After a steady start to the weekend, the trio of Bob Jane T-Marts Porsches rebounded strongly in Round 2 of the Paynter Dixon Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
Troubled by a number of issues on the opening two days, the three-car team came on strong by Sunday, with Simon Fallon claiming a fourth place finish, Angelo Mouzouris racing through the field and Rodney Jane scoring a victory in the Pro-Am class.
It had been more than 70 days since Fallon, Mouzouris and Jane took to the track for the previous Paynter Dixon Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship round at Albert Park supporting the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
With a couple of test days in between to keep the drivers fresh and a trip to Le Mans for Jane to contest the Porsche Carrera Cup support race in support of the legendary 24 hour event, Sonic headed to a venue where it has been successful in the past.
For Fallon, it proved a weekend where his ultimate pace was revealed in the final race of the round. Qualifying in 15th, he progressed four spots to 11th in the opening race before making the same gain in the second to be seventh.
The final race of the weekend for Fallon proved a reward as he finished fourth after making a great start to gain two positions and picking up another place to finish just off the podium.
Fallon was pleased with the final result.
“After not a great weekend at Round 1 in Melbourne, it wasn’t the best way to start in Darwin, but I was happy to finish on a high,” Fallon reflected.
“We moved up four spots in each race and ended up fourth in the final. Eyes on for Townsville, we have the car in a pretty good place and we’ll just keep moving forward from there.”
It was a similarly challenging qualifying session for Mouzouris. The Victorian started 18th and endured a couple of incidents during the three races where he finished 14th in Races 1 and 2 and 13th in the final. His results were not an indication of his pace, though, because without those incidents in the mid-field, his pace was strong enough for top 10 results.
“We made heaps of progress with the car after we weren’t up to speed in practice, but we got there in the end,” Mouzouris summarised.
“We didn’t have the best qualifying, so we had to try and make our way through the field. Race 1 was quite good and we made some good passes to bring the car up four or five positions. The second race was a bit annoying as we got up to the top 10, then we got taken out four times to finish where we started.
“Race 3 we made a massive step forward with the car and I was comfortable. We had the speed, but unfortunately around here it’s very hard to pass. We made a couple of positions, but overall, it was a tough weekend.”
It proved a breakthrough weekend for Jane as he secured a Pro-Am Class win in Race 2 after scoring seventh in the opening event. A spin in the final race prevented Jane from completing a Pro-Am class double as he recovered to eighth.
Jane is confident that the strong results and pace will put him in good stead for the rest of the championship.
“It was an interesting weekend for us, I think the good take-aways are we won one race and were leading the last race before I made a mistake bringing an end to that, which was pretty disappointing,” Jane explained.
“The car was really good, we progressed throughout the weekend, but struggled in qualifying and practice. We continued this into the opening race, but we turned it around in the second event to have a great start and won the Pro-Am.
“I was leading the last until I spun off by myself, but the crew set the car up really well.
“I think these results hold us in good stead for future rounds.”
The next round of the Paynter Dixon Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship is at the Reid Park Street Circuit in Townsville on July 7-9.