6. February 2016
New Zealand driver Shane Van Gisbergan has produced a stunning lap to put his Tekno Motorsport McLaren 650S on pole position for tomorrow's Bathurst 12 Hour race. The Kiwi set a fastest lap of 2.01.591 to put give McLaren it's first pole at Bathurst and the prestigious Alann Simonsen trophy. Van Gisbergan, who this year joins Red Bull Racing in V8 Supercars, will share the car with Alvaro Perente and Tekno team owner Jono Webb. Audi will fill the next spot on the grid with the #75 Jamec Racing R8 LMS machine of Scott McLaughlin, Garth Tander and German star Renee Rast who set the fastest lap of 2.02.234 late in the session in a desperate attempt to chase down the McLaren. Rast told In Pit Lane that the Mount Panorama circuit was one of the most challenging in the world and that the 12 Hour race was now widely regarded as one of the world's best events for GT3 cars.Continue reading...
28. January 2016
Nissan has unveiled its 2016 Australian motorsport activities to the nation's media (well some of the nation's media) at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria. The 2016 livery for Michael Caruso’s #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 Supercar was revealed, carrying a variation of the global GT3 colours that the Altima carried in 2015. Also on track was the #1 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 that will aim to take back-to-back Bathurst 12 Hour victories for Nissan next week, with an Australian flag added to the now-familiar livery. The NISMO Athlete Global Team completed a full test day at Phillip Island in preparation for the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour on 5-7 February, with drivers Rick Kelly and Florian Strauss undertaking driving duties. Also present was 2015 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Matt Simmons, who will be embedded in the NISMO Athlete Global Team crew as he prepares to race full-time in the 2016 Blancpain GT Endurance Series. “Today is a display of how heavily committed Nissan is to Australian motorsport,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery. “Elements from all three pillars of our local motorsport activities – V8 Supercars, GT3 and the Bathurst 12 Hour, and the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy program, were all at Phillip Island.” “All is now set for a huge 2016 season, beginning with the Bathurst 12 Hour next month, where the Nissan GT-R will strive to win back-to back victories at Mount Panorama, just as it did in 1991 and 1992.”Continue reading...
27. January 2016
Having shown great pace over the last few editions of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour, Melbourne’s M-Motorsport are heading into the 2016 running of the event intent on taking the fight to the top teams as the first major GT3 event of the year gets underway in just over one week’s time. With two experienced Bathurst V8 Supercar campaigners behind the wheel combined with the two drivers that will lead the team in the Australian GT Championship and the Australian Endurance Championship, team-owner Justin McMillan believes the Interlloy/Wilson Storage Lamborghini has the right mix of experience and speed. “Over the last couple of years at Bathurst we’ve been right in the mix early, and have actually led the race, so we have that experience to draw on,” he explained. “Experienced Bathurst campaigners Dale Wood and John McIntyre will anchor the team, whilst Dale’s younger brother Glen and I will back them up. “Dale always rises to the occasion in the Bathurst 1000 and he was fast when he drove with us ahead of our shortened race in 2014, whilst John has proven fast on the mountain in the past and was strong there last year in the Trass Family Ferrari. “As for Glen, well he’s been a revelation since joining the team last year where he was quick at Sydney, Sandown and Highlands, and whilst he’s not competed at Bathurst before, he was quick in New Zealand last year despite having no prior event experience, and actually handed me the car in the lead in the AGT final. He’s also got Dale to draw on for experience, and we’ve got a bit of time to dial ourselves in with more than five hours practice. “I’ve been quicker every time I’ve been there with 2016 my fifth Bathurst event, and I’m happy to say I’ve completed every session I’ve started. “We’re also going to run our incumbent Gallardo FL2 as opposed to the new Extenso that is on its way from Reiter Engineering right now. Potential delays and issues with running a brand new car with no time to test ahead of the event ultimately made the decision for us. “We saw last year in the final rounds of AGT that the FL2 was as quick as anything else in the field, and it’s a known product, we’ve been running one for three seasons now.Continue reading...
24. January 2016
The Cannuli brothers, John and Paul, have each qualified first in Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer at the Australian Nationals. Back at Calder Park for the first time in 15 years, a big crowd was on hand to welcome back the ANDRA Drag Racing Series and witness both Cannuli’s, Aaron Tremayne, Chris Matheson and Scott […]Continue reading...
