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Apr 1, 2016

SPORTS RACER FIELD GETS SANDOWN DEBUT OFF TO A GOOD START

Roger I’Anson has topped all three practice sessions for this weekend’s opening round of the 2016 Australian Sports Racer Series at Sandown Raceway.

This weekend’s event - the first for the Series at the Victorian venue – is hosting a biggest ever field in its six year history, with 19 racers taking part across four classes of racing.

While I’Anson set the pace outright, John-Paul Drake was quickest for the day in the SR2 (Division Two) rankings, while 2015 QR Round winner Josh Townsend topped the sheets for the F1000 and John Morriss lead the way for the six-strong Radical class.

“We are really happy with the day, the car is running really good – all we wanted to do today was be reliable, and we have done that, so we are really happy with how it is going,” said I’Anson.

The 2014 Series runner-up may have suffered a broken left lower wishbone in the first session, but a quick repair followed by a precautionary replacement of the right wishbone was all that was needed for the engineer from South Australia to continue without further problems.

“Although we were slower on the last run, the car felt a lot better, so I don’t know whether the track was slower or what but I am really happy with how the car is,” said I’Anson.

“Tomorrow will be really good - we had pretty good tyres on today so I expect the other guys to catch up a bit because they are running older rubber than us, we just didn’t have any old stuff. It should be good racing. It is good to have the Radicals here – when going down the straight with them we are really even. The field is really good – hopefully it can keep getting bigger - and there are a lot of really close guys already so the racing should be really good.”

One person who has particular interest in the amount of Radical racers this weekend is John Morriss – who as well as being a racer and the fastest of the Radicals today, is also the official Radical distributor for Victoria.

“We were fastest all day, and then in that last session we had new tyres on. The meeting is going really well – the car is actually the new RSX – the latest model car – and this is its first race meeting. It is brand new, so we thought we would bring it out. It is good (to have six Radicals), I think we will get 10 for the next round,” said Morriss.

For SA expat Drake, the result was a happy surprise.

“That’s awesome – I didn’t realise I was fastest in Division Two after the session, I am really excited. I can’t wait for tomorrow, it is great having a full field, it makes it so much more exciting,” said Drake.

"The car has been going really well since the last round, I have done a few shakedowns at Mallala and its all good. I haven't been here before so I took it easy today but Mr I'Anson mentioned a couple of things that I have stolen from him which has helped me out. We made changes each practice and tried a few things. It has been a awesome day."

For F1000 pilot Townsend, a few niggling issues are keeping the team busy, with more speed still to be found in the QR-winning machine.

“It is so far so good overall, we have had a few small niggling issues which have kept us busy, but on the whole the car is performing well – we will just keep working away at it and hopefully find a bit more speed,” said Townsend.

“I would like to think we can go a little bit quicker, but at the moment we just aren’t getting the most out of the car. But it is going well, hopefully it is just a number of little things that we can keep working to keep on top of.”

The Sports Racer action continues at Sandown Raceway tomorrow (Saturday), with qualifying at 9.10am before the first of three races for the weekend at 2.15pm (local times). Races two and three will be held on Sunday at 9.10am and 1.05pm (local time – please note that daylight savings ends on Sunday morning).