Liam Talbot and John Martin are hoping their individual success from last year’s Australian GT Endurance Championship visit to New Zealand can transform into team success for the MEGA Racing team, which begins its two race swing at Hampton Downs this weekend, October 27-29.
Martin finished second in the same car he will pilot this weekend – a Walkinshaw GT3-prepared Porsche 911 GT3-R with Duvashen Padayachee – whilst Talbot finished fourth with Jake Fouracre in an Audi R8.
The Queensland duo are locked in a fight for the Championship win after finishing second at the previous round at Sydney Motorsport Park. Their form this year has seen them on the qualify on the front row of the grid in both races conducted so far.
They bring to New Zealand a wealth of international experience – Talbot is the 2016 Blancpain Endurance Series Champion from Europe, this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour GT3-AM winner and has shared a car in Abu Dhabi with MOTOGP World Champion, Jorge Lorenzo.
Meantime, Martin represented Australia in A1GP as well as securing an LMP2 Pole Position at the Le Mans 24 Hour and possesses extensive experience in the World Endurance Championship and other categories.
The team, backed by Australia’s newest Petroleum company, MEGA Limited will make its New Zealand racing debut and the Hampton Downs 101 leads off a busy three weeks in NZ with the MEGA Racing Virgin Australia Supercars team in action next weekend at Pukekohe and Talbot’s GT team rounding off its 2017 program at Highlands Park.
The season has been one of success for MEGA Racing in Australian GT – with Talbot racing individually in the sprint Championship winning races at the Australian Grand Prix and in Perth, ultimately finishing the Championship in second position.
An outstanding performance from both drivers at the second round of the Endurance Championship in Sydney saw the team qualify on the front row and then finish second in the race, Martin carving his way through the field in the latter stages of the race.
This elevated them to second in the points standings with just the two New Zealand rounds to go.
Talbot was recently in New Zealand with Walkinshaw GT3 Team Manager, Mat Nilsson for the launch of the Mobil 1 South Island Endurance Series.
Practice begins for the Laser Plumbing and Electrical Hampton Downs 500 on Friday October 27.
Liam Talbot Racing is supported in 2017 by Australia’s newest Petroleum company, MEGA Limited, with additional support from WashIt Australia Mobile Truck Wash and Walkinshaw GT3 partners, Morris Finance and Urban Maintenance Systems.
“This Australian Endurance Championship is all about momentum and that is something that John and I are building all the time.
“As a combination, we’re relatively new together, however outside the racecar, we have known each other for a long time due to mutual family interests.
“Heading to Hampton Downs second on points with that momentum that we’ve constantly been building with MEGA Racing and Walkinshaw GT3 I think places us in good stead for this two race swing.
“You just cannot afford to become complacent – at every single stage of the game you have to be hitting your marks and building. If you become complacent, it tends to lead to a loss of concentration, which results in an accident!
“We’re very comfortable with how our package looks heading to Hampton Downs. The car has been MEGA all year long, from a consistency point of view, John and I are in line with one another, shown by our pole position and pace at the last round and I think if we’re hanging in there, not getting into trouble we’ll be in a good place.”
“If last year was any indication, I know first hand that this Championship is all to play for right up to the last lap of the last round.
“If we can remain consistent throughout the upcoming two rounds without making mistakes, we are in with a good chance for the Championship.
“Going to Hampton Downs, last year I scored a great result in a Walkinshaw GT3-prepared Porsche with Duvashen and Liam had a top result in the car he was in also – so heading there we both feel comfortable with the track.
“The car has continued to improve throughout the course of the season which is testament to Liam and the team’s hard work.
“New Zealand is always good fun and we can’t wait to head across and get into it, we’re ready to fire over the next two events and hopefully come away with a MEGA result!”