Jul 13, 2014
DISAPPOINTMENT TO DELIGHT FOR HOLT AND KOSTERA WITH 4-HOUR WIN
A SEASON of disappointment for Garry Holt and Stuart Kostera has been revived thanks to victory in the Australian Four Hour Australian Manufacturers Championship enduro at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Eastern Creek Karts crew fought a tense strategy battle with the rival Pro-Duct Mitsubishi squad for the opening two-thirds of the race with the winning Mitsubishi electing to take a three-stop strategy, while the Pro-Duct team tried to make it on two.
A stunning performance from Aaron Seton had the Pro-Duct car in a position to make it to the end on fuel before broken wheel studs on the right front corner with just over an hour to go – soon after Glenn Seton had taken the wheel – saw them forced out of the race.
Their retirement left the Holt / Kostera car unchallenged in front to take an emotional victory after a season that had seen the champion team – the drivers have seven production-based racing titles between them – fail to finish in the opening two rounds.
The result also serves as revenge for Kostera – who was controversially denied victory in the same race 12 months ago as he entered pit lane in an out-of-fuel Mitsubishi he was sharing with Dylan Thomas as the flag flew.
“It was a great race, and full on from the first lap, you couldn’t let off the pressure for one bit,” Holt said.
“We gave ourselves a kick in the backside after Phillip Island where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, and we have turned it around. The car and the crew were fantastic today and it’s a great way to regroup.
“We worked out that it was better to break the race into three stops rather than try and stretch it on fuel to do two, we put less fuel in at each stop and it worked.”
Aaron Seton impressed in his national racing debut, taking over the No. 33 car from car owner Bob Pearson 1hr 20 minutes in the race. He raced consistently and routinely matched Stuart Kostera for pace as the pair ran first and second outright on the road.
Glenn Seton set three of the fastest laps of the race when he took over from his 16-year-old son before the issue on the front-right corner sent them to the garage at the 2hr45 mark.
There was a battle of the BMWs for second and third place, with Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey edging out the Sherrin Motorsport 135i of Iain and Grant Sherrin for second in the final hour, both a lap behind the leading Mitsubishi.
The Sherrins’ were the first Class B car home, however, extending their class lead after three of five AMChamps rounds.
Jake Camilleri and Scott Nicholas took out Class C (and 5th outright) in their Mazda 3 MPS while there was drama well into the final hour in the inter-team battle for Class D.
The leading Keven Herben / Luke King Honda was shown the meatball flag within the last hour for allegedly spraying fuel from a filler. Though the team argued the point, the team was forced to pit lane to assess the problem, the time spent in the lane costing them the class lead to their teammates, Jake Williams and Geoff Rands.
However, the race wasn’t decided yet as mechanical issues sidelined the Williams / Rands entry within the final two laps – handing the lead and class victory back to Herben and King.
Tim Berryman and James Winslow combined to win the Radical Australia Cup 250 this weekend, a storming performance by Winslow in the second, 50-minute leg in particular ensuring the combination would score the round victory.
Berryman took the first leg earlier in the day after early leader Neale Muston struck dramas in his No. 1 Excalibur Racing SR8 and eventually drifted to third position at the line.
Winslow then charged from the rear of the grid and served a drive through penalty (as part of his ‘seeded’ driver status) but yet still managed to race his way to the front in the second leg, before a throttle issue saw him drop through the field.
Muston again led early in leg two before Winslow was able to work his way to the front. Muston regained point when Winslow served his drive-through, however was soon forced to pit lane with mechanical dramas and was sidelined from the race.
With both leading cars suffering issues, SR3 driver Michael Shaw was the main beneficiary – sweeping through the drama to take the outright victory in leg two.
The earlier SR3 ‘race within a race’ was a thriller, Peter Paddon edging out Michael Shaw for the leg 1 ‘win’ by a scant 0.0023s.
Peter Paddon won the SR3 class battle over Shaw and Kim Burke, while Berryman and Muston combined to win SR8 over Chris Medland.
Sydney driver Adam Proctor won his first Australian Sports Racer Series round of the year in style today, though he had to battle series leader Roger I’Anson to do it.
Proctor’s Stohr was slow away in each of Sunday’s two races but on both occasions was able to charge through the field to battle with the West-driving I’Anson for the win.
In each race the pair battled side by side before Proctor, the defending series winner, was able to muscle his way through to the lead.
In the final race the pair crossed the line 0.1s apart with Proctor sweeping the round and closing to within 14 points of I’Anson in the series standings.
“It was important for us to come here and go well,” Proctor said of racing on his home turf.
“Our car suits this track and suits the next one, too. We still need to find some more points to catch Roger, but it should be a great fight for the championship.”
Aaron Steer finished third for the round in the brightly-liveried West WX-10.
I’Anson leads the Sports Racer Series points after three rounds, 14 points ahead of Adam Proctor. John-Paul Drake sits third with two rounds remaining.
The next round of the Australian Sports Racer Series will be held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in September, with the Shannons Nationals.
In the opening round of the Australian Superkart Championship, Gary Pegoraro was a shock winner after the dominant driver of the weekend, Ilya Harpas, failed to finish the final race of the weekend.
Pegoraro won a dramatic fourth race of the weekend on Sunday morning when Harpas’ pulled to the side of the circuit immediately following the start with mechanical issues.
Pegoraro’s race victory coupled with Harpas’ non-finish was enough to hand the first of two Superkart Championship rounds this year to the experienced Queensland driver in the 250 International Class.
The final round of the Australian Superkart Championship will be held with the Shannons Nationals at Phillip Island this September.
The next round of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will see the series head to Queensland Raceway on the August 8-10 weekend.
Categories competing include the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Kumho V8 Touring Cars, Kerrick Sports Sedans Series, Dial Before You Dig Super 6 Touring Cars, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli, Australian Formula Ford, and the Australian Manufacturers Championship ‘Fight in The Night’.