Apr 21, 2013
BARNES WINS AT MALLALA FOR HIS MATES
IN A REMARKABLE turn of events, the race named in honour of Mallala’s circuit owner has been won by his good friend.
Kerrick Sports Sedan series stalwart Jeff Barnes won today’s feature race – named after his good mate Clem Smith, the Mallala promoter and a long time fan and competitor in Sports Sedan racing – after a series of events ruled out the three major contenders for the series' biggest race of the year.
Barnes also won the round and dedicated his victory to another mate of his – Sports Sedan champion Des Wall – who passed away late last year. Barnes is running Wall’s racing number (#38) this season as a tribute to his mate.
The race was the highlight of round two of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals, held in windy and often torrentially-wet conditions at the South Australian circuit, North of Adelaide.
Local knowledge would prove to be key this weekend, South Aussie-based drivers winning in three of the five national categories competing this weekend – and having a hand in the result of the Clem Smith Cup Sports Sedan race, too.
Barnes was handed the race lead when seven-time series champion Tony Ricciardello was crashed out of the race after contact with a lapped vehicle.
Key contenders Kerry Baily (sent to the rear of the field due to a lap one spin) and Darren Hossack (mechanical issues) were also relegated out of the running – leaving the Pontiac Firebird racer in the box seat to win the race named after his mate.
Though based in Queensland, Barnes is a regular at Mallala helping Clem put on several of the circuit’s major events.
Darren Hossack won the morning race and Ricciardello rebounded to win the afternoon’s finale’ to make it three winners from three races – though both were overshadowed by the stunning turn of events in the feature race of the day.
Former Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series champion Terry Wyhoon has claimed victory in round two of the series for ex-V8 Supercars - the Lubrimaxx Falcon driver winning a wet Race 2 today before finished second to young gun Shae Davies in the 20-lap Race 3 to seal overall victory.
The win was the sixth of Wyhoon’s Kumho Series career, equalling Chris Smerdon’s record of most round wins in series history.
Wyhoon now moves into the series lead, 13 points clear of Davies with two rounds of six completed for the season.
Matt Hansen rounded out the podium, the race one winner rebounding from a spin in the final race to climb back up the order and salvage enough points to score the final podium position in his ex-HRT Commodore.
Michael Almond sealed his inaugural Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli round victory with a pair of sprint-race wins today, beating home Richard Muscat and Phil Woodbury to the overall round win.
Almond was relatively unchallenged out in front today, the second-year Porsche racer from Adelaide converting front-row starts into two strong race victories.
Close competition was a hallmark of the opening Porsche GT3 Cup round of the year, with a close title fight anticipated for the remaining rounds – the Porsche’s back on the Shannons Nationals program at Winton, in June.
Wayne King completed a near-perfect weekend by winning both of today’s races – and the round – in the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series.
King headed home championship leader Simon Tabinor in today’s difficult conditions to seal his maiden national Saloon Car win after years of state-level domination.
Tabinor’s second place saw him expand his already soild title lead, the Victorian having won all three races at the series’ opener, in March.
Series newcomer Luke Fraiser dominated the opening round of the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series, backing up from his race 1 win on Saturday night to take both heats today and seal the overall round result.
The Adelaide driver used his local experience to the max today, overcoming difficult conditions in each race to win against the Swift series strongest-ever field.
There was a countback for second overall in the round, Allan Jarvis edging out Mike Gore for the remaining spots on the podium by virtue of finishing higher in the deciding final race of the weekend.
Action from Mallala will be covered on SBS Speedweek program in coming weeks – check www.thenationals.com.au for TV times and dates in coming weeks.
The next round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will see the series head South to the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, for the Great Southern Four-Hour endurance race.
The opening round of the Australian Manufacturers Championship on May 24-26 will also feature the demanding enduro, plus action from the Radical Australia Cup, Australian GT Championship, Australian Swift Racing Series and the PRB Clubmans.