for Drake allowed him to create a gap between himself and Capo behind.
Capo was challenging Drake throughout the three racing laps, but ultimately ran out of time and had to settle for second place.
Despite the shortened race, Drake was happy to start the weekend off with victory at The Bend Motorsport Park.
“That’s the best start I’ve ever had, I was pretty excited and the car is feeling great,” Drake said.
“It’s just good to race, obviously I’d rather do more than just three laps but hey I won and I’m happy.”
Despite dropping a position to third, Liew was pleased with the car and track conditions and looks forward to Sunday’s pair of races.
“I think I lost a few positions at the start; we got hit from behind at turn three and lost a couple of spots,” Liew explained.
“The car is driving beautifully; the track is absolutely stunning and as long as it doesn’t rain tomorrow, I think we are going to have a really good race.”
Teams will now be looking ahead to Sundays set of races to close out the weekend but will be wary of track conditions as rain is forecast to shake things up.
Race two of the GC Marine Australian Prototype Series will begin first thing Sunday morning at 7:45am ACDT.