Sandown 2014 – Preview

Shannons Nationals

Sandown Park, Melbourne (28-30 March)

For M-Motorsport’s Justin McMillan, the opening round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli at Melbourne’s Sandown Park represents more than just a home race in name. “Okay, it’s in my backyard, but it’s also the one circuit I’ve done more miles around than any other, so I’m really looking forward to kicking off the season with a solid result,” the Interlloy-backed driver admitted.

"Justin should do very well around Sandown,” his highly-rated, experienced co-driver Steven Richards added. “It’s a circuit he knows very well and has won races on, so whilst I’m not predicting we’re going to have an easy weekend, there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t be on the podium.”

The team has endured a tough run into the opening round after their new Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3 was damaged in heavy contact with the concrete barrier at Bathurst during the annual 12-Hour event in early February.

Testament to the team’s level of preparation though, the car has been returned to it’s pristine best, Richards admitting that when factory parts go back into their allotted positions without further modification, that you know the job’s been done right.

“These guys know how to build cars, and they’ve shown with the repairs on the Gallardo that the work has been first-class and in our first test at Winton last week, the car felt every bit as good as it did at Bathurst, where before the hit we were actually the fastest car on the circuit.”

“The crash was unfortunate, but whilst it looked bad the impact was at just 60km/h,” McMillan confirmed. “Our repair and fabrication shop (which builds and maintains some of the most revered street cars and iconic sports cars in Australia) did a brilliant job, the delays were purely down to them wanting to make sure it was better than the way it arrived from Reiter [Engineering - the team responsible for building the Gallardo GT3] themselves.

“The test went perfectly. We’d found a couple of key tweaks for the car on the Saturday night at Bathurst which transformed it on Sunday, and we ran that same setup at Winton and it was quick, so I’m really looking forward to Friday’s practice sessions to dial myself back into Sandown.”

“Sandown is a real drag strip, with two long straights and a couple of slow corners,” Richards explained. “Traditionally the Lamborghini has been considered more of an aero car for fast flowing circuits, not so much a drag racer, but at Bathurst I think we surprised a lot of people with our pace, so I’d expect we’ll be in a similar position at Sandown.

“The key will be scoring good championship points. Starting a season off strongly is the key to setting up a championship. Often teams are a little ‘rusty’ after a long off-season, and take time getting themselves back into a rhythm. We’ve been testing, and we’re better prepared than we were 12-months ago, so I think that will be one of our strengths.

“It’s a long season with a variety of endurance and sprint races ahead of us on a number of different circuits, but right now the focus is Sandown and getting the points on the board, and whilst I won’t make bold predictions, I don’t think the podium is out of the question if we just stick to our plan.”



Friday, 28 March
Practice #1 - 10:40am (20-minutes)
Practice #2 - 12:55am (20-minutes)
Practice #3 - 3:10pm (20-minutes)

Saturday, 29 March
Qualifying - 12:45pm (30-minutes)
Race #1 - 3:10pm (60-minutes)

Sunday, 30 March

Warm-up - 9:35am (10-minutes)
Race #2 - 11:10am (60-minutes)


Keep track of round six of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli via the AGT website - and via Facebook; AustralianGT

The event will also be liv-streamed on Sunday, you can watch the footage by logging-on to

Tickets are available at the gate for the Sandown event, or by visiting

Saturday tickets; $15 (adult), Saturday; $25 (adult), weekend; $30 (adult), children under 14 free.


Keep up to date with further announcements from the M Motorsport/Interlloy race team by visiting;