The opening round of the GT Championship didn’t quite go to plan for Dean & teammate Andrew Taplin.
Dean was on the pace straight away finishing 3rd fastest in the first practice session & 4th fastest in the second. They carried this speed into Qualifying and Dean’s time put them into the 3rd spot on the grid.
Due to their high qualifying position, the #14 Aston Martin would have to serve an 18 second time penalty as well as a 36 second time penalty for having a pro driver in the car.
Dean got a great start in the race & quickly moved up to 2nd. He was closing in on Jono Lester’s #27 Ferrari when the safety car came out & everyone peeled into pitlane to serve their time penalties. After sitting in pitlane for what seemed like an eternity, Dean rejoined the race back in 16th.
Unfortunately on Lap 9, their race came to an abrupt halt with a gearbox failure. Once the car was back in the garage it became apparent that it wasn’t something that was going to be fixed that weekend & their Clipsal weekend was over.
With points allocated for Qualifying, Dean & Andrew left Clipsal with a disappointing 10 points putting them in 17th in the Championship. Definitely not the start to the season they were looking for.
Dean: “It was a disappointing end to the weekend because the car was a treat to drive & the car was quick. We’d only had the car for a couple of days before Clipsal & we’re still learning the finer workings of it. It was a shame we didn’t get to complete the weekend. The gearbox has been sent to the UK to be analysed but there’s nothing salvageable from it & we’ll require a complete new one. Fingers crossed this arrives in time for Phillip Island. It’s going to be a tough fight back from 17th with only 5 rounds left but we’ll press on.”
The next round of the Australian GT Championship will take place at Phillip Island on May 22nd – 23rd.