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Nov 1, 2014

ELECTRIC DAY ON AND OFF TRACK IN SYDNEY



AN ELECTRIFYING DAY of wild weather at Sydney Motorsport Park has failed to dampen the title showdowns of several key Australian National racing categories in Round 9 of the Shannons Nationals.

A clear, hot morning turned into a sultry afternoons with wave after wave of electrical storms lashing the region with rain and lighting – before clearing soon after only to repeat again.

The dramatic conditions were matched by some exciting on-track action as the Kumho V8 Touring cars, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship and Radical Australia Cup series all took steps towards crowning their champions this year.

A dramatic pair of sprint races saw the Radical Australia Cup showdown between Tim Berryman and Michael Shaw remain as competitive as ever.

Shaw won the opening sprint race after a mid-race safety car – called when a massive storm swept the circuit mid-race – helped his pit strategy get him to the front.

The SR3 class leader took the first race win ahead of Peter Paddon and Kim Burke, with Greg Smith and Berryman completing the top eight.

The second race was equally unpredictable as Shaw struck dramas early on, forced to pit with damage that saw him unable to finish higher than seventh.

Berryman lost a lap during his pit stop however rebounded strongly to finish third, while Peter Johnston won his first race of the season in his PJS Air Radical SR3, beating home Kim Burke’s similar entry by just over two seconds.

A further 50-mintue race tomorrow will decide the overall Radical Australia Cup title, while Shaw (SR3) and Berryman (SR8) need only finish to secure their respective class titles.

Not even a wild pre-race thunderstorm today at Sydney Motorsport Park could derail Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series leader Justin Ruggier in his chase of the category title.

The Eggleston Motorsport driver won today’s nine-lap race from pole position, leading home series rival Ryan Simpson to the line by just over three seconds.

The race was held in wet conditions, with all drivers (bar slick-shod Jose Fernandez) opting for wet weather Kumho tyres in the slippery conditions.

Victory in Race 1 – plus the three bonus points for scoring pole position earlier in the day – now sees Ruggier 52 points clear of Simpson with two races to go tomorrow and 100 further points remaining up for grabs.

Ruggier could seal the series in Race 2 tomorrow, though should he win and Simpson finish second it would keep the title alive until the final, longer race.

Matt Palmer passed Matt Chahda in the final lap to score the final spot on the podium.

Click here to find out more about what happened today in the Kumho V8's.

Adelaide driver Simon Hodge in his Team BRM Mygale M11-Mercedes Benz executed a near-perfect performance comprised of pole position, a race win and the fastest lap to score maximum points ahead of tomorrow’s Formula 3 decider.

McDonald’s Gilmour Racing ace Ben Gersekowski finished second but Hodge was at his imperious best today to pull record an eight-second victory in the nine-lap race.

He now leads the standings by 25 points and the fourteen he scored today get him to a position where he requires just nine points from tomorrow’s two races to win the championship.

“There’s a lot of pressure coming into a weekend, a showdown like this and to execute the way we did today is a great way to generate confidence going into the business day of the season tomorrow,” Hodge said.

“The start was tricky because it’s downhill here and I was learning on the fly, heel-toing trying to keep the brake on and the revs up – but it worked well even though I’ve never experienced anything like it before.”

Click here to read a full rundown of the opening Formula 3 ADC race today.

Tony Ricciardello has his attempt for an eighth Kerrick Sports Sedan Series title well on-track after top qualifying for today’s final round of the 2014 season at Sydney Motorsport Park.

In both sessions, Ricciardello and his #5 B & M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV chalked up ‘twenty nines’, but with rain affecting the second session this afternoon, it was Ricciardello’s morning time which secured him the pole position.

“We rolled around on Friday with a little issue ongoing from the (Phillip Island) accident, but other than that from the first practice we have been heading in the right direction, the car is feeling pretty good,” said Ricciardello.

“It is pretty difficult with the temperature of the day, the track temp was pretty high and the air temp was high, so everything you need to go fast is not happening.

Darren Hossack in the #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 was the only other racer to crack a sub-30 lap, seeing him lockdown the other front row spot for tomorrow’s first of three races.

The second row of the grid will see Steven Lacey third on the road despite not him not showing for the second session, alongside Phil Crompton in fourth and ahead of Steven Tamasi (fifth) and Colin Smith (sixth).

Click here for a full Kerrick Sports Sedans series report from today.

Jordan Lloyd won the opening race in the penultimate round of the Australian Formula Ford Series, passing early leader Tom Randle on the fifth of nine laps before pulling away to a comfortable victory.

The Queenslander jumped to second in the series standings with today’s win, a win that also saw him break the Sydney Motorsport Park class lap record in the process.

Randle finished second, despite missing all of practice thanks to year 12 exam commitments on Friday, with Sonic driver Nick Rowe finishing third. Hamish Hardeman and James Golding batted over fourth and fifth for much of the race, Hardeman holding on to finish ahead of the points leader.

The opening PRB Clubman race was called after one lap thanks to the Sydney storms - the rain far too torrential for the nimble sports cars to handle.

Earlier, Chris Barry had edged out Stuart Shirvington for pole position by 0.7s, with Stefan Versluis third.

Racing continues on Sunday morning in an important championship-deciding day for the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals.

All the action will be streamed live and free via the Nationals TV live streaming service at www.thenationals.com.au or the MotorsportsTV app.