Apr 27, 2014
RICCIARDELLO GRABS MAJOR TROPHIES IN SPORTS SEDAN SWEEP
IT IS RARE in sports to win one ‘marquee’ trophy in a season and winning two is almost unheard of – just don’t tell that to Kerrick Sports Sedan Series hero Tony Ricciardello.
The seven-time champion won both of his series’ marquee trophies in the space of five hours, taking the Clem Smith Cup at lunchtime and the Des Wall Memorial Trophy just before the sun set over the plains North of Adelaide.
It amounted to a superb day for the West Australian amongst a day filled with stories at the second round of the 2014 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals today at Mallala Motor Sport Park.
Ricciardello and his famous Chevrolet powered Alfa Romeo GTV scored a record fourth victory in the biggest Sports Sedan race of the year, before later doing the job to score the Des Wall Trophy in race three – recognising the efforts of a long-time Sports Sedan hero.
The Alfa Romeo-Chev driver and his long-time rival Darren Hossack staged another epic battle for the Clem Smith Cup trophy, named after the long-time Mallala circuit owner and promoter.
Hossack led the race early before Ricciardello battled his way past and then held on to secure the win in the series’ biggest race of the year, with Hossack second and Calibra-Chev driver Steven Tamasi third – mirroring the ultimate round results.
“This has been a pretty bad circuit for us the last few years, so (to win the Clem Smith Cup) is pretty good for the guys, it is a good start for the year to come here and have a good win,” he said.
“Clem is pretty old, he has broken ribs and he is still turning up at the track; he even passed me on the highway back to Adelaide last night so he still has that racing spirit – that strength he has got to keep racing is admirable, it is an honour to win it.
“Winning the Des Wall cup also means a lot because he was such a great competitor. I raced with him back in the days at Oran Park and he was always fair and a great competitor. It’s a great trophy to win and it means a lot.”
Ricciardello continues to thrive on the competition at the pointy end of the Sports Sedan field as he searches for a near-unfathomable eighth title this year.
“We just keep coming back for more, makes it worth all the hard work and the pain we go through to get the car on-track. Now we have another big trophy to try and regain that we lost last year.”
Victorian teenager James Golding won the opening round of the 2014 Australian Formula Ford series, dominating the weekend to win all three races and leave with the new Mallala lap record as well.
Golding held out Hamish Hardeman in a one-lap dash to the flag in race two, before being forced to work hard for the clean sweep when Queenslander Jordan Lloyd made the best start in race three and led the early laps.
The pair ran closely and battled for the lead until lap eight, when Golding took the lead and, ultimately, the race and round win.
Hamish Hardeman and Jordan Lloyd completed the overall podium and James Garley won the Formula Ford 1600 (Kent) series round.
Ryan Simpson continued his domination of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Cars Series, sweeping both races today en route to victory in the opening round of the 2014 series.
Simpson headed home Eggleston Motorsport Commodore driver Justin Ruggier and Falcon driver Matt Chahda in each race today and will head to the second round of the series with a 20-point series lead thanks to his clean sweep at Mallala.
Simpson also set a new lap record for the class in his comprehensive overall weekend performance.
John Goodacre won the third round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia presented by Pirelli series, bouncing back from misfortune in Saturday night’s Jim Richards endurance trophy race to win both sprint races today.
The South Australian driver led in the Saturday twilight enduro however a mechanical glitch that momentarily slowed his progress dropped him back to second place, behind eventual winner Fraser Ross.
However on Sunday he was never headed, holding off stern challenges from both Ross (race 2) and Jon McCorkindale in the third to seal his first round victory of the year. Ross and McCorkindale completed the podium with Matt Campbell finishing fourth overall and first in Class B.
South Australian driver Roger I’Anson took the opening round of the Australian Sports Racer Series today, winning two of the three races en route to the big trophy.
I’Anson (West) was in top form today as race one winner James Winslow struck dramas in his similar car; failing to finish both races today. The variety in the field was showcased on the outright podium with round winner I’Anson driving a West, second-placed Adam Proctor a Stohr and third-placed Mark Short driving a Prince Sports Racer.
Victorian Gavin Ross won the second round of the Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series in a weekend where three different drivers won the three races.
Ross won race one and finished second in races two and three to take the round: Kane Baxter-Smith and Shawn Jaimeson taking the additional race victories. Ross won the round from Baxter-Smith and Luke Westall.
All the action from Round 2 of The Nationals will be broadcast on SBS Speedweek and SPEED TV Australia in coming weeks – check www.thenationals.com.au for full details.
The next round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will be held at Phillip Island on May 23-25.