FullGas Racing has completed the 2017 Australian Production Car Series in style, Dimitri Agathos and Lachlan Gibbons scoring an outright second place finish in the final round of the series at Wakefield Park this weekend.
In a hotly-contested qualifying session, Agathos landed the Nova Employment/Castrol/Whiteline/All Drive Subaroo/Hog’s Breath Café North Parramatta & Castle Hill Subaru WRX STI in fourth position on the grid, just 0.06s off third spot.
“After practice on Friday, we made some changes to the car and it responded really well when we bolted new tyres on,” Agathos said.
“I had absolutely nothing left in that qualifying session, I was pushing the car to the absolute limit while trying not to lose momentum with mistakes.
In Saturday’s 300km race, Agathos started and after initially falling behind the Mercedes A45 of Rod Salmon, he overtook both Salmon and the BMW 1M of Anthony Soole to move into third position.
After 31 laps, Agathos pitted for a fuel top-up but the team also discovered a lower control-arm bolt had come loose, and took the opportunity to tighten it.
Although the team lost a few laps, Agathos drove an inspired stint to hand the car over to Gibbons in ninth position on lap 72.
A few showers of rain moistened the circuit and Gibbons’ talent came to the fore in the greasy conditions – he was the fastest car on the circuit, lapping up to three seconds quicker than the race leaders, and elevating the team back to third place at the finish.
“That race was a demonstration of why you never give up in endurance racing,” Gibbons said.
“After the control-arm problem, we lost a lot of time and positions, but we had the pace and consistency to mount a strong recovery.
“In the dry, we were only slightly slower than the leaders and in the wet we were significantly quicker.”
Starting out of third position for Sunday’s second 300km race, Gibbons became involved in an early battle with Soole and Will Brown, eventually settling into third position.
When Brown experienced problems, Gibbons moved up to second. He made his first pit stop for a splash of fuel on lap 48, and handed over to Agathos for the run home on lap 90, Agathos maintaining second place through to the chequered flag.
“In today’s race, we demonstrated what we can do when everything comes together,” Agathos said.
“The car ran reliably and our strategy worked according to plan, and in the end we came away with an excellent result.”
As well as finishing second in Class A1, Agathos and Gibbons also finished second outright for the weekend.
FullGas Racing’s plans for the 2018 season will be announced early in the new year.