Trofeo Motorsport will enjoy a home track advantage this weekend, with the CAMS Australian GT Championship returning to Melbourne’s Sandown Park for the third round of the 2018 season. There are three 40-minute races scheduled across the weekend, with team principal Jim Manolios running solo in an event that is expected to deliver the full spectrum of weather conditions.
“I have probably done more miles of Sandown than any other circuit in the country,” Manolios admitted reflecting on the weekend ahead. “I’m very comfortable there, but as an aside to that, one of the main reasons for running alone is strategic..
“Traditionally the weather is pretty challenging this time of year, and with little runoff on the edges of the circuit, it’s almost inevitable there will be Safety Car interventions. That, along with the compulsory mid-race pit stop which presents a big factor for the professional drivers – who incur a much bigger compensation penalty – means that we have a much greater chance of gaining good championship points than running with a Pro driver alongside.”
12-months ago the Trofeo Motorsport team were in the process of building experience and developing data for their new Lamborghini Squadra Corse-built Huracan GT3, but almost a year on, the team believe they have found the ‘sweet spot’ with the car, and Manolios admits that he’s becoming more and more comfortable with the gorgeous Italian built V10-powered machine.
“At The Bend we unlocked some real secrets with the car which made it quicker, but I also became more comfortable with driving it competitively,” he admitted. “On top of that, I love Sandown, especially in the wet where experience at the circuit counts, so I’m secretly crossing my fingers for rain!!”
With 29 cars entered for the event, the Trofeo Motorsport team will have their work cut out for them with just a single practice session on Friday, ahead of qualifying and the first race on Sunday.