The 2015 NSW Motor Race Championships came to a close amongst hot temperatures on and off the track. Close to 160 competitors, some with very real hopes of clinching their category titles waxed, polished and tinkered with their cars right up until their call to the dummy grid came over the loudspeakers.
This event featured the SuperSports category replacing Formula Vee who finished their season at the last round in September with their 2015 championship going to Michael Kinsella ( 1st). Only 5 points behind him was Ryan Reynolds (2nd) and Dylan Thomas (3rd). In a regularly huge field of 30-plus cars rookie Aaron Pace finished the year in 10th place.
The Production Sports category had their hour-long enduro which mandated a Driver A & B mid-race change. For those entrants not electing to use a “driver B” then a 45 second mandatory “sit in car” rule applied. During race one Andrew MacPherson (Porsche GT3) spun at turn 15 and softly collided with the wall and didn’t finish the Driver A race. Undaunted, he went on to win the Driver B race and ultimately the 60 minute enduro single-handledly. The Straight Eight Racing pairing of Iain Pretty/Scott Fleming placed second and fourth in the Driver A&B races, and after an hour long race ended up taking second place only 45 sec behind MacPherson at the chequered flag. Neale Muston (solo drive) rounded out the podium.
Championship victories are full of stories of how adversity has been overcome. Dylan Thomas’s victory in Production Touring is one such tale. Leading his category going into the weekend all he needed was a clean weekend and the championship was his. Taking pole in qualifying everything seemed to be going to plan until he came to stop in an almighty billow of black smoke at turn 3 during race one. Oh-oh!! Plan derailed? Not a quitter, Team CXC got Dylan back out there and in the following two races a first and second placings assured that his fairytale was going to become a reality. One small note Id like to mention in this category. As spectators we often don’t see the sportsmanship that goes on between drivers on the track. One such occurance saw Michael Caine relinquish a podium place to allow Dylan Thomas some passing room and ultimately a small amount of breathing space towards his quest for the championship. Nice one Michael.
The mighty HQ duel that we saw at last month’s round six championship event between John Baxter and Brett Osborn continued as if a month hadn’t passed. They picked up exactly where they left off. Side by side…nose to tail. Again, only nano seconds split them during qualifying. That is until Osborn’s nemesis took hold. Two poor starts in races one and two made his workload untenable. A fifth place in race one saw him with a mountain of work to do on Sunday. Pushing so hard to catch up places in race two had him locking up brakes and some uncharacteristic off line driving including dirt bashing at turn 2. To his credit he clawed back twelve places through the field to finish in sixth to go with his fifth in race one, but a win and a second to Baxter in the first two races handed him the 2015 championship. Baxter didn’t get it done easily though as the triumvirate of Molle, Buckley and Cambridge crowded him in and at times seemed to form an impenetrable barrier. Baxter only had to finish race three to take the crown and we don’t know how much Baxter knew of his fuel situation but he conked out just after crossing the finish line in race three and had to be pushed home nose to tail by good samaritan Tony Camillieri. It could have been an altogether different result. High tension in the house of HQ.
Sports Sedans have delighted us all year with their huge sculptured bodies and loud exhausts. I reported on Birol Seton’s unfortunate mishap last month, and he unfortunately didn’t get his repairs done in time to join the racing again this year. We look forward to seeing him next year as he is one of our most spirited racers. In all my reports throughout the year Steve Lacey (Camaro) has featured as coming second or third in the majority of his races. He is as persistant and determined a racer as you could ever hope to meet and should be held as an example to all young aspiring hopefuls that crossing the finish line first isn’t necessarily the only way to win. Being there every race meeting, competing hard and fair, and just having a strong dogged determination and love of the sport is an admirable attitude to bring with you every race day. The saying “nice guys finish last” is definitely not true about Steve! To illustrate Steve’s talent and hardened resolve in the face of adversity he suffered bouts of brake problems throughout the year and this weekend drove race two without fourth and fifth gear and all of race three without a clutch grabbing what ever gear he could to get the job done. Steve took the championship this year from hearty competitors Simon Copping and Grant Doulman.
Formula Cars Darren Choon came out in qualifying with a massive purpose. To unseat his arch rival Nic Filipetto. Ready on the grid side by side for race one the tension could be felt by the rooftop spectators. For some reason the stance of open wheelers look like they’ve come ready for battle. Choon and Filipetto……Filipetto and Choon. The race callers had to keep reaching for their binoculars to be sure who had the lead. Choon took first blood in race one but I suspect that Filipetto’s brake lockup puffs of smoke had a bit to do with that result. Sure enough, speaking with Filipetto later confirmed that a 6% overrotating on the brake cylinder valve had too much brake being applied and also some overinflation of the tyres. Set to go for race two and Nic threw down a smoother lap flow and slightly quicker times giving him the race and championship win.
Thanks to all our hard working race officials, track marshalls and all the unsung heroes who without their hard work and dedication by turning up every race day we couldn’t bring you these fantastic and enjoyable race meetings.
Words and pictures by Rob Annesley