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Prodsports NSW: Audi R8 LMS ultra victorious in Victorian Tourist Trophy at Phillip Island

The Island Magic was hosted at Phillip Island in Australia this weekend. This annual motorsport event hosts a number of categories at the end of the Australian motorsport season, including the final round of the NSW Production Sports Car Championship.

Melbourne Performance Centre entered three Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars in the Sports Car races, which included the one-hour CUE Victorian Tourist Trophy for Sports Cars.

The weekend's NSW Production Sports Car competition consisted of three races for the Sports Cars division. Two individual sprint races for the two drivers of each car on Saturday, followed by the one-hour CUE Victorian Tourist Trophy for Sports Cars on Sunday.

The Melbourne Performance Centre squad consisted of three Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars. Peter Fitzgerald was driving his #2 EVA Racing/Fitzgerald Racing Services Audi R8 LMS ultra (2012 specification). The second Audi R8 LMS ultra was the #75 JAMEC PEM Racing entry shared by the driving duo of Steven McLaughlan and James Winslow.

Peter Conroy was behind the wheel of the blue #5 Skwirk Audi R8 LMS, the same car with which Rod Salmon won the 2014 Australian GT Trophy class title. Rod Salmon leased this car from Peter Conroy during 2014, following Jason Bright's accident during the Bathurst 12 Hour qualifying session in February, which resulted in Salmon's Audi R8 LMS ultra heading to Germany for repairs.

Saturday saw both of the five-lap sprint races, highlighted by a pole position and race victory for James Winslow, along with podium finishes for his teammates.

The one-hour Victorian Tourist Trophy was held on Sunday. It was an exciting race with a large field of cars racing at Phillip Island. By the end of the hour-long race it was the #75 JAMEC PEM Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra which was piloted to victory by James Winslow and Steven McLaughlan. For McLaughlan it was a successful title defence of his Victorian Tourist Trophy win from 2013.

It was a double Audi podium with victory for Winslow and McLaughlan, followed by a very strong third place for Peter Fitzgerald in the #2 Audi R8 LMS ultra. Peter Conroy rounded out a terrific weekend for the MPC Audi squad by finishing eighth overall, taking fourth place in the GT class and ensuring that all three of the Audis finished within the overall top ten. 

This victory has made it three out of three for the Audi R8 LMS / ultra in the Victorian Tourist Trophy. Mark Eddy won the event in 2010 and Steven McLaughlan won in 2013, the only two previous editions where an Audi R8 LMS was entered.

This event may have ended off Melbourne Performance Centre’s 2014 Audi R8 LMS participation, but it is now full steam ahead for the team and their 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour preparations. The team will be running four Audi R8 LMS ultra cars in the race which will be held from 6-8 February.

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