Excel Cup Steals the Show at QRDC #2.
Around 135 competitors descended on Queensland Raceway for Round 2 of the 2018 Queensland Racing Drivers Championship – the first of three rounds to be held at the Ipswich venue this season.
While Graham Lusty was on the grid, his famous Mosler wasn’t, after it caught fire during practice for the support races at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour. With that car out of action, Lusty would line up in his Nissan R35 GTR instead, and that opened the door for those around him, such as Steven McFadden (Porsche), Wayne Hennig (Porsche) and John Prefontaine (Lotus Exige) to take centre stage, and do battle for victory.
Prior to the event, Prefontaine admitted that the absence of the Mosler worked in his favour, but expected a tough challenge in trying to defeat those aboard a Porsche.
In qualifying, Steve McFadden proved Prefontaine’s prediction to be correct, as he claimed pole in a Porsche lockout of the front row. McFadden was the only driver in the 1:14’s, as he pipped Wayne Hennig for the top spot. Hennig was second, six-tenths clear of Prefontaine, who rounded out the top three.
Tim Janke was the fastest Mazda MX5, qualifying 9th.
Race 1 was the first of the whole weekend program, and didn’t disappoint – if anything, it set the tone for the rest of the event – it was excitement plus, as McFadden, Prefontaine and Hennig turned it on.
McFadden led early, as Prefontaine found a way by Hennig on the opening lap. From there, the three of them were separated by little more than a second for the remainder of the race. Hennig did all he could to get by Prefontaine, but he was unable to get by. Prefontaine took the lead on the penultimate lap, but was unable to hold it, with McFadden re-taking the lead on the final lap, and holding on for the win.
Behind the leading trio, Greg Quince and Barry Tanton had a terrific scrap in the battle for fourth, with Quince narrowly prevailing. Graham Lusty was a distant seventh, while Steve McLellan upset Tim Janke, to be the first Mazda MX5 across the line, in ninth position.
Prefontaine’s team-mate, Andrew Adams, was an early retirement in the Ginetta.
In Race 2, Prefontaine was unable to repeat his race 1 heroics. He lost second to Wayne Hennig on the opening lap, and could do nothing as the two Porsches drove off into the distance.
McFadden led every lap on his way to a 1.4 second win over Hennig. Prefontaine was a further 17 seconds back, in a very comfortable third place.
Barry Tanton snared fourth off Greg Quince on the opening lap, and stayed there, while Quince dropped as low as eighth, before eventually coming home in seventh, as Chris Hatfield rounded out the top five.
As he was in Race 1, Steve McLellan was the best placed Mazda MX5 competitor, ahead of Tim Janke and Paul Ansell.
The opening race on Sunday morning saw drama right from the start, as John Prefontaine’s race ended only metres after it began. As the field took the green flag, Prefontaine’s Lotus went nowhere - he parked the car on the side of the track, and was a reluctant spectator for the remainder of the race.
Andrew Adams flew off the start. He capitalised on (his team-mate) Prefontaine’s misfortune, and got passed Wayne Hennig as well, to sit second at the end of the opening lap.
Adams’ presence in the top two was short-lived, with Hennig restoring order on the following lap.
By that time, McFadden had established a comfortable lead at the front of the field, and he maintained it - he was not to be caught, despite Hennig’s best efforts.
They again finished first and second, well clear of Jeff Hume, Barry Tanton, Andrew Adams and Greg Quince, who rounded out the top six.
After losing second, Adams was caught in a fierce fight for the minor placings, and slipped as low as sixth on lap 5. By that time, Hume was a comfortable third, leaving Adams to fight for fourth with Quince and Tanton. In the end, he edged out Quince, for fifth, by only half-a-second.
Once again, the MX5 challenge was won by Steve McLellan, who came home in ninth, marginally ahead of Tim Janke, who was closer to McLellan than he’d been all weekend – just four-tenths of a second separated the two at the end of the 10-lap race.
John Prefontaine was back on-track for Race 4 – a 15-lap affair – the longest race of the weekend - and he wasted no time in making his way back towards the pointy end of the field.
McFadden, again, took the early lead from Hennig, and that’s how they stayed for the duration. McFadden completed the clean-sweep, while Hennig scored his third second-place finish of the weekend.
By lap five, Prefontaine had worked his way up into third position, and very swiftly built a gap in order to consolidate that final spot on the podium.
Jeff Hume came home in fourth position, but behind him, it was a thrilling race for fifth – a battle that went right down to the final few laps. Eventually, it was Barry Tanton who edged out Greg Quince and Andrew Adams for that fifth place.
In the Mazda MX5 contest, persistence paid off for Tim Janke, who finally scored a win in this round of the series. The race was Janke’s to lose after the second lap, when McLellan dropped right to the back of the field.
McLellan fought his way back to fifteenth – four spots behind Janke – but his aspirations for a clean-sweep had well and truly been dashed.
Pole Position: Steven McFadden (1:14.8650)
Race 1: 1st Steve McFadden, 2nd John Prefontaine, 3rd Wayne Hennig
Race 2: 1st Steve McFadden, 2nd Wayne Hennig, 3rd John Prefontaine
Race 3: 1st Steve McFadden, 2nd Wayne Hennig, 3rd Jeff Hume
Race 4: 1st Steve McFadden, 2nd Wayne Hennig, 3rd John Prefontaine
Fastest Lap: Steven McFadden – 1:14.7571 (Race 4 – Lap 6)
Track Attack Australia Excel Cup.
The field continues to grow in the Track Attack Australia Cup, with 38 entries lining up for this round of the series – a solid increase on the 31 that contested Round 1 at Lakeside Park.
In the four weeks between rounds, there was almost as much action off the track, as there was on the track in that opening round at Lakeside Park.
The Brett Parish Racing Organisation completed repair works on Simon Winters’ machine, enabling him to race in the second round. The necessary repairs were undertaken after Winters was involved in an incident with John Sheridan at the end of Race 3 in Round 1.
Unfortunately for Sheridan, his car was unable to repaired, and he was forced to sit out round 2, as he sources a replacement machine for the rest of the season.
Elsewhere, work was completed on Cameron Wilson’s new Phillips Wilson Racing machine, and it was sporting the team livery for this round of the championship, after being a last-minute put together for Lakeside, following the incident at Mount Panorama that saw his former car written-off.
Wilson’s team welcomed 15-year old Liam Jensen to their squad, as the operation continues to expand. Jensen, fresh out of karting, where he’d enjoyed great success, joins Holly Espary and Mick McCloud, in what is now a four-car operation.
Steve Hay, the 2016 Queensland Touring Car Champion, recently headed a two-car attack in the Excel support races at the Bathurst 6 Hour, and then sold the cars immediately after the meeting.
One of them ended up in the hands of Tomas Gasperak, who joined this massive field for Round 2.
Qualifying gave us our most unlikely results of the season thus far, with heavyweights from the Brett Parish Racing Organisation and the expanded four-car Wilson Phillips Racing Team spread right throughout the top twenty. None of the eight cars, that represent those two teams, featured inside the top three, with Brett Parish the best performer in fourth.
Scott Green went one better than he did at Lakeside, claiming pole position over Benjamin Smith and Daniel Peasey. Smith was the surprise packet in the qualifying session, the unlikely front row starter.
