Dimitri Agathos and Lachlan Gibbons have finished fourth outright, just 18 seconds away from a podium finish in the season-ending Phillip Island 6 Hour on the weekend.
After the Nova Employment/Castrol/Whiteline/All Drive Subaroo/Hog’s Breath Café North Parramatta Subaru WRX STI drivers topped the timesheets in Friday’s wet practice session, Agathos and Gibbons remained among the top runners even when the circuit dried out, qualifying in fifth position.
The FullGas Racing outfit’s race was going to plan until Agathos experienced a tyre failure during the second stint.
Nevertheless, other teams also experienced tyre problems, and the Subaru remained well in podium contention until their campaign was further compromised by a second blown tyre for Gibbons during his first stint in the car.
Despite the setbacks, the FullGas Racing crew staged a determined fightback, Gibbons being installed in the car for the final sprint to the chequered flag.
“When I climbed aboard the car, we were just over a lap behind the Mark Eddy/Francois Jouy Audi TT, but we knew they were marginal on fuel so our plan was to push hard in the last stint,” Gibbons said.
“I un-lapped myself from the Audi, and was lapping significantly quicker than it was. We were closing in quickly, and we were within striking distance with a few laps to go.
“Unfortunately, there were a few late-race incidents and caution periods I had to slow down for, which took away our chance of an outright podium result.”
Despite the disappointment of narrowly missing a top three finish, Agathos said the Phillip Island 6 Hour was a solid end to the season which demonstrated the team’s improvements compared to 2017.
“When you look at our performances at every track we visited this year, our lap times were a lot more competitive and we were closer to the front-running pace,” Agathos said.
“At Phillip Island, we always knew tyres were going to be an issue and tyre failures claimed a few victims. We suffered, but we weren’t as badly affected as some of the other teams.
“Our overall reliability has taken a step forward this year, and while we’re still assessing our racing options for 2018, the WRX STI will be a competitive package with some of the revised class structures that have been discussed.”
The FullGas Racing team will announce their 2019 racing plans early in the new year.