Phillip Island Points Haul for RAM Motorsport

by Apr 16, 2024

Phillip Island threw a little bit of everything at the RAM Motorsport crew for the opening round of GT World Challenge Australia 2024.

Mixed weather and mixed results kept the crew on their toes all weekend, but a solid points haul sees Michael Sheargold and Garth Walden sit in second place in the Am Class standings after Round 1.

The theme for the weekend was set early, with light rain interrupting practice, particularly the second hour-long practice session on Friday. While it was raining, it wasn’t wet enough to run the wet tyre option, but far too wet for the slick dry tyres. A persistentinsy on and off weather pattern that would continue for the remainder of the weekend.

“We were fighting the conditions all weekend,” said Sheargold.

“When it rained, it wasn’t proper wet, especially not wet enough to run the wet tyres. But it was far riskier to drive around on slick tyres.”

“It made things tricky, especially when it happened during the races. But I learnt a lot driving in the changeable conditions.”

The opening race of the weekend was strong for the RAM Motorsport crew. Ultimately, the hour-long race was cut 8 minutes short by a red flag. But a strong drive from both Sheargold and Walden saw the pairing cross the line second in the Am Class and tenth outright.

“Our first race went relatively smoothly. The mixed conditions made it a little bit tough, but Garth had the worst of it.

“We had a sprinkle of rain in my stint, and I was probably a little over cautious. But I was able to chip away at it and make up most of the lost time.

“Garth had a stop start stint with more rain and a few safety cars, before the race was stopped.”

“But it was a strong race for us, finishing second in class and starting our championship campaign strong.”

Things took a turn in the second race of the weekend. Starting on the pole in the Am-Class field, contact at the start of the race sent Garth flying, literally, off the circuit.

The contact and off-track excursion damaged the team’s Mercedes AMG, and Walden limped it back to the pits for a quick repair.

Resuming the race a couple of laps down, Walden and Sheargold drove consistently in a damaged car to finish and collect precious championship points.

“In the second race, there was nothing that Garth could have done differently, and after that, it was a rescue mission,” Sheargold continued.

“The contact at the start sent him flying, literally, but he got the car back, and the GWR boys did a great job fixing it up and getting us back in the race.”

“After the contact, the car was ordinary. We had to battle heaps of understeer, especially in the parts of the track that are usually flat, so we lost a lot of time.”

“But we limped around and stayed out of everyone’s way to get some points.”

“At least we made the highlights reel!”

After the opening round of GT World Challenge Australia, the RAM Motorsport team sits second in the Am-Class standings.

“Bagging points in Sunday’s race, despite the early contact, means we are second in the class standings after the first round,” continued Sheargold.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to The Bend for the next round and featuring on both race podiums.”

The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia hosts the second round of GT World Challenge Australia, May 31-June 2.

As always, Michael would like to extend his thanks to all of RAM Motorsport’s partners and supporters, including Oilstar Racing Brake Fluid, Jayco Sydney, Royal Purple, Quest Apartments, Dexion Victoria, Alex Bryden Architecture, Ready Set Redline, Omologato watches and Purfit covers.

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