Team Direct Plasterboard Outlet Tekno Autosport’s Nathan Morcom has felt the brunt of the stewards, when a post-race penalty cost Morcom and Co-Driver Grant Denyer a podium finish at Round 3 of the Australian GT Endurance Championship.
With the Tekno Autosports Team opting to set up the McLaren 650s in Race Spec, Morcom made the Top 10 Shootout and qualified 9th for the Race after a slight mistake into turn one.
“WE STARTED 9TH AND HAD GREAT RACE PACE AS WE ALWAYS KNEW WE WOULD, IT’S A LONG RACE SO WE WERE ALWAYS WORKING HARDER ON RACE SETUP THEN QUALIFYING AS THAT’S ONLY ONE LAP DASH WHICH ULTIMATELY DOESN’T WORK OVER LONG PERIOD IN THE RACE.”
Race 1 – Position 5
Following a strong start to the Race, Morcom was leading the Race for the majority of the Race before Controlled Pitstop Time sent the McLaren back into 2nd.
“GRANT AND I HAD REALLY GOOD PACE OUT ON THE TRACK AND ALSO THE GUYS PLAYED A MASSIVE PART WITH THE STRATEGY WHICH WORKED OUT IN THE END. WE LEAD THE MAJORITY OF THE RACE BEFORE COMING IN FOR THE FINAL PITSTOP WHICH WE CAME OUT IN 2ND PLACE AFTER OUR CPS TIME.”
With 16 Laps remaining, Morcom was passed by Russell to sit in 3rd before the safety car was sent out on track.
“IT LOOKED LIKE WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO SETTLE FOR 3RD PLACE WITH 10 LAPS TO GO, BUT THE SAFETY CAR CAME OUT AND IT REDUCED THE GAP UP FOR THE TOP 5 PLACES, LEAVING US TO BATTLE IT OUT WITH 6 LAPS LEFT. I PUT MY HEAD DOWN AND FOLLOWED RUSSELL AS HE MADE A COUPLE CAR LENGTHS GAP WHILE A LAPPED CAR GOT IN THE MIDDLE OF US.”
In the battle for the second step on the podium, Morcom attempted to pass Smythe but they clashed in the process.
“THE MIDDLE PART OF THE HAMPTON DOWNS TRACK IS QUITE TWISTY AND SMYTHE SEEMED TO BE STRUGGLING WITH CAR PACE AND REAR TYRES SO I GOT A RUN ON HIM OUT OF TURN 7 INTO THE BRAKING AREA OF THE NEXT CORNER AS HE RAN WIDE JUST BEFORE THE APEX, I SAW ROOM AND PUT MY CAR ON THE APEX BESIDE HIM. BEFORE I KNEW IT HE TURNED ACROSS TO TRY COVER HIS LINE AND WE MADE CONTACT. AFTERWARDS THERE WAS TWO CORNERS TO GO, WE WERE LEFT TO FINISH THE RACE WITH A DEFLATED TYRE AND CROSSED THE LINE IN 3RD PLACE. POST RACE INVESTIGATIONS PENALIZED US AND WE FINISHED IN 5TH PLACE.”
The Stewards issued a 30 second penalty after determining that Morcom breached the rules when making contact with Symthe, striping him of 3rd place.
Morcom was disappointed by the result but is confident he can redeem their Championship Standing at the fourth and final round in New Zealand next month.
“IT’S BEEN A DEVASTATING RESULT FOR BOTH MYSELF, AND THE OTHER CAR INVOLVED. NOBODY WANTS THE RACE TO FINISH THAT WAY IN THE DYING MOMENTS ESPECIALLY AFTER WE WORKED SO HARD ALL RACE TO BE THERE. FROM HERE WE WILL PICKUP THE PIECES AND MOVE FORWARD TO THE NEXT RACE IN TWO WEEKS TIME AT HIGHLANDS, REGARDLESS OF THE FINISH IT WAS AN AMAZING EFFORT FROM THE WHOLE TEAM AT TEKNO AUTOSPORTS AND OF COURSE GRANT.”
Morcom will drive in the GT Sprint Championship title decider at the Highlands Motorsport Park, New Zealand for the final round on November 11-12.
Round 4 of the Australian GT Endurance Championship will then be held at the same venue for the final round on November 13.