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Aug 12, 2012

FIGHT IN THE NIGHT TO HOLT AND McLEOD

IF their first race victory was a heart in the mouth thriller, Garry Holt and Ryan McLeod’s win in the second Hydraulink 400 race was a relative walk in the park in comparison.

If you can call a walk in the park a 240km/hr 90 minute battle under lights at Queensland Raceway, that is.

The Team Eastern Creek Karts outfit dominated the second of two ‘Fight in the night’ races at the 3.1km Ipswich circuit, taking the second race of two by 49.5 seconds in their ex-TMR Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

It backed up their narrow race one victory where they won by just 1.4 seconds in last night’s first 200km encounter.

“We knew we would be competitive because we won at Phillip Island, but we didn’t come here expecting to win both races,” Holt said.

“It was a tough race and it went to plan, the car was good and even though there were some close calls earlier on (Holt and Colin Osborne made contact) we were able to get through.

“It’s very competitive out there and there are a lot of good cars and today wasn’t without it’s drama – but we are very pleased to win two races.

“It’s great for the team and how hard they have worked. Ryan did a great job and brought it home so we’re really pleased.”

“Garry never stops trying to innovate and learn,” Ryan McLeod said.

“That’s why the car is so good. There’s going to be more to come from it so we’re looking forward to unleashing it further.”

Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson’s EVO was the fastest car – Simpson setting a new lap record earlier in the race - however a lengthy second stop and a lack of relative pace towards the end of the 65 laps saw them fall behind at the end.

Father and Son duo David and Dylan Thomas backed up their second place effort yesterday with third today, just ahead of the fourth-placed TMR Australia EVO of Stuart Kostera and Inky Tulloch.

The Thomas’s also finished second for the round – ahead of TMR – and closed the gap in the Manufacturers Championship standings in the process.

Mitsubishi’s filled the first four places in the relatively drama-free second race - that started in daylight and finished in darkness.

Beric Lynton finished fifth in the new BMW 1-series M, again having showed impressive race-leading pace early on.

“It’s been a really good debut,” Lynton said.

“The car still doesn’t have the long-range fuel tank so we struggled for fuel this weekend, but this was a great learning experience for us and we can go from here very confident.

“The car has the speed to challenge (The Mitsubishi’s) we just need to work on the overall package and develop it and it will be very strong.”

Ian and Grant Sherrin won class B – and finished sixth – with Jake Camilleri seventh overall and first of the Class C runners.

Mark Eddy and Francois Jouy took their Network Clothing Honda Integra to the win in the ever-competitive Class D (and also won the round, having taken both races) whilst Andrew Turpie and Grant Philips edged out Lauren & Maddison Gray in a tense battle for the Class E win – the battle coming down to seven seconds at the finish after the Proton had earlier led by more than 20.

Fourth yesterday, the WBR Team Subaru Impreza blew an engine after just 11 laps of today’s race and failed to finish.

Teams and drivers praised the innovative Hydraulink 400 format post-race, with series officials acknowledging the support of Hydraulink and Kennards Hire to make the event possible.

The Australian Manufacturers Championship will return at Sandown Raceway’s Shannons Nationals round later this year.