Behind Brett Parish, on row three, were Mark Goldspink and Steve Pilkington. Kaden Olsen was seventh, just ahead of the man who won the opening round, Darren Whittington, with Gordon Smith and Dave Shinners rounding out the top ten.
It was an impressive performance from Smith, Pilkington and Goldspink, and a very good bounce back from Shinners, who missed the first two races in the opening round due to mechanical dramas. With tenth, the problems were well and truly rectified, and he was eager to build on that result, and score a good haul of points this weekend.
The biggest surprises in that session came down the order, with Robert Buckley 11th fastest, Tyrone Gautier 13th, and Simon Winters in 18th, just ahead of Cam Wilson. All four men were far further down the grid than predicted, and would go into race 1 with plenty of work to do.
With a mixed up grid, action aplenty was expected in Race 1, and that’s exactly what we got.
After qualifying 33rd, Joshua Richards was a non-starter for the opening 10-lap affair.
Despite Scott Green taking an early lead, it was Brett Parish who got the best start, charging around the outside of Daniel Peasey and Ben Smith, to take second position by the exit of turn two.
Further back in the pack, Liam Jensen tried to go round the outside of Tomas Gasperak, at turn six, but the pair made contact, and that sent Jensen flying off into the wall. Darren Currie, who qualified 17th, was also caught up in the incident, and the race went into clampdown immediately.
Cam Wilson was the big mover on lap 1, working his way through, from nineteenth, to be fourteenth as the race entered clampdown mode, following his team-mate’s unfortunate crash.
After several laps under clampdown, the race was suspended at the end of lap 4, and with pit-lane blocked, competitors were advised to stop their cars on the main straight, while the recovery and medical teams continued their work, at the scene of the crash, turn six.
Darren Currie was able to drive his car back to the lane under its own steam, but the cars of Gasperak and Jensen were on the back of the recovery truck.
Jensen left the scene, with the medical crew, several minutes later, as he was taken, firstly to the on-track medical centre, and later to a nearby hospital for observation. In what was a double-blow for the Phillips Wilson Racing squad, even if Jensen wasn’t taken to the hospital, he wasn’t going to have a car to race for the remainder of the weekend – the #11 was a write-off.
The other two cars involved in the incident were repairable, and were back on the grid for Race 2.
Once the incident site was cleared, the race was back on. The field left the grid in single-file formation, and after one more lap under clampdown, the green flag was waved, to signal the resumption of racing, at the start of lap six.
With four laps being run under clampdown conditions, officials advised that the race would be extended to fourteen laps.
Off the restart, Scott Kelly took an early lead, with Parish and Peasey in close pursuit. Benjamin Smith wasn’t letting the leading three get away, but was under immense pressure from Pilkington, Goldspink and Whittington.
Wilson continued his charge through the field, as he found his way by Gautier, Espray and Buckley on consecutive laps, before landing inside the top ten, for the first time, on lap nine.
By that time, Peasey had been relegated to fourth by Smith, as Green continued to lead Parish at the front of the field.
It was a vigorous fight over the closing laps, as Peasey managed to get back by Smith, and mount an attack on Parish, who himself was trying to find a way by Scott Green. Wilson continued his charge through the field, and Kaden Olsen was slowly creeping up the order as well, as he and Darren Whittington were caught in a battle with Pilkington and Goldspink – a battle that Wilson was able to latch onto the back of, and before too long, the defending champion was weaving his way through the competition again.
Despite his best efforts, Brett Parish could do nothing to prevent Scott Green from taking his first ever Track Attack Australia Cup race victory, and he did so in very convincing fashion – leading every lap of the opening race of the weekend – to hold off Parish, who himself only just scored second, ahead of Daniel Peasey, who rounded out the podium.
Ben Smith came home in fourth, ahead of Cam Wilson, who charged from nineteenth to finish fifth, after sneaking by Olsen and Pilkington on the last lap.
It was a good fight back from Olsen, who, after qualifying seventh, was sitting ninth at the restart.
Race 2 was scheduled for twelve laps, and once again, Brett Parish made the outside line work to his advantage. Starting second, Parish went side-by-side with Scott Green through turn one, and continued to hang tough through turn two, where he exited with the early race lead.
The moving and shaking continued behind him, with Cam Wilson charging from fifth to second on that opening lap, leaving Green under immediate pressure from Olsen and Peasey in an unexpected battle for third early on.
Wilson got to the front on Lap 3, when he made light work of his former team boss. The pair engaged in an enthralling battle, and one that saw them eventually brought back to the pack.
After slipping to fifth on the opening lap, Daniel Peasey was forced to work hard in his fight to get back to the front. He got by Olsen on lap 4, before accounting for Green on Lap 6.
With Wilson and Parish still arguing over the same piece of real estate, it wasn’t long before Peasey was right on their tail, making it a three-way fight for the win.
Peasey made his move on Lap 8, when he relieved Parish of second position, and cruised into the lead on lap 10, as drama struck Wilson, and his car began to slow dramatically, which saw him rapidly drop down the order.
Minor mechanical dramas saw the defending champion eventually crawl home in seventeenth, as Daniel Peasey took his first win of the season, ahead of Brett Parish and Scott Green.
Fourth was Mark Goldspink, who held off a fast-finishing Darren Whittington. They were just ahead of Steve Pilkington and Kaden Olsen, who was unable to maintain his early pace – after being as high as fourth, he came home in seventh.
Dave Shinners put in one of his best drives yet, to finish eighth, ahead of Daniel Natoli and Tyrone Gautier, who rounded out the top ten.
After finishing fourth in Race 1, Ben Smith lost five positions on the opening lap of the second race, and never really recovered – he finished eleventh.
Tomas Gasperak and Darren Currie finished eighteenth and twenty-third respectively – a commendable performance from both, given they started at the back of the grid after being involved in that nasty incident in the earlier race.
The Track Attack Australia Cup doesn’t often throw up an easy race win, but that’s exactly what Brett Parish cruised to in the opening race on Day 2.
Parish started from second, again, for Race 3, and, again, he took the early race lead – this time from Daniel Peasey – after he got the jump, and swept around from the outside, to displace Peasey on the run to turn two.
Drama ensued at turn three, when Peasey and Scott Green come together. The pair speared off into the infield, and watched the field go by, as any chance either of them had, of repeating their Saturday success, very quickly evaporated.
Peasey got off lightly, re-joining in seventeenth, while Green got the rough end of the stick, and resumed at the very back of the field – 35th position.
That incident gave Brett Parish breathing space at the front of the field, and given how evenly match the pack is in the Track Attack Australia Cup, it was going to be hard for anyone to track him down.
Parish led every lap, on his way to a comfortable win, but behind him, there was no shortage of entertainment.
For the second time in as many days, Cam Wilson was charging through from mid-field, as was Tyrone Gautier, and with Peasey and Green out of the equation, there was a fascinating three-way for second unfolding, between Olsen, Goldspink and Whittington, but it didn’t last long, with Olsen striking drama on lap 2, which forced him into pit-lane.
Olsen would resume later in the race, but failed to complete seventy-five percent of the race distance, and was therefore classified as a non-finisher.
