Simonsen Is At It Again
Spa-Francorchamps and the Le Mans Series 1000 Kms didn’t go according to plan for the Dane – eliminated in the lap 1 accident, in the Autorlando Porsche – but he headed straight back to Australia from Belgium, for last weekend’s third round of the Australian GT Championship, at Phillip Island.

He may have missed an event, thanks to his European commitments, but racing Ted Huglin’s ex-ACEMCO Ferrari 360, Allan Simonsen was straight down to it – and over the course of the meeting’s three races, he was the overall winner.

Huglin decided to leave all the driving to the Dane, who promptly took pole position in qualifying.

In the first race, he led all the way, taking the flag ahead of Greg Crick’s Viper and James Koundouris in a 996 Porsche. Simonsen set the fastest lap, his 1:35.814 just three-tenths slower than his pole time.

He led race 2, too, until an incident which occurred as the safety car pulled off and the race restarted.
It was adjudged that the silver Ferrari was going too fast before passing the start/finish line, forcing the Dane to take a stop/go penalty. Too fast so have a penalty – simple as that?

Simonsen finished fifth.

In the third and final race, the Dane was leading by lap 2 – but was then passed by the Viper of D’Arcy Russell, two laps from home. No disgrace there – except that the Viper was running on Dunlops, yet the championship specifies Michelin tyres!

It seems probable that the result of this race will be adjusted in due course.

Simonsen has also been testing a Triple Eight Ford Falcon since Spa, alongside Richard Lyons (who finished second in GT1 in Belgium) and regulars Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes. Driver pairings have yet to be finalised for the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 races. The former clashes with the GT3 races at Dijon, so Simonsen might have to try and win the GT3 title in four out of the five events (depending on what his partner Hector Lester decides to do at Dijon).

 

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