TUESDAY 19 MAY 2009
SIMONSEN RESETS THE HISTORY BOOKS AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Allan quickly escaped the grandeur of Spa for the belly of a Qantas flight, down to Melbourne, Australia.

It was the third round of the OZ GT Championship and team owner, Nick O'Halloran, wanted Allan to co-drive the Phillip Island event.
Simonsen had only teamed with O'Halloran once before - the Sandown GT Classic, last December, and it had been a dream run with the pairing winning the event and grabbing the silverware.

But the landscape had changed in GT racing down under with the introduction of the 997 Cup Cars, and finding a suitable setup wasn't as easy as it had been.

The event organisers seemed to once again penalise the Ferrari 430 GT3 by forcing it to run a very high ride height.

This made the car difficult to drive, and for O'Halloran it was a tough ask.

But none the less Nick did adapt somewhat considering his limited experience and qualified the car mid-field.
But come race time, with changing weather conditions, it was a tough job for Nick - after 20 minutes he was last and almost a lap down.

Simonsen got on the case and took the fight to the front, setting the fastest lap of the race, but settling for 4th place. His efforts had been aided by a shower forcing most to pit, whilst the Dane kept going.

The second race was not much different for O'Halloran, with damp patchy conditions hampering his progress.

Allan got in the car at the 20 minute mark, last again, and despite the odd setup, set a new lap record.

The gap to the leaders was just too big though, so he settled for 7th. Not the greatest weekend but once again Allan showed his skills in fine style, demoralising the opposition with the lap record. Most hoped he'd stay in Europe from now on!

But Allan was positive about Nick's efforts.

"Nick really could not have done much better than he did considering the mad setup we had to do.

"The car isn't designed to race like this at all and Nick would never have tried that setup.

"It's all a bit stupid really and like we are back in 2007 when they made the CCC Ferrari 360GT run so much more weight, less revs and silly ride height. Like whats the incentive to want to race properly. Perhaps next we will have to run road tyres!

Allan jets back to the UK, for the next BGT round at Rockingham before the countdown to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.