Back on-track, Goldspink was only able to fend off Whittington for so long, before the round 1 winner moved his way up into second position. By that time, Cam Wilson had moved into fourth place, and was sitting on their tail. Moments after Whittington went to second, Wilson made light work of Goldspink, moving into third, as Goldspink lost two positions in the space of a lap.
On lap eight, Wilson continued his charge, passing Whittington for second, and with Brett Parish nearly four seconds up the road, that would be where Wilson’s charge would end.
Whittington lost third to Goldspink on the penultimate lap, and was under immense pressure from Tyrone Gautier and Daniel Natoli in the closing stages, but was able to fend them off.
Parish took the win, from Wilson, Goldspink, Whittington and Gautier. Natoli was sixth, three seconds clear of Pilkington, who held off Buckley and Shinners in the battle for seventh. Benjamin Smith rounded out the top ten, and was very lucky to finish tenth, with Daniel Peasey breathing down his neck, after charging back through the field, following his opening lap incident with Scott Green, who ended up finishing nineteenth.
With two series heavyweights starting on the front row, the stage was perfectly set for the final race of the weekend, which turned out to be the race of the weekend.
Parish and Wilson went side-by-side for much of the opening lap, but, by turn 5, Parish yielded and the defending champion secured the early race lead, with Darren Whittington closely following Parish.
The race was neutralised on the second lap, following an incident involving Scott Kelly and Harry Haggarty. Haggarty was able to resume, but Kelly’s car was wrecked, and his race was done. Steve Pilkington also pulled into retirement, bringing a premature end to a promising weekend, where he’d recorded top-ten finishes in all of the previous three races.
When the race resumed, battle packs were forming all over the place. At the front, it was Wilson leading Parish and Whittington, and they were never challenged – they battled among themselves while the chasing pack spent the remainder of the race battling for the minor placings, unable to latch on to the fight for the lead.
After sitting sixth early on, Robert Buckley lost two positions on lap seven, and that saw him fall into eighth place, and become involved in a seven-car fight for sixth position. When Daniel Peasey got by Mark Goldspink, he drove off, making a six-car fight for seventh, as the Race 2 winner latched onto back of the battle for fourth, involving Daniel Natoli and Tyrone Gautier.
Wilson continued to lead at the front, despite pressure mounting from Whittington and Parish behind.
Daniel Natoli soon started losing track position. Sitting fourth at the end of lap seven, he found himself in ninth just two laps later, after being overtaken by Gautier on lap 8, and then Peasey and Green on lap nine.
Green put in a sterling drive to work his way up through the field, after starting 19th, and was back chasing his nemesis from race 3, Daniel Peasey, with six laps still to run.
Green displaced Peasey on lap 10, and they both got by Gautier on the very next lap, sending Tyrone from fourth back to sixth in the process.
When speaking on the Queensland Raceways Facebook LIVE video on Saturday morning, Dave Shinners really didn’t fancy his chances in this round of the series, but he well and truly exceeded expectations, and was running inside the top ten with a few laps to go, smack back in the middle of an awesome fight for positions 7-12, involving Goldspink, Natoli, Espray, Buckley and Smith.
In the closing laps, that six-way fight split into two groups of three, with Goldspink, Shinners and Natoli fighting for seventh, and Espray, Buckley and Smith fighting for the final position in the top ten.
The action didn’t stop there, with Kaden Olsen charging through from the back of the field, after not being classified in race 3. By lap 8, he was 13th, which is where he finished, but not before a hard-fought battle with Mick McCloud, Simon Winters and Tomas Gasperak.
Back at the front, Wilson was still leading as the last lap board was displayed. At that time, Darren Whittington was sitting second, after finally finding a way past his team leader on the previous lap.
With 3.12 kilometres left, the race was far from over. On the back straight, Whittington received a tremendous tow from Wilson, allowing him to be right on the tail of the defending series champion with only half-a-lap to go.
By that time, Parish was out of the fight – he was too far back- which ensured a fourth different race winner in the second round of the championship.
Whittington lunged up the inside of Wilson as they entered the final corner, but to no avail, as Cam Wilson held on, in an epic, for his first win of the season.
Whittington’s slow run off the final corner gave Brett Parish a chase to steal second at the post, but he fell short, by only 0.0029 of a second.
Further back, Daniel Peasey snared fourth away from Scott Green in the final 200 metres, Tyrone Gautier was sixth, five seconds clear of Mark Goldspink, Dave Shinners and Daniel Natoli, and they were clear of Holly Espray, who rounded out the top ten, ahead of Ben Smith, Robert Buckley, and then, Kaden Olsen, who climbed from 35th to 13th, Simon Winters, Mick McCloud and Tomas Gasperak, who came home in sixteenth, in what will be a contender for the Track Attack Australia Excel Cup ‘Race of the Year’.
A weekend full of consistency saw Brett Parish take round honours, ahead of Daniel Peasey and Darren Whittington. Whittington retains his lead in the title fight, by just twelve points, ahead of Brett Parish, who’s jumped up the order, to sit second, with Scott Green rounding out the top three at this early stage.
Two rounds down, and six to go. Six different winners in the opening eight races of the season, with four different winners across the weekend, in a round easily won by Brett Parish. His organisation has won both rounds so far, and the fireworks will continue at Lakeside Park on the opening weekend of June.
Pole Position: Scott Green (1:31.9560)
Race 1: 1st Scott Green, 2nd Brett Parish, 3rd Daniel Peasey
Race 2: 1st Daniel Peasey, 2nd Brett Parish, 3rd Scott Green
Race 3: 1st Brett Parish, 2nd Cam Wilson, 3rd Mark Goldspink
Race 4: 1st Cam Wilson, 2nd Darren Whittington, 3rd Brett Parish
Fastest Lap: Scott Green – 1:31. 9807 (Race 3 – Lap 7)
Points After Round 2 of 8.
1st | Darren Whittington - 159
2nd | Brett Parish - 147
3rd | Scott Green - 135
4th | Cam Wilson - 129
5th | Daniel Peasey – 117
Next Round: Lakeside Park | June 2-3.
Queensland Sportscar Championship.
It became very clear, very early, that, in the seven weeks between outings, very little had changed in the Queensland Sportscar Championship, with Dave Barram continuing his dominant form from Lakeside, to put on an absolute masterclass at Queensland Raceway.
As he did in Round 1, he claimed the sweep – pole position, and five easy race wins. His pace, compared to his competition, is unrivalled, unmatched, and it showed in the margin of his five race wins.
He claimed pole by 2.97 seconds, ahead of Chris Purvis and Carmelo Bonaventura – Purvis had 2.4 seconds on Bonaventura, who was over a second clear of Adam Beesley, with Brian Pettit rounding out the top five.
At the beginning of Race 1, as the starter waved the green flag, Barram bolted, and he didn’t look back, nor did he go easy at any stage over the 11-lap race – he set the fastest lap of the race (1:10.5934) on the very last lap.
Barram was twenty-seconds clear of second-placed Purvis, who was fifteen seconds clear of Bonaventura, who rounded out the podium.
There was really only one battle to focus on, and that was the battle for fourth, where Simon Cilento held off Grant Green by only 1.1 seconds.
Barram’s performance was far more dominant in Race 2, which, at seven laps, was four laps shorter than race 1. Again, Barram didn’t slow at any stage, again setting the fastest lap of the race (1:10.1676) on the last lap, and winning by a bigger margin than he did earlier in the day.
