It was an expanded Bob Jane T-Marts attack on the Paynter Dixon Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship in Townsville as Aaron Love returned to the Sonic Motor Racing Services team in a guest drive.
Love joined regular contenders Rodney Jane and Simon Fallon on the grid after contesting the top-tier Porsche Supercup event supporting the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone.
The Western Australian wasted no time to get up to speed after taking second in both Friday practice sessions in second before replicating this in qualifying.
However, the weekend turned at the start of Race 1 when contact at Turn 2 Love was spun and dropped to the rear of the field.
In an interrupted event, Love managed to claw his way back inside the top 10 setting up a determined comeback drive to fifth in the 28 lap mini-enduro to open the schedule on Sunday.
The final race provided an outright podium finish to cap off a weekend, which promised much more for Love.
Fallon continued his good form this season in Townsville by finishing a best of seventh in practice on Friday, which improved in qualifying to be fifth for the opening race.
However, like teammate Love, Fallon was involved in the opening lap fracas resulting in a radiator damage and retirement.
It was more disappointment for Fallon in Race 2 as he was spun entering the main straight and dropped to the rear of the field.
Further contact followed in Race 3 as Fallon mounted a comeback and dropped him back to the rear of the field.
It was a consistent weekend for Jane’s first trip to Townsville in 10 years and his maiden appearance in a Porsche.
Contesting the highly competitive TAG Heuer Pro-Am Class, Jane finished the two Friday practice sessions in sixth, before dropping to seventh in qualifying.
Avoiding the chaos, which took out many leading class contenders enabled Jane to finish fourth, while in the longer event on Sunday, he finished sixth.
It was a strong finish for Jane followed in Race 3 as he took a class podium.
Bob Jane T-Marts returns to the track at The Bend Motorsport Park for Round 5 of the Paynter Dixon Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship on July 29-31.
“Not the greatest of weekends, but it could have been worse,” Love explained.
“It’s a little bit disappointing knowing we had a really strong start to the weekend, it was looking really promising. Getting P2 in both practice sessions and doing likewise in qualifying before I got the jump in Race 1 where I led into Turn 2, but other drivers had different ideas.
“That was obviously frustrating, so we had to claw our way back in Races 2 and 3, but to come away third in the final we had some great pace compared to the other drivers on similar tyres in the same conditions. “Onwards and upwards to the next race, which we will soon find out.”
“It’s the end of Round 4 here in Townsville and the Bob Jane T-Marts cars were really fast, but for me personally luck wasn’t on my side,” said Fallon.
“I think we drove pretty well over the weekend and made a lot of improvements, but getting turned around as well as that Race 1 incident, it was never going to be a great one from there.
“We’ll move forward, there’s a lot to take away in the sense of speed, which we can improve on at The Bend and try to convert it into a result.”
“It’s been a mixed weekend,” Jane summarised.
“It’s the first time I’ve been back to a real-hustling street circuit in a very long time. Took a bit to get my head around it, stuffed the braking up a bit in practice and qualifying, which did my head in for a lot of the first two races.
“The first race was a non-event and I got a terrible start. I came out in an okay position considering the terrible start.
“The longer second race was again interrupted by a lengthy safety car in the middle. I did alright towards the mid-section and end of the race, again I made a bad start, which is something I’ll need to work on.
“I gathered myself up in third, made a great start and worked hard during the race on my braking, which was better. I still have pace to find and the challenge of these street circuits is you have to be hustling all the time, with a short lap, and I have to get better at that.
“I have a fair bit of work to do before the next one of these.”