Sherrin Racing has walked away from Mount Panorama with the outright and class X wins for the Australian Production Cars, after clean sweeping the category’s three non-championship sprint races as part of the Bathurst 6 Hour event at the weekend.

The APC is running a combined field with the new GT4 Australia category in 2023, with the Sherrins ensuring the GT4 racers didn’t have it all their way with Grant (races one and three) and Iain (race two) mixing it up for the lead in all three races and consistently bettering the GT4 runners down the straight thanks to the larger horsepower of the BMW, before coming home P3, P4 and P4 on the road and the first of the APC runners in each instance.

Race three in particular had viewers trackside and on Stan Sport on the edge of their seats, as Grant was part of a thrilling opening few laps, fighting for the lead in the brand-new yellow Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 in a battle that saw multiple lead and position changes between Sherrin and the GT4 racers of Tony Quinn, Karl Begg and Mark Griffith. Sherrin would eventually settle into P3 after having earlier held P1 and P2, before aging tyres saw him forced to yield to Griffith on the penultimate lap for P4 on the road while retaining the APC outright and class X win.

“In the APC we were running a brand-new car; we had done just the one test day before coming down and it wasn’t really until after that test day and all went well there that we decided to throw it in and see how we would go (in the sprint races),” Grant Sherrin said.

“The build was really good on it and the car went really well. We had it on Hankooks and Iain and I shared the driving, and the car just feels great – it is very promising for the year ahead.

“It was fun to be mixing it up with the GT4 cars and stir them up a bit. On the long straights we had the legs on them, but they would get us over the top. But it was good battling, and everyone gave enough room and it was really enjoyable door-to-door racing without any stupidity, it was really great.”

“We were really happy with the sprint racing,” added Iain Sherrin.

“The brand-new car felt awesome, and the pace was really good. It was nice to have this hit out and it sets us up well for a good season in the Australian Production Cars – I think the outcome was exactly what we wanted ahead of the championship season start.”

It wasn’t just the APC races that were keeping the Sherrin Racing team busy at the weekend either, with the team’s red Sherrin Racing M4 competing in the Bathurst 6 Hour in the X class – qualifying 12th (and 7th in class) and running second outright before a broken rear sub frame ended their race on lap 73 of 112.

“For the Bathurst 6 Hour, our preparation was pretty good leading into the event and the car was feeling very good. Our practice sessions were shortened a bit due to rain and red and yellow flags, but we did our best to get comfortable back on the MRF tyre while avoiding making any drastic changes in the wet conditions, as we knew the forecast for Sunday’s race was for dry weather,” Grant Sherrin explained.

“The car was strong, although a couple of things in qualifying didn’t go our way – we banked a lap early on and then came in and repressurised our tyres ready to have another crack at it, but then we got stuck in traffic and ran out of time to get another flyer in to move us further up the grid.

“Even so, we qualified 12th and 7th in class and we were generally happy with that position – it is a long race and we have started further back and gone on to have a good result before. Iain started the race for a 70 minute stint, and then I hopped in and did two hours before Iain took over for the third stint.

“We worked our way through the field and through a lot of traffic. At the end of my stint we were sitting second after having lead for a few laps and after our fourth pit stop with two stops and three hours to go, we were in a really good spot to run through to the end and were second on the road.

“Then, a few laps after a red flag, Iain reported that he thought we had a puncture on the front right and we started dropping down as the car was moving around underneath him. We were lucky with a safety car which kind of helped protect our position as we came into the pits, but we couldn’t find anything wrong, so we sent Iain back out around 12th.

“Unfortunately it quickly became clear there was still a problem with increasing vibration and the car moving around a lot, so we brought it back in and that was when we discovered a broken rear sub frame which unfortunately saw us forced to retire from the race.

“While it isn’t the result we wanted, there is a lot of good to take away from the race too. Dad (Michael Sherrin) and David Ayres (Team Manager) were on the strategy and that was going really well, and our pit stops were bang on with every one right on the time limit that was required for our CPSs which really helped us to get up the front. I think we would have been in the hunt towards the end if we hadn’t had that broken sub frame.”

“We are obviously disappointed with the broken sub frame, but there is nothing you can do about something like that. I think we were really on target and doing well, leading the race at one point and second when things went wrong,” Iain Sherrin added.

“I felt really good in the car and Grant was driving amazingly. I don’t know of course where we would have ended up in the last hour up against professional drivers, but you know, I think all in all we were up there and put a really good standing in. It just wasn’t to be.

“But we still come away from the weekend with some trophies and all in all, big picture, it was a successful weekend for us, especially if you compare it to last year where we had lots of problems with the car.

“This year other than the broken sub frame which we have never had before, we didn’t have one issue with either car. Both were faultless with no limp mode problems all weekend, so I think we have got right on top of all of that and moving forward into the rest of the year, both cars are looking very solid.”

Team Manager David Ayres echoed Grant and Iain’s statements.

“It was certainly a very busy weekend with the two cars running across APC and the Bathurst 6 Hour, in what were very cold conditions,” Ayres said.

“There was certainly plenty of action happening and it was a really good weekend up until the break in the sub frame.

“Overall though, we are feeling really confident now, especially with the new car (that ran in APC) – it didn’t miss a beat in its first race outing and for the whole weekend we barely had to touch it, we just put fuel in it and checked a few things and sent it back out, so that is really promising.

“We are certainly looking forward to the next one and the rest of the year!”  

Sherrin Racing now turns its attentions to round one of the 2023 Australian Production Cars championship season, which will take place at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit across May 12-14.

Sherrin Racing is supported on-track by Wirtgen Group, Sherrin Rentals, Hi-Tec Oils, Industrial Protective Coatings Qld, Custom Plastic Fabrication, Action Mechanical Specialists, Symmetry Engineering, Hydraulink Brisbane North, Welding Solutions, Great Whites Lighting, Sherrin Equipment, and Construction Equipment Australia.

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