Barram was twenty-four seconds clear of Chris Purvis, who was second again, twenty-three seconds clear of Simon Cilento, who surprised many, by defeating Carmelo Bonaventura in the battle for third, and he did it at the very start, getting by Bonaventura on the opening lap.
Despite his best efforts, Bonaventura was unable to reclaim third, from Cilento, and was forced to settle for fourth, ahead of Grant Green.
Not much separated Bruce Chamberlain and Ross Rundle in the opening round at Lakeside Park, and it was the same story at Queensland Raceway – Chamberlain finished tenth, just 1.2 seconds ahead of Rundle.
Carmelo Bonaventura was a non-starter in the opening race on the second day of proceedings, and wouldn’t feature in the fourth or fifth race either, which reduced the field to eleven cars for the final three races of the second round of the season.
In a processional third race, the top three was an exact replica of the podium from race two, with Dave Barram taking a sixteen second victory, ahead of Purvis and Cilento was a further 35 seconds back.
Grant Green inherited fourth position as a result of Bonaventura’s demise, and he wasn’t challenged at any stage, finishing twenty-six seconds clear of Adam Beesley, who rounded out the top five.
Race 4 gave us a thrilling battle for second in the opening stages. Simon Cilento got the jump, passed Chris Purvis, and settled into second position for the run down the back straight, as Dave Barram again disappeared.
On lap four, Purvis restored order, relegating Cilento back to third, and that was the end of that. Barram claimed a twenty-one second victory over Purvis, who was just five seconds clear of Cilento after eight laps of racing.
As they did in Race 3, Grant Green (4th) and Adam Beesley (5th), rounded out the top half of the field.
The final race saw Barram secure his clean-sweep, and Purvis secure a clean-sweep of seconds.
Simon Cilento was third – unable to challenge Purvis in the final race. Barram finished fourteen seconds ahead of Purvis, who was twenty-two clear of Cilento.
The interest in this race was in the battle for fourth, where Adam Beesley had Grant Green’s measure in the early stages, but he wasn’t able to hold on – Green restored order before the end of the race, and secured fourth place once again.
Pole Position: Dave Barram (1:09.9308)
Race 1: 1st Dave Barram, 2nd Chris Purvis, 3rd Carmelo Bonaventura
Race 2: 1st Dave Barram, 2nd Chris Purvis, 3rd Simon Cilento
Race 3: 1st Dave Barram, 2nd Chris Purvis, 3rd Simon Cilento
Race 4: 1st Dave Barram, 2nd Chris Purvis, 3rd Simon Cilento
Race 5: 1st Dave Barram, 2nd Chris Purvis, 3rd Simon Cilento
Fastest Lap: Dave Barram – 1:10.1676 (Race 2 – Lap 7)
Queensland Superkart Championship
Drivers with the surname Jamieson dominated the latest round of the Queensland Superkart Championship. Russell claimed pole position, won four of the five races, and re-set the circuit lap record for Superkarts (lowering his previous benchmark), while Chryss claimed victory in the second race, after Russell failed to finish.
Qualifying was one-way traffic for Russell Jamieson, who clocked a 1:09.4958 – six seconds faster than anyone else on the race track.
Chris Jamieson was second, as the Jamieson family locked out the front row, taking the top two places in the 250cc International class.
Third outright, first in 250cc National, went to Tim Weier, and John La Spina and Brian Wild rounding out the top five.
The fastest 125cc entry was William Tait in 6th, while Cameron Moxley was the best of the 80cc karts, down in 13th position.
The opening race of the weekend was dominated by the 250cc International kart of Russell Jamieson, who claimed victory by 34 seconds, ahead of Chryss Jamieson and the first of the 250cc National karts, Tim Weier.
William Tait was the first 125cc kart home, ahead of Darryl Bertram and Doug Amiss, who just held off Raymond Ralph, in the battle for third in class and ninth outright.
Cameron Moxley claimed the honours in the 80cc division, while Peter Muske (125cc), Jonathan Bothamley (125cc) and Hayley Douglas (80cc) all failed to finish.
Russell Jamieson’s retirement from the second race opened the door for Chryss Jamieson to claim a race win. He did so by eight seconds, ahead of Tim Weier and Brian Wild. William Tait continued his unbeaten run in the 125cc class, as did Cameron Moxley in the 80cc division.
Once again, Bothamley and Douglas failed to finish, as did Drene Jamieson – Peter Muske fought back, after failing to finish race 1, to come home in 8th outright.
Race 3 was held early on Sunday morning, and that was where Jamieson was able to re-set the lap record, as cool track and ambient temperatures combined to provide him with the perfect conditions to achieve the record pace.
Jamieson set the track alight, with the lap record coming on lap 3 of 10, as he cruised to his second win of the round.
When Chryss Jamieson’s kart expired on lap 4, the race was neutralised for over two laps, but on resumption, Russell continued to pull away, and went on to record his second victory of the weekend, and did so by a comfortable fifty-five seconds, from Tim Weier and Brian Wild.
William Tait was, again, the first of the 125cc finishers, but Cameron Moxley’s run of form came to an end in the 80cc division, with Scott Jamieson claiming the win this time around.
Russell Jamieson continued to showcase his dominance in Sunday’s second race. While he didn’t set another lap record, he did up the ante – lapping the entire field on his way to his third win of the weekend.
Tim Weier was second, while Brian Wild grabbed third by just 0.0110 over John La Spina, in the best battle of the weekend. William Tait made it four from four in the 125cc’s, while Scott Jamieson grabbed his second win of the day in the 80cc’s.
The final race of the weekend saw Russell Jamieson add insult to injury – he lapped the entire field again, finishing one lap and fifteen seconds ahead of Timothy Weier. Brian Wild was third, ahead of William Tait and John La Spina.
Fourth was enough for Tait to secure the 125cc clean-sweep, while Scott Jamieson won the 80cc race once again.
The Queensland Superkart fraternity will be back in action at Lakeside Park on the opening weekend of June.
Pole Position: Russell Jamieson (1:09.4958)
Race 1: 1st Russell Jamieson, 2nd Chryss Jamieson, 3rd Timothy Weier
Race 2: 1st Chryss Jamieson, 2nd Timothy Weier, 3rd Brian Wild
Race 3: 1st Russell Jamieson, 2nd Timothy Weier, 3rd Brian Wild
Race 4: 1st Russell Jamieson, 2nd Timothy Weier, 3rd Brian Wild
Race 5: 1st Russell Jamieson, 2nd Timothy Weier, 3rd Brian Wild
Fastest Lap: Russell Jamieson – 1:08.4697 (Race 3 – Lap 3)
After missing the opening two rounds of the championship, Joseph Andriske made a welcomed return to the Queensland HQ Holden Championship for Round 3, and straight away, it was as though he’d never left – he was back on the pace, and back on the tail of his relative, and team-mate, Scott.
Round 3 was the series’ first visit to Queensland Raceway for 2018. Coming into the event, Scott Andriske was the championship leader, having dominated the opening two rounds – winning five of the seven races contested, and finishing second in the other two.
His dominant form continued in Qualifying, as he stormed to pole position, in a session where his team locked out the first two rows of the grid.
