Karl Begg and Justin Anthony have driven the Boss Surveillance Mercedes C63 AMG to another Class A2 race victory, finishing fifth outright in the 300km “Fight in the Night” endurance race at Queensland Raceway on Saturday evening.
The duo qualified fifth outright, Begg taking the reins for the opening stint and running with the outright leaders in the early stages.
The team completed their single pit stop on lap 47, also changing the load-side tyres on the Mercedes; Anthony resumed inside the top five and gallantly attempted to maintain the car’s position on the lead lap, fighting hard against the race-leading Class A1 Lotus and BMW just after a Safety Car restart.
The team ultimately finished fifth outright, and two laps ahead of the next Class A2 car.
“The Mercedes ran faultlessly, and more importantly we were pleased with the work we did to fine-tune the handling,” Begg said.
“It’s easy to fry the tyres here at Queensland, so we concentrated on straightening the car on the exit of the corners before applying the throttle. It looked after the tyres well, so the handling improvements we found in the lead-up to the weekend paid off.”
Begg and Anthony were on target for a similar result in the second 300km race on Sunday; they were again running inside the top five, despite an extra pit stop for a splash of fuel and a drive-through penalty for an alleged Safety Car infringement, when a wheel fell off at Turn 2.
“The car seemed to use a bit more fuel in the heat of the day, so when a Safety Car came out, we pitted and topped it up,” Anthony said.
“It was really sharp thinking from Anthony Gilbertson, who we had helping us with strategy; he saw the opportunity to take a pit stop without losing any time, and it gave us the freedom to drive flat-out to the end without having to worry about fuel conservation.
“The penalty didn’t cost us too severely in terms of positions, but then the wheel fell off and our day was over.”
Despite the non-finish in Race 2, Begg and Anthony still finished second overall for the weekend in Class A2 and both drivers were upbeat about the improvements with the Mercedes.
“We’re over the moon, our progress with the car has come on in leaps and bounds,” Begg said.
“Even since our last test day, we’ve made massive gains – we’re significantly faster in both one-lap speed and race pace.
“We’re at the point now where we have a package that’s capable of contending for outright podium finishes, but we can’t stand still – the front of the APCS field is becoming very fierce, everyone is constantly developing and improving, so we have to do the same.”