Oct 17, 2015
TITLE PRESSURE BUILDS FOLLOWING WAKEFIELD PRACTICE
CAMERON HILL has commenced the final part of his record-busting Australian Formula Ford Series season by topping practice, ahead of Round seven of the 2016 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals this weekend.
Beneath perfect blue skies and in warm Wakefield Park conditions, the Canberra driver topped all three sessions today as he seeks eight more points to clinch his maiden title.
Hill started the season an outside chance at the ultra-competitive championship however a string of dominant performances mid-season saw him assert a mighty lead in the points standings ahead of this weekend’s finale’.
With three races remaining, and Hill having won eight of the last nine, the Mygale pilot heads Christian Morina by 53 points in the standings – with 60 up for grabs this weekend.
Today his fastest lap of 1m00.60s put him 0.2s clear of Victorian driver, Mitch Martin with a grid of 18 expected when qualifying commences tomorrow morning.
In the Kerrick Sports Sedans series, Jack Perkins and Tony Ricciardello look set to continue their epic duels from the August round at Queensland Raceway – Perkins edging the famous Alfa by 0.5s across two sessions today.
Fresh from a strong run in last weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – where he finished 11th with Russell Ingall – Perkins is more than happy to keep racing amidst the height of the V8 Supercars ‘season of endurance’.
“Every race car driver wants to race cars, so to be able to do three on the trot is good fun,” Perkins said.
“Bathurst obviously is a mega day. I didn’t get the result I was chasing for but we were in the hunt all day there and it was a promising race and it was good for my (HRT) team-mate Garth (Tander) to be on the podium.
“Now being here at Wakefield, this is where my focus is. John (Gourlay – car owner) has done an enormous amount of work between the (KSSS) races and has been putting a few upgrades into the car.
“Today is our first day on the track with those things, and we are really looking forward to the weekend ahead – hopefully we can continue the form we showed at Queensland Raceway.
“It is obviously going to be a pretty tough battle – all of the other guys are quite competitive drivers and they have good cars, so by no means is it a walk in the park, but we are going to try and do what we did at Queensland, that is for sure.”
Roland Legge topped practice for the final round of the Australian Formula 3 Championship, lapping underneath the circuit outright lap record to top the charts with a blistering 54.20s lap.
R-Tek driver Legge is not in the championship mix this weekend however may play a deciding role in the showdown between the two fighting for Australia’s fastest open wheel title given his lighting pace in the last three rounds.
Title contenders Ricky Capo (2nd, 54.63s) and Jon Collins (3rd, 54.98s) were next with Nathan Kumar fourth and heading an extremely competitive mid-pack.
The Formula 3 field qualifies and races tomorrow ahead of a further three races on Sunday.
Grant Sherrin topped all three Australian Manufacturers Championship practice sessions in a day dominated by BMWs.
Sherrins fastest lap of 1m06.04s was just 0.2s faster than the best lap posted by fellow BMW driver, Beric Lynton, with Bob Pearson third in the ProDuct Mitsubishi Lancer EVO.
Mark Eddy set the fifth fastest time in the debut of his brand-new Audi TT RS.
Ben Grice topped practice for the final round of the Dial Before You Dig Super 6 Touring Car Series, his 1m07.98s comfortably quicker than title leader Gavin Ross’ 1m08.66s best.
With double points on offer this weekend, Ross need only finish second to the rampaging Grice in all three races to secure his second Super six crown, though Ford driver Ashley Jarvis is also in the title mix and actually sits in front of Grice – second – in the standings.
Racing commences at Wakefield Park tomorrow and continues into Sunday.