After expressing frustration on the Thursday, Dean was looking for things to turn around a bit on the Friday at the Australian Grand Prix. Due to the format at AGP, Dean would be sitting the Friday out with Andrew Taplin stepping in to the #14 Brunetti Lamborghini.
The weather played havoc on the race but Andrew Taplin drove a clean race & finished in P17. This would be Dean’s starting position for Race 3 on the Saturday.
Race 3 on Saturday was dramatic on & off the track. On the first lap, Tony Quinn sent Roger Lago on a spin & it was a domino effect with John Magro, Craig Baird & Tony D’Alberto all getting caught up & sustaining damage. Dean had a close call almost cleaning up Roger Lago but evading him sent him into a spin & he made heavy contact with John Magro’s Lamborghini. The damage sustained was to great & they weren’t able to finish the race.
Dean: “There wasn’t really anywhere I could go. I moved to the outside of the track to avoid everyone & Roger Lago’s car came flying across in front of me. If I’d hit him it would have been massive but when I swerved to avoid him, I hit the green stuff & it sent me in a spin. From there I was a passenger & couldn’t avoid Magro. I was really frustrated when I got out of the car. That sort of crap shouldn’t happen on the first lap. There’s no need for it & it’s caused hundreds of thousands in damage”.
To add even more frustration & confusion for AGT teams, the teams only ended up completing one racing lap with the field bunched up. This meant Andrea Montermini crossed the finish line if first but after adding the CPS times, he was relegated to 14th position.
The team, along with support from the guys at Prodrive Racing Australia, worked on the #14 Lamborghini, getting it fixed & straight ready for Race 4 on Sunday.
Dean: “We were actually fortunate in a way. Most of the cars involved in the crash sustained heavy damage and were out for the weekend. We were fortunate that ours wasn’t too bad & with a bit of hammering, we were able to repair it. I have to thank my mates at Prodrive Racing he lent us a hand to get it fixed.”
Sunday morning saw the final race for the GT cars at AGP. Again, Dean was in pitlane, while Andrew Taplin got behind the wheel. By the end of Lap 7, the safety car had been called again & the race finished under safety car conditions. Once again the pack was bunched up. Matt Solomon crossed the finish line in 1st but after CPS times were added, he was relegated to 22nd and the #4 car that crossed the line in 11th was bumped up to become the race winner.
Dean: “They definitely have to rethink the way they handle the CPS times. It was just ridiculous over the weekend. Cars were crossing the line but had no idea where they actually finished. It got to the trophy presentation & no one had a clue who had won. If they’re going to give out CPS times at races without pit stops, then the CPS time should be added to qualifying so they start in the corrected place. At least that way when they cross the line, we know who the winner is. Otherwise its a joke.”
Australian Grand Prix Results
Race 1 – 9th
Race 2 – 17th
Race 3 – DNF
Race 4 – 18th
Meeting – 17th
Championship – 15th