Audi’s Jaxon Evans and Tim Miles have sealed a record breaking win in the Sydney Motorsport Park 501, shattering the record for the longest in Australian GT history in the process.
The pair completed 128 laps, a distance of 503.04km, breaking the record set in 2007 by Tim Leahey and the late Allan Simonsen.
John Martin pushed Evans hard in the closing stages, the Mega Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R relentlessly pursuing the leading Audi to set up a nail-biting finale.
The Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing duo rose through the field after a strong opening stint from Miles left the #75 car in strong contention before Evans raced his way into the race lead in the final stanza.
Behind Martin and co-driver Liam Talbot in second, Geoff Emery piloted the second Jamec Pem Audi to third, having inherited the second Valvoline Jamec Pem racing entry from Kelvin van der Linde in a strong position.
A safety car on lap three for Scott Taylor. who crashed at Turn 1, saw the Jamec Pem crew switch pit Emery early, installing van der Linde and prompting a stunning drive through the field.
The Audi crew’s hand was forced when Emery found himself off the circuit at the first corner of the race, dropping half a lap behind the pack as he recovered the Audi R8 LMS.
Once behind the wheel and released from behind the Safety Car, van der Linde carved his way through the field to take the lead by lap 20, going on to open a sizeable advantage.
Liam Talbot put in a strong opening stint in the Mega Racing Porsche before handing it over to Martin on lap 59, driving to a fuel number in an effort to avoid the need for a splash and dash stop in the race’s closing stages.
Serving their second stop under green flag conditions, Martin then found himself fighting his way back through the field, relentlessly pursuing Evans to trail the Audi by less than three seconds as the chequered flag fell.
Daniel Gaunt and Dylan O’Keeffe put in a strong drive to record fourth place (Kentucky Fried Chicken Audi) while Peter Edwards and Graeme Smyth combined to record and impressive fifth for Maranello Motorsport in the sole Ferrari in the field.
Heading the Lamborghini charge at the flag was the Timken Zagame Autosport entry, the team electing to stop early to put Cam McConville in the car before Adrian Deitz raced it home in ninth place.
Mercedes ace Dominik Baumann proved a standout in his Australian GT debut, rising through the field to sit second for much of the race.
The Hog’s Breath Café Racing team was another to take advantage of the early safety car, with team boss Mark Griffith racing his way home to seventh.
Peter Hackett found himself embroiled in a nail-biting multi-car battle in the opening stages of the race before handing the Autex Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 to Dominic Story.
Having stopped early in the pit window, and again to change drivers, Storey was then forced to stop again late in the race for a splash and dash to make the finish.
A mechanical problem saw Roger Lago and David Russell unable to start the race in the JBS Australia Lamborghini R-EX, while pit lane infringements ruled the GT Motorsports and WM Waste Management entries out of contention.
The victory sees Miles and Evans extend their advantage at the top of the championship as the campaign reaches its halfway mark, the pair enjoying a near perfect score after claiming victory in the opening round at Phillip Island.
The Australian Endurance Championship now heads across the Tasman for the Hampton Downs 500 (October 27-29), before wrapping up the year at Highlands Park (November 10-12).