Scott and Joe went first and fourth, with the sister team of Ben Simpson and Brandon Madden ending up second and third fastest.
Gary Bonwick was back on the grid for this round, and was fifth fastest in qualifying. He was a whisker away from fourth position – only 0.0144 slower than Joseph Andriske.
Scott Andriske and Ben Simpson had serious pace. Andriske’s pole time was 0.296 faster than Simpsno, but 0.9345 faster than Brandon Madden. In the end, while the top five were covered by less than a second, less than a tenth-of-a-second separated positions three, four and five, in a tightly contested 15-minute session.
Mechanical dramas saw Bruce French record the slowest time in qualifying, but his dramas didn’t end there. Unable to resolve the issue, French failed to start the opening race of the weekend.
Nineteen cars took to the circuit for the opening twelve-lap race – a race that saw Scott Andriske continue his consistent and dominant start to season 2018. Andriske led every lap on his way to his sixth win of the season thus far.
Behind him, it was a fascinating scrap for second, between Brandon Madden and Joe Andriske, while the other member of the team, Ben Simpson, was handed a drive-through penalty on the opening lap, which not only took him out of that top four battle, but ruled him out of any sort of contention whatsoever.
Madden kept Andriske at bay for the opening seven laps, but Joe made his move, up into second, on lap eight. At that time, it was an Andriske one-two, but Madden was determined to ruin their party, and he did – reclaiming second position on the penultimate lap.
Scott Andriske was the winner, by four seconds, over Brandon Madden and Joe Andriske, with Gary Bonwick and Kyle Lovering rounding out the top five.
After serving his drive-through penalty, Ben Simpson came home in ninth, just ahead of the 2016 champion, Brock Mitchel.
Jamie Furness, the defending champion, was a late race retirement, as was Tim Boyle, who performed so well at Lakeside in the previous round.
The second race of the weekend saw Team Andriske go toe-to-toe, in a fantastic battle that ran all the way to the chequered flag.
Behind Scott and Joe, there was action aplenty, with an enthralling fight for the minor placings unfolding between Gary Bonwick, Ben Simpson, Jamie Furness and Tim Boyle, who had all worked their way back to the front after their respective mishaps in race 1.
Bruce French made the start this time round, but not the finish – his race ended, prematurely, on lap five, of the scheduled twelve.
When Leigh Lovering came to a stop on-track, the race was neutralised, as officials removed his car from the circuit, and upon resumption, the race was extended by one lap
Gary Bonwick had a firm grip on third place in the opening half of the race, but as he was caught by Simpson, Furness and Boyle, the grip began to loosen. Simpson relegated him to fourth on lap six, but Bonwick was able to return serve just two laps later.
When Simpson got his man (again) on lap 11, he made it stick – Bonwick was unable to respond, and the battle for the final spot on the podium went in favour of Simpson.
Back at the front, it was Joe Andriske that won the start, after passing both Scott Andriske and Brandon Madden on the opening lap. Scott was never more than a car length away from his team-mate for the remainder of the race, but was unable to get back to where he started.
Scott had a couple of cracks at passing Joe, but in the end, he couldn’t stop him from grabbing his first win of the season, in just his second race.
With second, the consistency continued for Scott, who had now finished first or second in the first nine races of the season.
Simpson held off Bonwick for third, while Jamie Furness and Tim Boyle rounded out the top six. Boyle and Furness had a tremendous scrap, that also included Kyle Lovering, for much of the race, but when push came to shove, it was the experience of the defending champion that proved to be the difference, as he passed Boyle, to secure fifth position, on the penultimate lap.
Race 3 saw Scott and Joe Andriske trade positions. Joe lost the start, and second position to Gary Bonwick in the early stages, but when he displaced the #59 on lap 6, he set out after his team-mate, but came up short. Scott led every lap on his way to recording his second win of the weekend, finishing just under four-tenths-of-a-second ahead of Joe, while Bonwick was a comfortable third.
Further back, there was another terrific scrap for the minor placings, featuring Tim Boyle, Brandon Madden, Ben Simpson and Jamie Furness.
Furness dropped off that battle on lap four, when he retired from the race, leaving Boyle, Madden and Simpson to duke it out for fourth.
Four laps after Furness retired, Brock Mitchell’s race was done, as his engine let go. Mitchell parked it in the dipper, after sliding in on his own oil.
As the race continued, Simpson and Boyle continued to argue over fourth, but they managed to put some distance between themselves and Brandon Madden, who was left to consolidate sixth position.
After, at least, five position swaps, it was Ben Simpson who eventually fought off Tim Boyle, to claim fourth position.
Like the Excel Cup earlier in the day, the HQ drivers saved their very best entertainment for last, delivering a thrilling fourth and final race, much to the delight of those watching trackside.
There was one change to the line-up for the fourth race – Brock Mitchell was behind the wheel of Jamie Furness’ car. Mitchell’s car was out of action, so Furness offered Mitchell the opportunity to drive his car, in order for Mitchell to be able to salvage some championship points – Mitchell accepted, leaving Furness watching the final race of the weekend from the sideline.
Scott Andriske won the start, but his time at the front didn’t last long, as his team-mates applied the pressure from the outset.
Joe Andriske made his move on lap 2, passing both Ben Simpson and Scott Andriske, to take the lead away from the form man of the championship thus far.
By lap 4, Brandon Madden had found his way into the top three, after relegating Simpson to fourth. The pair would scrap over third for the next four laps, until disaster struck the championship leader, Scott Andriske, on lap 9.
Serious mechanical problems ended Scott Andriske’s day, and a trail of oil on the race track. As Andriske came to a stop, the race was neutralised, and resumed once officials were able to get the car and driver to safety.
Upon resumption, the drama continued, with Joe Andriske finding the dirt, after coming unstuck on Scott’s oil. The unfortunate incident saw him drop from first to eighth, as Ben Simpson inherited the race lead.
With only three laps to go, Joe’s hopes of a win, or a podium finish, were dashed, which left his affiliate team-mates, Simpson and Madden to fight it out.
Behind them, Gary Bonwick was still holding third position, but the battle for fourth was on, between Troy Stark, Tim Boyle, and Brock Mitchell, who, in Jamie Furness’ car, was putting in his best drive of the weekend.
Madden held the lead as the last lap board was displayed, but Simpson was having none of that, and reclaimed it with only a handful of corners to go.
He was able to hold on to that lead, go on and win the race – his first win of the season, and in the process of that, he became the fifth different winner of the season as well.
Gary Bonwick finished third, just holding off Mitchell, Boyle and Stark, who were separated by just half-a-second in the end.
Joe Andriske got back to seventh, finishing ahead of Brad Schomberg, Nathan Locke and Kyle Lovering, who rounded out the top ten, in a most thrilling HQ Holden race.
Pole Position: Scott Andriske (1:34.3190)
Race 1: 1st Scott Andriske, 2nd Brandon Madden, 3rd Joseph Andriske
Race 2: 1st Joseph Andriske, 2nd Scott Andriske, 3rd Ben Simpson
Race 3: 1st Scott Andriske, 2nd Joseph Andriske, 3rd Gary Bonwick
Race 4: 1st Ben Simpson, 2nd Brandon Madden, 3rd Gary Bonwick
Fastest Lap: Brad Schomberg – 1:32.3914 (Race 4 – Lap 10)
Next Round: HQ 1 Hour | Queensland Raceway | July 6-8 (QRDC4).
