Apr 26, 2014
BIG SATURDAY AT MALLALA HAS SIMPSON, GOLDING & ROSS THE BIG WINNERS
RYAN SIMPSON has opened his 2014 Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series campaign in style by taking a comfortable victory in the season opener at Mallala today.
The Kumho Series opener plus the opening race in the revamped Australian Formula Ford Series were highlights of a busy day on-track at round two of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals.
James Golding was the first winner in the new era of Formula Ford, while the Kerrick Sports Sedans, Dial Before You Dig Super Six Touring Cars and Australian Sports Racers also qualified and raced today.
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge races later this evening for their endurance season opener.
Simpson, driving an ex-Triple Eight Racing Ford BF Falcon, qualified on pole but had to battle fellow Falcon driver Matt Chahda for the lead in the opening lap of today’s 14-lap Kumho V8 Touring Car affair.
Chahda, who qualified a career-best second, got a slower start than Simpson however was able to grab the lead when the polesitter ran wide at the opening corner. He held on until later in the opening lap when Simpson sliced down the inside to re-take the lead at turn seven.
Chahda looked set for a career best result until mid-race when a loose right-rear wheel – thanks to ‘broken wheel lugs’ – forced him to retire on lap nine.
Simpson was never troubled following a brief late-race Safety Car (to recover a beached Simon Tabinor) and comfortably led the final three racing laps home to record his 10th career race win – equal to former champion Josh Hunter and Tony Evangelou for third on the all-time list.
Simpson also broke the existing Mallala race lap record, setting a new benchmark of 1m10.1865s on lap 3. Scott Loadsman held the previous benchmark, set in 2011.
Click here to read a full Kumho V8 Touring Car Series race report.
Hamish Hardeman took pole position for the opening round of the Australian Formula Ford Series, however it was James Golding who came through to win the opening 12-lap race this afternoon.
Golding started second in his Aussie-built Spectrum chassis but made the better start and led Hardeman’s Mygale into the first corner – and he was never headed from there.
Sonic Motor Racing Mygale driver Nick Rowe started third but was able to work his way to second on lap four, when he and Jake Parsons both worked their way past Hardeman – who eventually finished fourth.
Jordan Lloyd climbed from seventh to fifth at the flag, with Thomas Randle, Christian Morina, Trent Grubel, Liam McAdam and Tom Grech completing the top ten.
The first six cars home all lapped comfortably underneath the existing Mallala track record with Golding setting a new benchmark of 1m10.40s on lap 4.
The Formula Fords return for a further two races tomorrow.
Two-time Gold Star champion James Winslow won the opening race of the Australian Sports Racer Series, smashing the existing lap record en route to a comfortable victory over Roger I’Anson and Adam Proctor.
Winslow and I’Anson battled for the lead on the opening laps but the British-born, Sydney-based LeMans Series racer was able to pull away to take the opening 15-lapper by four seconds over his West Racing teammate. Stohr pilot Adam Proctor finished third.
Commodore driver Gavin Ross sensationally won the opening race in round two of the Dial Before You Dig Australian Super Six Touring Car Series – an 8-lap affair that had three different leaders.
Local driver Wayne King led the opening lap however an altercation on lap two saw him shuffled down the field – handing the lead to the sister VT Holden driven by Shawn Jaimeson.
‘Jamo’ then led the next four laps before mechanical problems sidelined him and handed the race to Ross.
Kane Baxter-Smith finished second and Travis Lindorff was third.
Records fell in qualifying today as well, with seven-time Kerrick Sports Sedan series champion Tony Ricciardello smashing his own benchmark to score pole for the opening round this weekend.
Gearbox issues hindered Audi driver Darren Hossack’s charge in the first session, though the Victorian was able to later recover and post a time 0.6s slower than his long-time Alfa Romeo-driving rival.
Steven Tamasi (Calibra), Shane Bradford (Camaro) and Colin Smith (Monaro) completed the top five.
In qualifying for Round 3 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Fraser Ross just edged out local hope John Goodacre by just 0.01s for pole position – his second of the season.
Jon McCorkindale qualified third for the 40-lap endurance race held on Saturday evening with Peter Fitzgerald and Matt Campbell completing the top five.
Stay tuned to www.thenationals.com.au - we'll post a full rundown of the Porsche race later this evening!