22. January 2016
In 1994 over 50'000 people packed Melbourne's Calder Park Raceway for what remains Australia's biggest ever Drag Race meeting "The Nationals" This weekend after a break of 15 years, "The Nationals" have returned to Calder Park. Things are now though very different fromm those days. A whole generation of Melbourne sports fans have grown up without any first hand exposure to the sport, and this weekend's racing is just a step on the road to bringing Drag Racing back to it's previous position as one of Australia's most popular forms of motorsport. This year's event comes at a time of great challenge to the sport. The sport has split with leading track promoters in Sydney, Brisbane & Perth breaking away to promote their own "Thunder 400" series, leaving ANDRA the sports FIA approved governing body in Australia to handle smaller venues as well as Melbourne & Adelaide. But all of that is of no concern to the drivers taking part this weekend. Lee Baktesh is a former National title winner in Pro-Stock and the sport's troubled politics will be well out of his mind this weekend. "We have now the ANDRA series and the Thunder 400, there's two series out there, we need to support the bracket where ever it's run" This weekend's Pro-Stock field will be one of the largest Group One categories this weekend with 12 cars entered and Lee is confident that the "factory hot-rods" will again put on a top show for the Melbourne fans. "We're going to put on a great show, we;re the biggest field in Group One and it's a credit to the teams that have shown their support for this event and we just hope we can put on a great show for everybody" As the local hero Lee will be a popular pick with the Calder Park crowd and a win will also help make a difference in the on-going fight against the scourge of cancer. “We’re donating any prize money earned this weekend to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. It’s a worthy cause so make sure if you’re coming out this weekend stop by the Team Mopar Australia pit where you can make a gold coin donation and support Cancer research." he said.Continue reading...
19. January 2016
Craig Lowndes will undergo surgery later this week for a broken collarbone, following a recreational motorcycle accident on the weekend and will miss this year's Bathurst 12 Hours. Craig sustained the broken collarbone and minor injuries when he fell whilst riding with family and friends on Sunday. He will undergo surgery, speeding up the recovery process to ensure he is fully fit for the up-coming V8 Supercars Championship season which will begin with testing in late February when he will steer his brand new Holden Commodore for the first time. However, Craig will be unable to participate as planned in the Bathurst 12 Hour event in several weeks’ time in order to maximise his rest and recovery. Australia’s Audi Customer Sport Racing arm Melbourne Performance Centre, that runs the pair of Jamec-Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS entries, commenced a two-day test today at Phillip Island. The team say they have already begun the hunt for a replacement driver to fill in for the recuperating Lowndes. “We’re obviously disappointed that we won’t be able to have Craig’s huge talent and experience in the Jamec-Pem Racing Audi R8 this February, but his recovery is clearly the priority,” Melbourne Performance Centre’s Troy Russell said. “We’re working on securing a suitable replacement that will ensure that entry remains extremely competitive. The process is already underway and we hope to announce the new driver soon. “We’re wishing Craig all the best in his recovery.” All of the team at In Pit Lane also wish Craig the very best and look forward to seeing him back in action ASAP.Continue reading...
23. October 2015
Popular Touring Car Masters and Australian GT driver Keith Kassulke is in a serious condition in the Alfred Hospital after a fiery crash in practice for this weekend’s Victorian State Circuit Racing Championships at Phillip Island.
Mr Kassulke was air-lifted to Melbourne’s Alfred hospital after suffering significant burns.
He was driving his Ascari KZ1R GT3 for this weekend’s Victorian Sportscar Championship final round.
An enthusiastic part time racer, he is also a regular on the International long distance Sports Car racing scene, most recently driving in Ryan McLeod’s Queensland-built Focus V8s in the Creventic series.
He recently scored a class victory in the Dubai 24 Hour.
Kassulke also drives a fast XB Falcon Coupe in the popular Touring Car Masters.
CAMS has commenced an investigation into the incident.
Keith and the Ascari were a featured story on In Pit Lane last year and the thoughts of all our cast and crew go out to Keith and his family at this very difficult time.