Jul 4, 2015
SHOCK WIN BY ABELA HIGHLIGHTS SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK SATURDAY
A SHOCK victory by Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli rookie James Abela has capped off a spectacular Sydney Motorsport Park Saturday at the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals.
Abela won a dramatic 30-lap GT3 Cup Challenge enduro on Saturday evening, while a score of impressive performances underlined the five other categories on track this weekend.
Victories by Ben Grice (Super Six), Ricky Capo (Formula 3), Russell Jaimeson (Superkarts) and Ivan Stjber (PRB) and a pole position for Formula Ford series leader Cameron Hill were all highlights in a competitive day of racing.
Action continues tomorrow with a full program of races, to be streamed live via Nationals TV at www.thenationals.com.au
PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE
JAMES ABELA mightn’t have crossed the line first in this evening’s 30-lap Jim Richards enduro trophy encounter, but he did score the race victory in a dramatic affair.
17-year-old rookie Dylan O’Keefe actually crossed the line first, however a five-second penalty for rolling at the start saw him relegated to fourth at the finish of the race.
Abela won his first ever Porsche race – in his rookie season – by wrestling what would be the race lead away from Jon McCorkindale three laps from home in a fantastic exchange through turns four, five and six.
With his tyres worn out, McCorkindale did all he could to withstand the Abela charge however ultimately settled for what would be second place.
The pair both found themselves in the position to win when early leader Ryan Simpson crashed out after tangling with a lapped runner on lap 17, breaking his left-front suspension via contact at the high-speed left hander around Corporate Hill.
With his car stranded, the safety car was called to recover Simpson who was forced to watch the remainder of the race as two of his key title rivals ate into his championship point lead.
Geoff Emery was elevated to third at the end, with O’Keefe fourth and Dave Ryan a career-best fifth.
Aaron Seton and Jaxon Evans traded the lead multiple times in their class B battle, Seton ultimately prevailing to re-take the points lead in the class he lost at Winton recently.
AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 3 CHAMPIONSHIP
RICKY CAPO wrestled the lead of the Australian Formula 3 Championship back from Jon Collins by winning race one at Sydney Motorsport Park, in a highly-competitive day for the wings and slicks category.
Capo took pole by the third-closest margin in F3 Championship history – and the closest of the Shannons Nationals year – of 0.0035s before taking advantage of Collins stalling at the line to take the first race of the weekend ahead of Roland Legge.
Collins, who started from second but dropped to last on the opening lap, stormed through the field and set the fastest lap on his charge to third place.
The results see Capo handed a three-point title lead ahead of Sunday’s pair of races that complete the round.
Luke Spalding won the F3 National class and finished a solid fourth outright.
Luke Ellery’s Formula 3 debut lasted only the formation lap as his car broke a bolt in the clutch pedal just prior to the race start.
The drama saw the start delayed and two laps cut from the scheduled distance as the original start was aborted and the field re-set whilst his car was recovered.
Ellery will return to complete the #OpenWheelDouble tomorrow in a repaired car.
AUSTRALIAN FORMULA FORD SERIES
CAMERON HILL scored his second consecutive pole position in the Australian Formula Ford Series, edging out Jake Spencer by 0.2s in qualifying.
Spencer headed a competitive group of cars that has 0.9s covering first to 9th ahead of Sunday’s three races – Christian Morina, Mitch Martin and NSW State Championship runner Andrew Kahl completing the top five.
The Canberra driver is coming off a clean-sweep of the Winton round last month, the first driver to do so this year, and leads the championship heading into the second half of the Formula Ford season.
Leanne Tander had a positive step forward in her Formula Ford return, qualifying seventh on home soil – just 0.6s from pole.
Cameron Walters edged out Luke Ellery for pole in the Kent class by just 0.1s.
DIAL BEFORE YOU DIG SUPER SIX TOURING CARS
PUTTING all the bad luck of the opening two rounds in this year’s title race behind him, Ben Grice smashed the Super Six Touring Car field to record his first win of the season today in Sydney.
The popular Queenslander qualified on pole and then drove away from defending champion Gavin Ross and two-time champion Simon Tabinor to record a storming victory – breaking the lap record in the process.
Ross and Tabinor battled all race for second place and actually crossed the line side-by-side, Ross gaining the advantage until a post-race five-second penalty handed the advantage back to his rival.
Ashley Jarvis and Harley Phelan completed the top five in the first of three races this weekend.
AUSTRLAIAN SUPERKART CHAMPIONSHIP
Russell Jamieson and two first time winners, Jordan Ford and Mark Robin have claimed the spoils after the first race of the Rockpress/Coach Design Australian Superkart Championships.
Thrilling battles filled the race with Jamieson taking the race lead just 50 metres ahead of the finish line, clawing his way past Warren McIlveen in the shadow of the chequered flag after a race long five-kart fight.
Gary Pegoraro led initially, making a superb start from grid four while Jamieson bogged down. McIlveen helf second until overtaken by a very fast starting Anton Stevens. A lap later Stevens led with Pegoraro dropping to fourth behind the recovering Jamieson while Ilya Harpas held station in fifth.
McIlveen dived underneath Stevens at turn 8 on lap five and held off the field until the end of the race where Jamieson who had slowly worked his way through the field to lead only the final few seconds of the race, out-dragging McIlveen to the line to take the win.
Jordan Ford (250 National) and Mark Robin (125 National) each won their respective classes ahead of a further three races tomorrow.
IVAN SRJBER edged out perennial frontrunner Stuart Shirvington for the victory in today’s opening PRB Clubman series race by just 0.06s.
The pair had battled intently all race with the winner getting to the flag first in a photo finish.
Chris Barry finished third with John Moyes and Tasmanian Malcolm Lee completing the top-five.