T124 Italian Challenge
The Italian Challenge paid its first visit to Queensland Raceway for 2018, doing away with the usual mix of sprints and races, settling for an all-race program.
The four-race schedule didn’t disappoint, delivering four different race winners, from as many races, across the weekend.
Daniel Impellizzeri was fastest in qualifying, just three-tenths of a second ahead of Mark Jackson, as Fiat and Alfa Romeo shared the front row. Joel O’Farrell was a distant, but comfortable third, six-tenths ahead of Ken Percival, and Serge Oberhauser rounded out the top five.
While they were closely matched in qualifying, Mark Jackson was no match for Daniel Impellizzeri In the opening race of the weekend, as the Fiat driver spreadeagled the field, and streaked to a 32-second victory.
In what was a mostly processional race, Mark Jackson took second, six seconds clear of Ken Percival. Fourth place went to Oberhauser, with Angus Sanders rounding out the top five.
Race 2 didn’t go to plan for the Race 1 winner – Daniel Impellizzeri retired on lap 3 with mechanical failure that put pay to the remainder of his weekend, and threw the form guide wide open.
The race was neutralised while officials retrieved the Alfa Romeo, and that saw the race extended to 9 laps, by the end of which, Mark Jackson held on for a narrow win over Joel O’Farrell and Ken Percival, with just 1.6 seconds separating the three of them in the end.
Angus Saunders edged out Serge Oberhauser for fourth, and they were followed by Bob Robson and Reilly Brooks, as Alfa locked out the top seven positions in the second race of the weekend.
The battle between Jackson and O’Farrell continued in Sunday’s first race. This time, O’Farrell got the upperhand, which made it three different winners in as many races.
After losing the start, Jackson pushed O’Farrell all the way, but was unable to find a way through, eventually missing out by only seven-tenths of a second.
The leading pair gapped the pack, leaving Ben Percival a distant third, some twenty-two seconds behind them, but eight seconds clear ahead of Serge Oberhauser, who just edged out Angus Saunders in the race for fourth.
The fourth and final race of the weekend was a handicap affair, with cars starting the race from pit-lane, at different time intervals.
Of course, with a handicap race, the slowest cars start first, the fastest start last, and in theory (if the administrators get the handicap timings correct), the entire field crosses the line at the same time.
Natalie Bellumini, Richard Shinkfield and Ettore Vosolo were released first. Fifteen seconds later, Brooks, Robson, Oberhauser and Saunders were let loose.
Ben Percival was let go after twenty-three seconds, before Jackson and O’Farrell joined the track twenty-three seconds after that.
The handicap led us to the closest race of the weekend, with the top seven separated by just over ten seconds at the end of the day.
The closeness of the affair also delivered mixed results, as Reilly Brooks scored his first win of the weekend, ahead of Rob Robson and Serge Oberhauser.
Those three started at exactly the same time, but Brooks’ winning margin was four seconds. Ken Percival fourth. He was three seconds clear of Jackson, who held off O’Farrell in the race for fifth.
Pole Position: Daniel Impellizzeri (1:03.5150)
Race 1: 1st Daniel Impellizzeri, 2nd Mark Jackson, 3rd Ken Percival
Race 2: 1st Mark Jackson, 2nd Joel O’Farrell, 3rd Ken Percival
Race 3: 1st Joel O’Farrell, 2nd Mark Jackson, 3rd Ken Percival
Race 4 (Handicap): 1st Reilly Brooks, 2nd Rob Robson, 3rd Serge Oberhauser
Fastest Lap: Daniel Impellizzeri – 1:01.1371 (Race 1 – Lap 8)
QLD Improved Production
The Queensland Improved Production paid its first visit to Queensland Raceway for 2018, as did Ray Hislop – the Tasmanian who’s been one of the more dominant drivers in this category, at both state and national level, for several years.
The presence of Hislop, and his V8 Ford Falcon, at Queensland Raceway ensured that the rest of the field would be fighting for second, provided that Hislop didn’t run into any unforeseen mechanical drama.
He was almost three seconds clear of the pack in Qualifying, clocking a 1:16.8624, to claim pole position, ahead of the Holden Commodore of Kyle Organ-Moore and Justin Wade’s BMW M3.
There was just one Under 2 Litre car on the grid – that was the Nissan Silvia of Brock Paine, who qualified down in thirteenth position.
It was a split program for the category, with them running Races 1 and 3 on the Clubman Circuit, and Races 2 and 4 on the National Circuit, which was the configuration they qualified on.
With two less straights to accelerate away on, Hislop didn’t pull away anywhere near as much as he may have been expected to, but he still claimed a comfortable four-second victory over Kyle Organ-Moore, in the opening race of the weekend.
Justin Wade was third, ahead of Graeme Wilkinson and Brett Batterby, who rounded out the top five. Damien Croston, who qualified fourth, failed to complete a lap, while Rod Lynch was a non-starter in his Mitsubishi Evo, after qualifying sixth. It was the downfall of those two drivers that enabled Wilkinson to take fifth, after he qualified seventh earlier in the day.
With natural light the enemy, headlights were required for the second race of the weekend – the first on the 3.12km national circuit – held at sunset, under twilight conditions, late on Saturday afternoon, but that had little impact on the result, with Ray Hislop cruising to his most comfortable win of the weekend.
Hislop led from start-to-finish, with Kyle Organ-Moore a comfortable second, and he was clear of the battle for third, between Graeme Wilkinson in the Ford Escort, and Rod Lynch in the Mitsubishi Evo.
The battle between Wilkinson and Lynch went right down to the final lap, with the Mitsubishi Evo VI of Lynch edging out Wilkinson, by only eight-tenths of a second. Ashley Isarasena was fifth, in the Mazda RX7.
Justin Wade, who finished third in the opening race, failed to finish, as did Nicholas Dukes and Damien Croston was a non-starter once again.
Sunday’s opening race, contested on the Clubman circuit, was plain sailing for Hislop, who drove away from the pack once again, and this time claimed a nine-second win. Kyle Organ-Moore continued his run as the bridesmaid, claiming second, in a race where much of the field was spread out – the only real battle was for fifth position, where Taylor Hurford edged out Arren Heeley.
Race 4 – the final one of the round – followed a very similar pattern to that of Race 3. This one was run on the full track, and as he did in the twilight spectacle the night before, Raymond Hislop just drove off into the Sunday afternoon sun.
It was a smashing victory, a brilliant performance from Hislop, who finished the eight-lap race some twenty-five seconds ahead of the pack.
Kyle Organ-Moore claimed a sweep of second place finishes, and he was seven seconds clear of Graeme Wilkinson, who rounded out the podium. Justin Wade came from the back of the grid to finish fourth, but only just – he was a mere two-tenths of a second ahead of Brett Batterby as they took the chequered flag.
Just eight cars started that final race – Ashley Isarasena, Rod Lynch and Nicholas Jukes all failed to finish race three, and were unable to resolve their issues in time for race four, and the other non-starter was Brock Paine, who finished seventh in race three, but a blown head gasket saw him ruled out of the final race of the weekend.
