No Gears, No Glory for Stokes Racing at SMP

Jason Miller and Dylan Thomas’ chances of a top 10 finish in today’s Sydney Motorsport Park 4 Hour have come to a premature conclusion, a gearbox failure ending the day for the Stokes Skis Australia Mitsubishi Evo X in the race’s final hour.

Miller started the race from ninth on the grid, and elevated the Evo to seventh in the opening stint after battling a couple of BMWs.

“I had some good dices with Tom Muller and Jordan Cox in the first stint, I had to work hard to get past both of them,” Miller said.

The team’s first pit stop was triggered by a front-right tyre failure on lap 28, Thomas taking the wheel and resuming just outside the top 10.

Thomas worked his way up to seventh before a second tyre failure necessitated another pit stop on lap 59.

“We always knew tyre management was going to be a major factor this weekend, and we were both driving with tyre conservation in mind, but we still had two blowouts,” Thomas said.

Miller returned to the wheel, running in ninth and making up ground on the cars ahead before being forced into retirement with the gearbox failure.

“It started out with the loss of fourth gear, and then it became progressively worse until there was no drive at all, and it ground to a halt on the side of the track,” Miller said.

“Overall, it’s been a big learning curve this weekend – the car will be faster with some more development, but I’m still learning how to drive it to its maximum potential, and we have a few handling and reliability issues to work on.

“We’ll go away, do some homework and look to come back with a stronger package for the Phillip Island 6 Hour in November,” Miller concluded.