Round 4 of the NSW Motor Race Championships returned to Sydney Motorsport Park with a mixed bag of conditions. Staring out dry on Saturday, a freakish storm cell with strong winds rolled through mid afternoon scattering tents and creating 15 minutes of havoc both on and off track. This left the afternoon sessions with a wet track with which to contend, though Sunday started cold and bleak, but the sun shone and thawed us all out for a great day of racing.
This round saw the Improved Production category take a mid-year break, and instead the round featured a one hour enduro by the Production Sports Racing Cars Association; a real treat to see many of these cars in their annual sojourn to SMSP.
Enduros are tough on both drivers and cars, and this race was no different with nearly a quarter of the field failing to go the distance. A marvellous effort by the Mawer/Lazaris (Lotus Exige GT3) team, starting from 12th on the grid and holding on to a half race lead in the closing stages to take the win. Not so lucky was Anthony Soole, who’s birthday was spoiled by a late in the race gearbox failure which saw him drift to a stop out of turn one and hand the Class B race win to Nick Cancion (Mazda MX5). Class C went to Rob Hay in another MX5, managing to hold off the McGann/Stannard (Porsche 944) pair who were only seconds behind during most of the race.
Formula Ford was a see-saw affair all weekend, with Hamish Hardeman (Mygale ST13) and Nick Rowe (Mygale SJ10A), swapping the honours in all three races. Hardeman took the race wins in race one and three and Rowe took home a first, second and third across the weekend, leaving Jacob Parsons (Spectrum 014) to be content with a second and two thirds.
Thundering Sports Sedans racing saw a determined Steve Lacey, who has suffered race ending steering problems over recent months, come out in a determined bid to get his championship aspirations back on track. He finished with two third place finishes in race one and two. Starting from fourth on the grid in race three, he took a very aggressive race line early in the race to first edge out Chris Jackson (Holden Calibra) and then a couple laps later he pushed Anthony Macready very wide to slip by and eventually hold on for second spot in his best finish in quite a while. Birol Cetin (Camaro) took two race wins and his consistency is holding him at the top of his class. Grant Doulman enjoyed a rare race win and a second place, before exiting early in race three.
The HQ racing was a family affair with the Heinrich brothers squaring off against each other. Grabbing four podiums between them they hogged the front end of the field for most of their events. Both Joel and Bruce had race wins and a third place each. They are a competitive pair, giving no quarter as they swapped a bit of paint with each other in race two at turn two.
Aaron Seton blitzed the field with three straight race wins in the Production Touring category in his EVO 10, and absolutely hammered it in race two to record a lap record pass of 1:42.72. Congratulations Aaron!
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley
A good field of 195 competitors enjoyed the first day of Round Three of the NSW Motor Race Championships under warm clear blue skies on Saturday June 21st. Early morning racing on Sunday however was thrown a curve ball with showers and a wet and slippery track with which to contend.
With both practice and qualifying sessions conducted on Friday and Saturday in fine conditions, and cars and drivers seemingly sorted and ready for more of the same for Sunday, it was unsettling for many to rethink the slicks and some didn’t have a backup plan.
First to face the slippery conditions were the Superkarts. With their amazing power to weight ratio on some parts of the track it became like a “ballet on ice”. Fortunately apart from some spins, no-one saw gravel time. Results were dominated by Anton Stevens (ART-PVP) with two race wins and a second, followed by Mark Robin ( Stockman MR125) with one race win and three thirds.
Improved Production O2L saw Graeme Watts continue his dominance of this category with three straight race wins. Looking extremely confident on track, Graeme clocked the fastest lap time in the class with a 1:41.71. Steve Devjak (Commodore) was consistently less than a second behind and scooped three second placings. Joe Lenthall (Mazda RX7) had a good campaign gaining valuable points with two third place finishes. Joes new red and white graphic designed livery goes really well with the spectacular metre and a half of flame he had shooting out of his exhaust late on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately this weekend John McKenzies’ regular podium finishes in this class came to a temporary end with a smokey exit from race two. John said: ”The smoke looked like it was being caused by oil leaking into a valve stem. “ He commented that it was time for an engine overhaul anyway.
Formula Vee featured a big field of 35 racers who were also racing for positional points in the Clemenger International Freight Australian Series. This categories results was on a knifes edge, as the lead was swapped regularly and the final race placings were evenly distributed across Michael Kinsella ( Jacer F2K10) with a first and second, Dylan Thomas with a first and a third, and Tim Brook (Jacer F2K4) with a first, second and a third.
While David Crighton enjoyed two race victories in Improved Production U2L , Graeme Cox settled for second and third placings. Bob Jowett was only a half second behind Crighton in race one, however Bob’s luck ran out in race two as he over cooked it into turn one and impacted heavily into a tire wall. That same tyre wall was responsible for the front end damage to Danny Castro’s Silvia S13, and it was last seen sitting sadly crumpled next to Bob Jowetts Honda Civic in the recovery yard.