Pole Position: Ray Hislop (1:16.8624)
Race 1: 1st Ray Hislop, 2nd Kyle Organ-Moore, 3rd Justin Wade
Race 2: 1st Ray Hislop, 2nd Kyle Organ-Moore, 3rd Rod Lynch
Race 3: 1st Ray Hislop, 2nd Kyle Organ-Moore, 3rd Graeme Wilkinson
Race 4: 1st Ray Hislop, 2nd Kyle Organ-Moore, 3rd Graeme Wilkinson
Fastest Lap (National): Ray Hislop - 1:17.1113 (Race 4 – Lap 4)
Fastest Lap (Clubman): Ray Hislop – 58.8049 (Race 3 – Lap 7)
MoComm Queensland Production Car Championship | Queensland Saloon Car Series.
For the first time since October, the Queensland Production Car Champion, now proudly sponsored by MoComm, was back on-track.
The first round of the 2018 season saw a total of sixteen cars line-up on the grid, including a strong contingent of Saloon Cars in Class I, as they contested the opening round of their endurance championship, and the second round of their 2018 season.
With a new season comes new cars, including Brad Carr in a Subaru STI, Amanda Hockley in a Class E Holden Barina, and Greg Symes in a brand new Class A1 Mitsubishi Evo X, after he sold the Evo IX, that brought him so much success, at the end of 2017.
Missing from the grid was the 2017 Queensland Endurance Champion, Gerry Murphy, who was out injured, as a result of a non-racing incident. Murph was still trackside, and still multi-tasking as well – he was the driver of the category course car, and then took residence in the commentary box, as a guest commentator, lending his expertise to the broadcast for the whole weekend.
As he did throughout 2017, Greg Symes teamed up with third-generation racer, Aaron Seton, for this round, and it was Seton who stole the show in Qualifying on Saturday morning – charging to pole position by over a second.
The Mercedes of Karl Begg and Justin Anthony, returning to Queensland after their class victory in the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour claimed the second fastest time, with Wade Scott and Robert Gooley third fastest.
Outside the top three, Brad Carr was the fastest Class B1 car, in fourth place, ahead of the first of the Saloon Car entries, Brad Wickham and Jamie Furness, in fifth.
Class C pole was claimed by Christian Yates-Round, who was tenth outright. Just behind Yates-Round was the Toyota 86 of Lea Medhurst and Chris Manley, who topped Class D, while Amanda Hockley was fifteenth, in the Holden Barina that was fastest in Class E.
Both races required all drivers to complete a compulsory pit-stop. The pit-stop window was the middle-third of the race, as it was last season, with the window opening at the end of the 20th minute, and closing at the end of the 40th.
Regulations stated that the pit-stop would be for driver changes only, with a minimum sitting time of 45 seconds. For single-driver entries, such as Brad Carr and Amanda Hockley, the driver was required to exit and re-enter the vehicle during his/her stop, and then continue.
There was to be no refuelling on pit-lane, but special dispensation had to be given to all Saloon Cars, plus the entry of Greg Symes and Aaron Seton, to complete a fuel-stop in the refuelling bay, at the very back of the pits, as they wouldn’t have lasted the hour without a top-up.
The Symes/Seton entry was the only Production Car permitted to refuel, as they hadn’t yet swapped the original fuel tank, that came with their new Mitsubishi Evo X, for a larger one - one used for racing, and thus were granted permission to undertake the same pit procedure as the Saloon Car entries.
Race 1 was dominated by Karl Begg and Justin Anthony, as they led every lap and took a comfortable race win – 56 seconds clear of Symes and Seton, with Robert Gooley and Wade Scott coming home in third, a further ten seconds down the road.
In the opening stages, the Mercedes just bolted at the front of the field, but all eyes were on the Class A1 all-Mitsubishi battle, between Wade Scott and Greg Symes. Symes lost two positions in the opening laps, and he settled into an early rhythm following Scott.
There was drama at the very first corner of the race, with the Saloon Car entry of Brock Mitchell and Maxim Erickson finding the gravel. The car was able to resume, albeit at the very back of the field, but wasted no time in working their way back through the field – making light work of Amanda Hockley and Malcolm Douglas in the back end of the opening lap.
Once the field sorted itself out, the race became somewhat processional, until the pit-window opened, and then the action really started.
There was a good scrap unfolding between the Saloon car entries of Matt and Tony Shanks, and also Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns – on lap fourteen, the Kearns/Cowham entry made its move, and successfully so, putting them second in class at that point in time.
Greg Symes wasted no time in pitting, as soon as the window opened, to hand over to Aaron Seton, to maximise the time Seton would have in the car – a strategic decision, due to the fact that Aaron was the faster driver in the team, and they were looking to minimise the time lost as a result of having to stop for fuel – something their class counterparts, Scott and Gooley, did not have to do.
Seton immediately set the pace, as he repeatedly set the fastest lap of the race in the opening laps of his stint. His fastest lap came on Lap 20 – a 1:21.0004, as he continued to close the deficit in the battle for the lead in Class A1.
Wade Scott and Robert Gooley spent a tad longer then they would’ve liked to on pit-road – in the end they were only forty seconds faster than Symes and Seton, and that saw their advantage over Seton dissolve very quickly.
They re-joined the race ahead of Seton, but by lap 31, the third-generation racer was on the tail of Robert Gooley, and he made the move for second on the very next lap.
Just over five minutes shy of the chequered flag, mechanical gremlins forced the BMW of Bruce Forsyth into retirement, which ensured that, as long as he finished, Christian Yates-Round would claim Class C honours – and, he did, finishing ninth outright.
At the front, Karl Begg handed over to Justin Anthony, and although Aaron Seton was closing the gap to the Mercedes, there was no danger of Anthony being caught in the handful of laps remaining.
After winning the double-header here at the end of October, victory in Race 1 was the third on the trot for the Mercedes C63 of Karl Begg and Justin Anthony. Outright and Class A2 honours to the duo that were so successful in this series last year, and the continuation of a fantastic start to 2018, fresh off their class win in the Bathurst 6 Hour.
The smaller fuel tank proved to be the difference in the end. Had Seton and Symes not needed to refuel, not only would this race have been a hell of a lot closer, but it may well have been a different result as well.
Aaron Seton’s natural talent again stole the show – it was a phenomenal drive, from him, to take second position, which doubled as Class A1 victory, over Wade Scott and Robert Gooley, who rounded out the outright podium.
Just ten seconds separated Seton and Gooley in the end, but that wasn’t a reflection of how dominant Seton’s performance actually was. Seton eased off the throttle on the final lap of the race, nursing the Evo to the chequered flag, as the team suspected they may have a mechanical problem, but post-race inspections revealed that wasn’t the case, and they would have no problem in lining up for the second race on Sunday morning.
Brad Carr was the last of the cars to finish on the lead lap, coming home in fourth outright. It was a relatively quiet race for the Subaru driver, who claimed victory in Class B1.
Further back, John Carter and Scott Andriske, the first of the Saloon Car entries, were fifth across the line, ahead of Brad Wickham/Jamie Furness and Coleby Cowham/Lindsay Kearns, in a Ford 1-2-3.
Michael James and Troy Rolley claimed a comfortable win in Class D – they came home eleventh outright, a lap clear of their competition, Lea Medhurst and Chris Manley, in the other Toyota 86.
