Nov 14, 2015
CHAMPIONSHIP PICTURE CLEARER AT SLIPPERY SYDNEY
THE PORSCHE GT3 Cup Challenge Australia concluded its 2015 season in style at Sydney Motorsport Park’s Shannons Nationals grand finale today.
Meanwhile, the Kumho V8 Touring Cars series title equation became clearer as Liam McAdam extended his lead over fellow teenager Alex Rullo at the top of the standings thanks to a storming race one victory.
The title battles in the Kerrick Sports Sedans and Australian Sports Racer Series have become closer following today’s opening battles – the Sports Racer fight now actually tied ahead of tomorrow’s two races.
The Radical Australia Cup also wrapped up their season with a 40-minute mini-enduro, and the grid was set for tomorrow’s headline Australian Manufacturers Championship Australian 4 Hour enduro.
Sunday’s racing will be streamed live on thenationals.com.au, the Shannons Nationals Facebook page and the MotorsportsTV app on mobile devices.
PORSCHE GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY PIRELLI
RYAN SIMPSON continued to etch his name into the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Pirelli record books by winning the final round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Sydney driver and his Parramatta Smash Repairs / Sonic Motor Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car scored pole position, two race victories and re-set the Sydney Motorsport Park lap record en route to his fifth round win from six starts this year.
Dylan O’Keefe raced to his first victory in the series in race three, to end Simpson’s winning streak at nine wins – equal to the existing record.
Meanwhile, Geoff Emery posted a solid performance in his Southern Star Windows entry to seal the series’ Elite title, storming home ahead of John Goodacre.
Aaron Seton won the Class B title after year-long rival Jaxon Evans gambled on wet tyres prior to the second of three races contested today.
Rain prior to the race saw several gamble on wet weather tyres in anticipation of another incoming weather front – however the rain never materialised and those who gambled lost plenty of ground.
O’Keefe’s race three victory came in the only race held in truly wet conditions in a day of changeable weather.
The young Melbourne driver stormed to second on the opening lap, sitting behind a fast-starting Geoff Emery through a three-lap Safety Car called at the end of lap two.
He pounced once the race restarted, Simpson following him through to second place when he passed Emery. The champion pressured O’Keefe to the end but was unable to sneak his way past the Dexion driver to win again.
Hamish Hardeman was also a star and scored third overall this weekend.
Hardeman qualified second – 0.07s behind Ryan Simpson – in a wet qualifying session before going on to finish second in the opening race.
KUMHO V8 TOURING CARS
LIAM McADAM placed one hand on the Kumho V8 Touring Cars series title thanks to victory in race one at Sydney Motorsport Park.
In sopping wet conditions, Rullo made the perfect start from pole and led McAdam and Tony Evangelou on the opening lap – establishing an early buffer before a miscue at turn two on the fourth lap dropped him from first to third and handed an unassailable lead to McAdam.
Evangelou pitted after an opening-lap contact with McAdam, while Jason Heck was another to take advantage of Rullo’s drama to move to second place – his best result of the season.
With Rullo third, Brendan Strong was fourth and Steve Briffa fifth in the Poco Commodore.
Earlier, Rullo had edged out McAdam for pole position thanks to rain that began falling after the two had each set just the one timed lap at the start of the session.
KERRICK SPORTS SEDANS
TONY RICCIARDELLO clings to a tenuous 15-point lead in the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series after finishing third in the opening race today at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Jack Perkins won the opening race, beating home Polesitter Tom Randle in a tense 10-lap affair fought out on a drying track after a rain shower forced the fields to wets moments before the scheduled start.
Perkins led comfortably for the first nine laps but lost time on the final tour, allowing Randle to close to within one second of the recent Gold Coast V8 Supercars winner.
Randle, for his part, closed on second-placed Steven Tamasi in the championship fight with two races remaining tomorrow.
Ricciardello’s quest for a record ninth title has him on 490 points, 15 in front of Tamasi (475) and 32 in front of Randle (458).
Ricciardello only moved to third in the closing laps thanks to a storming opening laps from New South Wales racer Birol Cetin that saw him fly to third place on the opening lap.
The Alfa closed on the Chevrolet Camaro as the laps wound down and the track dried, only working his way past to third late in the race.
Tamasi finished seventh, behind Phil Crompton’s Ford Mustang, Cetin and Stuart Inwood’s ex Stone Brothers Racing Falcon.
Perkins run of seven-straight race victories in the championship has elevated him to fifth in the standings, just 21 behind fourth placed Colin Smith.
AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Rick Bates has placed the #33 Pro-Duct Mitsubishi Evo X on pole for tomorrow’s Australian 4 Hour at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Second quickest today was Dylan Thomas in the CXC Global Mitsubishi Evo X, ahead of the Beric Lynton/Tim Leahey Bruce Lynton BMW1M.
Fastest for Class B was the #18 Sherrin Rentals Racing BMW135i of Grant and Iain Sherrin (7th outright), while in Class C Jake Camilleri and Hadrian Morrall were quickest in the Grand Prix Mazda-supported Mazda 3MPS (6th outright) while the sole Class D entry – the Pedders Racing Toyota 86 of Grant Phillips and Andrew Turpie - was 13th fastest.
For the Sherrin brothers – the outright title and Class B leaders – it has been another tough day at the office with this afternoon seeing them fixing a seized turbo following qualifying – the team however believes all will be fixed in time for the Australian 4 Hour. Today’s issues follow a challenging day yesterday for the team, with a seized turbo wastegate for the #18 before the sister #19 entry was written out of the weekend with a practice crash.
RADICAL AUSTRALIA CUP
PETER PADDON won the Radical Australia Cup 250 today after early leader Neale Muston failed to finish after completing just 11 laps of the duration.
Muston had led the early running however brought out the Safety Car on the twelfth lap when he was stopped on track – handing a lead to Paddon’s SR3 entry who ultimately took the race win.
Oliver Smith finished second and Kim Burke third at the end of 22-laps of racing.
Earlier, Muston had stormed to victory in the opening 9-lap sprint race, heading home Burke and Paddon.
AUSTRALIAN SPORTS RACER SERIES
A CHAMPIONSHIP changing day in the Australian Sports Racer Series has seen Adam Cranston jump to the equal top of the standings following a difficult day for former leader Mark Laucke.
Aaron Steer won today’s 10-lap opener, held in wet conditions, ahead of John-Paul Drake and Jason Makris but the big story revolved around the dramas for Adelaide driver Laucke and his Laucke Flour Mills West racer.
He could only manage to limp home 10th in today’s race after qualifying in the same position after a crash earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, Cranston finished 5th in his RFR Formula 1000 entry and edged to a tie with Laucke in the points ahead of tomorrow’s two races.