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Apr 10, 2017

Hughes victorious in the wet


Radical racer Phil Hughes has claimed the round one victory at a soggy Sandown Raceway, courtesy of two race wins today in his #42 Hughes Supercar Services Radical SR3.

Making Hughes’ race and round wins even more impressive is the fact that he has achieved them while completely lacking second gear all weekend.

While his race three victory was convincing with a 49 second gap over David Crampton (#3 Vantage Freight Services/Prolap Radical SR3 RSX) – who finished second for the round - his race two victory this morning was made possible only on the second last corner after a race-long battle with Peter Paddon (#1 First Focus Radical SR3). Kim Burke (#68 Radical SR3 RSX) rounded out the race two podium, while Sutton claimed third this afternoon. Mark Laucke (#55 Laucke Flour Mills West WX10) was third outright for the round, coming home ninth and fifth in today’s two stanzas.

“This morning’s race was the favourite, it was really satisfying. I am still fighting this car issue where I have no second gear at all, but it just fell for me. I had done a full wet set-up in the morning so I was praying for it and waiting for it – I have been waiting for it for three years!” Hughes laughed.

“I caught Paddon with a few laps to go but then I had a coughing fit for around half a lap so I sort of lost focus for awhile. I thought I might be too far back but then we caught some lapped traffic. I sized him up a few times but I knew I didn’t have the horsepower up the straight so I had to do it on the last lap on the last corner and that is what I did. He was very good and gave me the room and we didn’t touch - credit to him for that, but I certainly wanted it!

“This afternoon it was a bit hairy on the start again and then Dave (Crampton) got me but he spun on turn one so I was in the lead again. I had no idea what was behind me as all you can see is your own spray. It took me about four or five laps to work out there was a gap and after that I just brought it home.”

After a tough race in the wet this morning, Laucke was part of a trio which had the fans enthralled in race three as a three-way battle for fourth position was mounted. When it concluded, it was Jason Makris (#77 Mirage Racing – Marina Mirage West WX10) who claimed fourth ahead of Laucke and Mark Short (#16 MSR Motorsport Fabrication Prince LSR) in what was his first race finish of the weekend after a blown engine yesterday and a mechanical black flag in race two for his replacement chariot.

"I was really proud in fact when my old car (Makris) passed me and I could not catch it – it is sort of like the mother and the daughter wins the beauty prize, she takes consolation in being the mother so I will take consolation,” laughed Laucke.

First in class for the round for the Kumho Cup was John-Paul Drake (#66 Synep Racing West WX10) despite continuing issues in his colourful ‘liquorice all-sort’ West, who came home first in class for races one and two while Short took the class victory for race three. Terry Peovitis took out the F1000 class honours, finishing races two and three in 11th and 8th outright respectively.

“I have had dramas all weekend with the car, I couldn’t downshift anything so I went out and it has been a nightmare but I guess the lesson is you need to finish and I finished each race, so it was good. It was only my second time in the wet I think, I think I was petrified,” joked Drake.

“The car was perfect and the weather, well, everyone had to face the same weather and work with the same conditions. I just want to say well done to Phil for his drive today, and thanks to my brother for pit crewing,” Peovitis said.

Also on-track today were the two new Synep Racing Wolf GB08 Tornados of Adam and Josh Cranston, however both entries elected to sit-out race three due to not having sufficient wet set-up and tyres given their rushed delivery to the track on Saturday.

For full results and points, visit The Australian Prototype Series will next be on-track at Winton Motor Raceway across 9-11 June.