With one and a half seconds out front of the field in race one and two Birol Cetins’ Yellow Camaro purred along consistently. However today, only two race wins for Birol, as he was forced to exit early in race three after what appeared to be an unfortunate accident with Steve Lacey. Steve has been having the worst luck lately with his (also) Yellow Camaro, as he has suffered steering failure in his last three outings. I spoke to Steve prior to race three and he was upbeat in his belief that he had solved the steering issue.
Unfortunately in race three Steve got only as far as turn two before his left front tyre, listing at an awkward angle under the wheel arch, uncooperatively dragged his big machine into the grassy verge on driver’s left in a pall of scraping tyre smoke.
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley
records. He previously held both those records in his VK Commodore Sports Sedan. Unfortunately, Steve suffered steering problems on his third pass, and was forced to retire. Paige Butchers had a scare when her bonnet flew up on turn one and scratched her windscreen pretty badly.
Other Class records broken were:
Class 1C – Preston Peiris took a second and a half off the Class 1C record with a time of 1.17.587 in his Mazda MPS3. Preston has broken the Class 1C record at every Round this year.
Class 4A – Chris Muir set a new Class 4A record in his new Honda CRX with a time of 1.16.401. Chris only unveiled his newly finished CRX today, was extremely happy with its performance.
Class 4B – Ed Cory broke the Class 4B record in his Mazda MX5 with a time of 1.16.250 Class 4C – Richard Perini broke the Class 4C record in his Porsche RSR with a time of 1.04.564. While they didn’t make the record books, it is worth noting that Bruce Hibbard (Porsche GT3), Adam Laura (BMW M3) and Matt Cole (Mazda RX7) also broke the Class 4C record yesterday.
Class 5B – Chris Kostakis broke the Class 5B records by about 3 seconds in his MNR Vortex with a time of 1.056.973. It should be noted that Chris has broken the Class 5B record at every Round this year.
The Mazda MX5 Club is leading the Club Championship by the barest of margins on 1226 points just ahead of ARDC who are just four points behind on 1222 points. Manly Warringah are in third place on 597 points.
-Words and pictures by Rob Annesley
Special thanks to Bob Welsh for specific race details
Round Three of the Post Classic Racing Association (PCRA) Championships were run under dark threatening skies on May 19th at Sydney Motorsport Park. Despite some lengthy medical delays and fading light, the full programme was completed. Late in the day Clerk of Course Terry Whalan deemed the light good enough to race, and the twilight enhanced the excitement as the flames shooting from the exhaust pipes on the down changes looked spectacular. Rider John Mckenzie commented that “…it looked great, maybe we should do more twilight racing.”
Group 4 including the P4/P5 Unlimited class bikes qualifying round caused the first lengthy medical delay as Martin Kraaymaat highsided his Katana on turn ten and was airlifted to hospital. As the qualifying resumed McKenzie took pole and completed a full front row of Suzuki GSX-R750’s with Steve Anderson, Simon Hills and Stuart Lomax. Race one was scheduled as six laps but declared as four Laps. Instead of the chequered flag the race was red flagged as Peter Macmillan came off his TZ750 at turn two, and despite getting a helicopter ride Peter was later given the OK and released. Steve Anderson on his GSX-R750RK dominated at the front with several P6 bikes giving chase. The race was declared with the positions at lap four giving Steve Anderson the win (1:12.10), with John Mckenzie in second and Stuart Lomax in third. Race two, four laps, Steve Anderson again took control (1:12.3) with some dicing for the minor places giving John Mckenzie second and Dean Scott third. Race three was also four laps and with the sun low on the horizon the race got underway, Steve Anderson again made a break at the front and made a clear getaway (1:12.3) leaving Dean Scott in second place with John Mckenzie in third edging out Troy Galvin on the ZXR750 by 0.009 seconds. It was a bumper day for Steve Anderson with a clean sweep of all three races, keeping his chances alive in the championship.
Group 7, Pre Modern F1/F2 and P6 Unlimited. had twenty-nine bikes entered including six P6 Unlimited, 14 Post-Modern F1 machines and 9 Post-Modern F2 bikes. Pole position was claimed by Drew Sheepway on a F2 Honda 400 (1:10.9, making up the front row was Ryan Young F1 Honda, Wade Lewis F2 Honda and Stuart Lomax F1 Yamaha.
Race one duration was six laps. John McKenzie commented”… on an otherwise dry day light drizzle started on the warm up lap but other than playing with the (riders) mind it was not enough to affect grip.” Drew Sheepway took the race win (1:11.4), second to Ryan Young and third to Bob Marriner. In race two Wade Lewis (1:10.8) edged out Ryan Young and Drew Sheepway for second and third respectively. It wasn’t certain that we were going to run this race, the final event on the program but after some consultation with a few of the riders the Clerk of Course Terry Wahlan made a good call and despite the fading light it was deemed good enough to race with the start taking place 5 minutes after sunset in the dusky light. The results in race three were a mirror of race two, with Wade Lewis taking the win (1:11.0) and Ryan Young and Drew Sheepway claiming the minor placings.
Another great day of racing thanks to the PCRA, race officials, the timing team, the medics and the army of volunteers. Despite some lengthy medical delays we still made it through the full program albeit with shortened races. Looking forward to the next round at Eastern Creek GP Circuit on the 19th of July.
Thanks to John McKenzie for his contribution to this article