Rear-ender dents Mineeff and Smollen’s results

April 16, 2024 10:19 am in by

Lachlan Mineeff and Shane Smollen have left the opening round of the Monochrome GT4 Australia Series upbeat with the pace in their Central Element/Equipment Dynamics Porsche Cayman GT4RS, despite enduring some misfortune in both the weekend’s one-hour races.
The first qualifying session was held on a damp but drying circuit and the team opted for wet tyres; it looked to be the right decision until late in the session when the track started to dry, with Mineeff ending up seventh overall and third in the Pro-Am class.

“In typical Phillip Island style, the conditions were unpredictable and it was a 50/50 call on tyres,” Mineeff said.

“We went for the conservative wet tyre option which looked good early on, but we were leapfrogged by some of the cars on slicks as the circuit dried.”
The circuit was significantly drier for Qualifying 2 and Smollen did a fine job to take the class pole with second outright.
“The car was fantastic in that session and to out-qualify some Pro drivers was one of the highlights of the weekend,” Smollen said.
 In Race 1, Mineeff was running inside the top five until heading into the pits for the compulsory driver change. As he entered pit lane, the Porsche was struck from behind by another competitor, causing heavy damage to the rear.
After a lengthy pit stop, Smollen resumed the race and was able to bring the car home 14th outright and third in class.
“It was disappointing for our car to be so badly damaged as the result of another competitor’s misjudgement,” Mineeff said.
“Fortunately, the damage was cosmetic and didn’t really impact the car’s performance.”
Smollen started Race 2 and was holding down fourth position until receiving an untimely mechanical black flag for a loose rear bumper. In a cruel blow, the order to come to pit lane for repairs came just a couple of minutes outside the pit window, necessitating an extra visit to pit lane.
Despite the additional stop, Mineeff charged hard in the final stint, setting some of the fastest laps of the race as he recovered to ninth outright and second in the Pro-Am class.
“Once again, that race didn’t go our way but the pace was certainly there,” Mineeff said.
“Shane did a mega job in the first stint and when I got in the car, I was 15 seconds behind the class lead but the car was fast enough that I was able to bring it back to virtually nothing at the finish.”
“On the surface, the results didn’t go our way this weekend but we still ended up with top-three class finishes in both races, so we banked plenty of points,” Smollen added.
“Even though we carried damage for both races, the speed was still there, which bodes well for the rest of the season.”
The next GT4 Australia round will be held at The Bend Motorsport Park, 31 May-2 June.

Article continues after this ad