The last of the finishers was the Class E winner, Amanda Hockley, in the Holden Barina.
Post-Race, the #7 Saloon Car of John Carter and Scott Andriske was hit with a 30-second penalty for a start infringement. The penalty cost them the class win, as they were relegated to third. That handed the win to Brad Wickham and Jamie Furness, ahead of Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns.
Following his late retirement on Saturday, Bruce Forsyth was unable to start on Sunday morning, leaving just fifteen cars to contest the second and final race of the weekend.
On Sunday morning, the field lined up for race 2, in the same beautiful conditions they had for race 1 about 21 hours earlier.
As they did for Race 1, Symes and Seton adopted the same strategy for race 2, with Symes taking the start, and Seton taking over very soon after the 20- minute mark had been passed.
Justin Anthony took the early race lead, with Symes and Gooley in close pursuit. Unlike the opening race, everyone made it through the first corner safely this time round.
Sixteen laps elapsed before there was any change in the running order at the front, and by that time, the pit-window had only just opened, and as was the case in race 1, it was Greg Symes who dived in first, to hand over to Aaron Seton. Symes didn’t dive in immediately, like he did in race 1 – instead, waiting a couple of laps before completing the compulsory stop.
The opening stanza of the race had no shortage of action. There was a tense battle for third outright unfolding between Robert Gooley and Brad Carr, and while Carr was closer than he was at any point on Saturday, he never found a way by the Mitsubishi Evo. As the two cars run in different classes, it was merely a battle for track position, and one that wasn’t going to affect their respective points hauls at the end of the event.
Behind them though, a far more intriguing battle between the two Class D runners was unfolding, with Michael James and Lea Medhurst regularly chopping and changing positions – the pit-window was going to play a vital part in determining the winner in that fight.
As they did in Race 1, Karl Begg and Justin Anthony ran a long first stint, choosing to complete their compulsory pit-stop at the latest possible time. At the end of lap 28, Justin Anthony dived for the lane, but strangely, he headed out the back, towards the refuelling bay, where Symes/Seton and the Saloon Cars had been completing their pit-stops.
Anthony’s detour caused great confusion, not just for commentators, but more importantly, for his team, who were all set in their pit bay, ready to complete the CPS exactly the way they did in Race 1. It was not routine, as the car wasn’t required, nor permitted, to stop for fuel.
Karl Begg, all suited up, ready to go, was left to do his best Usain Bolt, and sprint across the paddock to jump in the car in the refuelling zone, where Justin Anthony was waiting for him.
That incident, and the time lost as a result of it, cost the pair the outright win, but there was more to it than met the eye.
Anthony reported afterwards that the confusion stemmed from the message he received from the officials at the start of the pit window, where they allegedly said that all drivers were to go via the refuelling bay during their pit-stop – whether the message was not communicated correctly, or it was misinterpreted by Anthony isn’t known, but what is known, is that this was an isolated incident – every other car, and driver, in the field completed their stop exactly as they did in Race 1, as the procedure and regulations were NOT changed between races – Anthony was the only driver caught out.
The misfortune of Anthony and Begg was a blessing for Symes and Seton, who took the lead away from the Mercedes, while it was stuck in the lane. While the incident was the subject of heated argument and debate after the race, it did not impact on championship results, as the Queensland Production Car Championship awards points based on where drivers finish in THEIR class, not where they finish outright, and the Mercedes C63 was the ONLY Class A2 car in the field for this round of the championship.
Michael James and Troy Rolley lost a lap during their pit-stop. The Oracle Motorsport crew spent a bit of time checking things over during the driver change – they even had the bonnet up for a very brief period, but Rolley took over from James, was able to resume, and got through to the finish without any further drama.
The Saloon Car race was shaken up during the pit window as well, with Matt and Tony Shanks losing ground. After being second at the time the pits were opened, they were down in fourth by the time everyone had completed their stops.
Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns retained the lead that Cowham had prior to their stop, ahead of Brad Wickham and Jamie Furness, with John Carter and Scott Andriske running not far behind them.
In the closing minutes, the race was neutralised when a wheel parted company with the car of Amanda Hockley, forcing her to pull up on the side of the road, on the exit of turn two, and retire from the race.
With time running out, officials controversially extended the race by four minutes, in order to allow a green-flag finish.as the recovery crew finished their retrieval of the stranded Hockley Holden.
The extension had little impact on the outright results, but left us to witness a thrilling conclusion in the battle for Saloon Car honours, as Jamie Furness closed in on Lindsay Kearns.
Aaron Seton took the chequered flag, and a stunning first victory for the new Symes Transport Mitsubishi Evo X. Seton was thirty-three seconds clear of Karl Begg at the end, who brought the Mercedes C63 home in second, and claimed Class A2 honours in the process.
Wade Scott and Robert Gooley rounded out the podium, claiming second in A1, and third outright.
Brad Carr was fourth, and the winner of Class B1, but behind him, the race was still on, with Lindsay Kearns trying desperately to hold off Jamie Furness.
The battle for the Saloon Car victory, and fifth outright, went right down to the chequered flag, as Furness went around the outside of Kearns at turn 6, on the last lap, and held the line, as the pair then went side-by-side down the Dick Johnson Straight, in a drag race to the line, with Furness prevailing by the narrowest of margins.
In only their second Queensland Production Car Championship race, Lea Medhurst and Chris Manley upstaged their competition – Michael James and Troy Rolley – to claim victory in the battle of the Toyota 86s - Class D. They finished right in the middle of the Saloon Cars, in seventh outright.
In the absence of Bruce Forsyth, Christian Yates-Round was unchallenged in his drive to victory in Class C, and tenth outright.
Malcolm Douglas was the last of the finishers – limping to thirteenth after running out of fuel on the very last lap.
Post-Race, there was some friction in the paddock, as a result of the confusion during the pit-stops, and the extension of the race, but after some discussion, it was decided that the results of the race would stand as they were at the time of the last car taking the chequered flag.
The championship continues with a four-race sprint round, at Lakeside Park, on June 2 and 3, and will return to Queensland Raceway, for a non-championship outing, as part of the Australian Production Car outing at the Shannons Nationals, at the end of July.
Pole Position: Greg Symes/Aaron Seton (1:20.4202)
Race 1 Class Winners: A2: Karl Begg/Justin Anthony (1st) | A1: Greg Symes/Aaron Seton (2nd) | B1: Bradley Carr (4th) | C: Christian Yates-Round (9th) | D: Michael James/Troy Rolley (11th) | E: Amanda Hockley (15th) | Saloon Cars: Brad Wickham/Jamie Furness (5th).
Race 2 Class Winners: A1: Greg Symes/Aaron Seton (1st) | A2: Karl Begg/Justin Anthony (2nd) | B1: Brad Carr (4th) | C: Christian Yates-Round (10th) | D: Lea Medhurst/Chris Manley (7th) | Saloon Cars: Brad Wickham/Jamie Furness (5th)
Fastest Lap: Aaron Seton – 1:20.0037 (Race 2 – Lap 26)
Two QRDC events done. Four still to go. Next up, it’s Lakeside Park on the opening weekend of June, where the Track Attack Australia Excel Cup will headline a massive weekend of racing, and the Queensland Production Car Championship will run its rescheduled sprint round. Look forward to seeing you there.