We had 14 racers front up for this event and it was a lively evening all round. Good racing with some quick times; the track surface clearly still has some life left in it yet. I understand that the track will be resurfaced around Christmas time ready for next season.
It was great to see Matt Boland back on deck again after his injuries. As you can see from the results, it hasn’t affected his ability to run at the front of the pack.
A word on restarts: as per our club rules (rule 4.7), only a de-slotted driver or race controller (the person running the computer) can call a restart. Marshalls are not allowed to call a restart. This caused multiple incidents during the event where a marshall called a restart after an incident and some drivers slowed down to tour back to the start line for a restart whilst the race continued under green conditions. This costs drivers time, and possibly a better finishing place. It is appreciated that the marshalls are just trying to help and do their best, but lets keep it by the book and then everyone gets a fair go.
V8 Supercars were first up. In the heats, there wasn’t too many crashes despite all the side by side racing. Some drivers are still chasing a workable setup but hopefully some help from the more experienced club members will sort that out, as has been the case in the past.
The E Main was a dead heat between John Cameron and Shane Morgan. John dominated all the races, finishing a lap ahead most times. Shane unfortunately struggled with car setup issues and an intermittent controller. John convincingly claimed the step up.
In the D Main, Tony Mallison was the man to beat; he steadily lowered his times across the races to the 6.7 sec bracket and made it 4 wins from 4 starts. John Cameron put in a stirling effort to claim 4 second place finishes despite the odd crash here and there. A bit more track experience will hopefully see John move up the order; the potential is there. Claire Davie and Ron Layton made it race between themselves. They traded paint, they bumped, barged and pushed each other all the way. Thoroughly entertaining racing. Just goes to show that the best racing isn’t always at the front. It was Ron who managed to snatch third place from Claire with 42 points to 38 respectively. Tony Mallison took the step up to the C Main.
A surprise entry in the C Main was Chris Kendall, who we’re all used to seeing much further up the order. An underperforming and ill handling car was cited as the cause of his woes. Alongside him was Mark Miller, Micky McGrath and Tony Mallison. Despite the car troubles, Chris managed wins in the first 3 races by avoiding the incidents happening behind him and keeping it in the groove. Micky McGrath fought back in race 4 and led the way to the chequered flag by 0.687 secs. Tony Mallison raced well (even claiming the fastest lap in race 3), but was let down by a few crashes and spins. Mark Miller outdrove himself which resulted in a quite a few offs and kept him down the order, despite being on pace. Chris Kendall took the step up.
The B Main saw Matt Boland just straight back to the front of the pack. His Gulf liveried Falcon was handling superbly, taking wins in the first 2 races. Simon Davie and Chris Kendall tussled over the minor placings whilst Peter Worth took a while to find a rythm. Simon managed to scrape home for a win in race 3, beating Matt Boland by a mere 0.041 secs. Peter Worth found his stride in race 4 to take the final win even with Matt trying to chase him down (and putting in a 6.5 sec lap in the process). Even with the final race setbacks, Matt claimed the step up.
The A Main was a hotly contested event with close racing and fast lap times from all competitors. Nick Cochrane made it 4 wins from 4 starts. Peter Hagerty and Matt Boland fought valiantly to chase him down. Syd Miller seemed to struggle with a fast but flighty car that would unload itself without warning. Nick and Peter raised a few eyebrows when both drivers dipped into the 6.4 sec bracket in multiple races. Well done to both! In the end, Nick took the round win, Peter Hagerty claimed second and Matt Boland held onto third.
The half time break allowed everyone to have a good look at another track build in progress. Everyone agreed that the oval track is looking great and are looking forward to racing on it. We hope to organise a standalone event once its done. A huge thanks to Syd Miller for putting a lot of time and his expertise into making it all happen.
Next up was the Sideways Group 5 class. Adjusting to the faster speeds saw a few drivers making unforced errors and crashing during the heats. However, the marshalling was good and these had minimal effect on the placings for the Mains. One particular driver decided he didn’t even need to run one of his heats he was so confident (not mentioning names Syd…..).
In the E Main, Shane Morgan lined up against Claire Davie. Claire managed a clean sweep with wins in all 4 races. Shane did manage to lead the way in race 3 for several laps ensuring Claire didn’t get it all her own way. Both drivers managed to make good progress with their speed and control, and both drivers had their fastest lap times tumble down as a result. Claire managed to break into the 6.8 sec bracket, and Shane managed to break in the 7.3 sec bracket; a good effort from both. Claire took the step up.
The D Main was a hard fought set of races between Ron Layton, Mark Miller, John Cameron and Claire Davie. Multiple lead changes and different winners in the first 3 races set the scene for a fantastic final race. Ron Layton held onto a narrow margin (a mere 0.34 secs) to claim the win over Claire Davie. Claire had the fastest lap and it was that bonus point that pushed her ahead on points and into the C Main.
The C Main consisted of Simon Davie, Mickey McGrath, Claire Davie and Tony Mallison. Simon and Mickey went blow for blow across the 4 races whilst Tony and Claire fought it out for the minor placings. Simon took the win in the first 2 races and Mickey claimed one back with a win in the 3rd. An unfortunate crash for Mickey on lap 5 in the final race ensured Simon made it through for the step up. Tony picked up 4 third position placings.
It was Syd Miller, Nick Cochrane, Simon Davie and Peter Worth who lined up for the B Main. An uncharacteristic crash from Nick in race 1 allowed Simon to slice through for a win, with Peter Worth not far behind. Nick wasn’t beaten again from that point on, putting in a 6.3 sec lap to stamp his authority on the event. Syd Miller led a valiant chase claiming 3 second place finishes. Simon and Peter rounded out the tail end of the group after tripping over each other several times whilst racing side by side. Nick Cochrane claimed the step up.
The A Main was predictably fast paced with a couple of crashes mixing up the results somewhat. Nick Cochrane, Matt Boland and Chris Kendall managed a win each in the first 3 races. Peter Hagerty was in the mix as well, having a good exchange with Chris Kendall in race 2 with numerous passes. Chris Kendall held it together in the final race, taking the win with a nail biting 0.083 sec margin. It was Matt Boland though who claimed the round win from Nick Cochrane, Chris Kendall completing the top 3.
Next round is 2nd of September with the NSR GT cars making their first outing for the season and the MJK V8 Supercars having their enduro round. Please remember to arrive a little earlier so we can get the enduro race under way in a timely fashion.
Catch you all next round!