Jul 13, 2014
HOLT AND KOSTERA TAKE AUSTRALIAN 4 HOUR
A season of disappointment for Garry Holt and Stuart Kostera has been revived thanks to victory in the Australian Four Hour AMChamp 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.
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 outright, with Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey in the Alphera Financial Services BMW 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 and also seeing them take the outright championship lead.
Crossing the line behind them in fourth was Tony Alford and Ryan McLeod in the Donut King BMW 1M, ahead of Jake Camilleri and Scott Nicholas who took out Class C (and 5thoutright) in their Grand Prix Mazda 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 Kandi Warehousing 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, with 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 the Williams / Rands Disc Brakes Australia Honda entry was sidelined when it ran out of fuel on the last lap – handing the lead and class victory back to Herben and King.
Today’s round three of the Australian Manufacturers Championship also marks the end of the 2014 Endurance Championship. With Beric Lynton (Class A), Grant Sherrin (Class B), Jake Camilleri (Class C) and Luke King (Class D) were awarded the titles in their respective classes. The Championship awards the drivers who accumulate the most points across the opening three rounds of the season within their respective classes.
The Australian Manufacturers Championship will continue in August at Queensland Raceway (August 8-10). For more information go to www.amchamp.com.au
QUOTEBOARD: AUSTRALIAN 4 HOUR – SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK, JULY 11-13 2014
Outright and Class A winner - #20 Eastern Creek Karts Mitsubishi Evo 10
“It was a great race, and full on from the first lap, you couldn’t let off the pressure for one bit. 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.”
Yes, weren’t quite so smiley last time at this time. We had it under control, it was all ifs buts and maybes but we were the ones that finished this time, so that was good for us.
Class A 2014 Endurance Championship Winning Driver – Beric Lynton
“It is a matter of bad luck for the other guys, they have had issues and we had issues at Sandown too so I was a bit surprised to win this, if the Marshalls were here I think they would have won it easily. We push the limits of the cars and sometimes we bring on these issues we have and we fought some gremlins today, but we brought it home in second and got the trophy for the endurance championship so this is a credit to all of our team just like all of (the other racers), they work hard - so thanks to them for that, and bring on QR!”
Class B Australian 4 Hour winner - #18 Sherrin Rentals BMW 135i
Grant Sherrin – Class B 2014 Endurance Championship Winner
Always trying to catch them, just can’t get there just quite yet, credit to the other guys they drove well, congratulations to them and congratulations to our team, they did a great job getting the car and getting on the podium again. Just want to thank my brother as my co-driver and done a great job especially today, and obviously the team for prepping the car and getting it here and getting us on the podium again.
“This is fantastic, we wanted to come here and get the endurance championship for Grant and also get in front to be the leaders of the championship - that was a big priority as there was a big opportunity to do that. We had some problems with the car, about mid-way through my first stint we started having ECU problems so we had to pull the car back and run to a lap time for the rest of the day so that kind of let Beric back into the game to pass us, but apart from that everything went to plan except that little ECU problem which took a bit of our top speed away. Overall it was fantastic, just to be winning the outright championship as a Class B car and then for Grant to pick up the endurance cup is just awesome.”
Class C Australian 4 Hour winner - #36 Grand Prix Mazda 3 MPS
Scott Nicholas (accepting on behalf of himself and Jake Camilleri – co-driver and winner of 2014 Endurance Championship for Class C)
“We blew a few tyres, we just took it easy, tried to conserve fuel and bring it home. The car was good right to the end. A few egos bouncing around there I think at the end (with battles on-track with Ryan McLeod) and I dint think Ryan was going to let him past, but it should make for some good TV!”
Class D Australian 4 Hour winner - #14 Kandi Warehousing Honda Integra DC5
“I am not much of a racer, when Jake was on my tail I was making all sorts of mistakes,” laughed Herben. “I am just sad for them as they weren’t able to finish, they really deserved to be up here, but we will take it – it is bittersweet. I want to dedicate this to Brocky, he is in our thoughts and we wish him all the best.”
Luke King – Class D 2014 Endurance Championship winner
“(The class win) was definitely not expected, but we are thankful and also sorry for the other Conroy car. It was a good race up until we had the problem with race control where we had to come back in, it looked like it was going to be tight (between the Conroy cars for Class D) but then they had to come in for their splash and dash. It looked then like it was going to even it up and then all of a sudden we went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, they had run out of fuel unfortunately and here we are. It has been a great year, have to thank Kevin for the opportunity to let me race with him this year and thanks to the Conroy Motorsport team for preparing a great car, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Kevin helping me out, trying to push my career on and this is great, to be endurance champion.”