Australia’s most prestigious Motor Racing Championships
Jul 15, 2012
ALFA FIGHTS BACK WITH CLEAN SWEEP AT SHANNONS NATIONALS
A FIGHTBACK of epic-sized proportions from seven-time Kerrick Sports Sedan Champion Tony Ricciardello has highlighted a massive weekend of racing at round 5 of the Shannons Nationals Presented by Hi-Tec Oils.
After a troubled start to the year, the West Australian driver dominated the biggest Kerrick series field in recent memory, winning all three races and setting a new lap record in the process at Sydney Motorsport Park in Sydney’s west.
With former series champions starting 1-2-3-4, Ricciardello’s biggest challenge came in the opening race of the day, a fired-up Darren Hossack breaking the lap record and leading early before the car broke a gear selector bracket and dropped down the order.
The Alfa Romeo driver was unchallenged from there – winning the remaining two races and setting a stunning new lap record at 1m28.9391s.
“The car is getting good,” Ricciardello understated.
“We keep chasing the balance – the car is really sensitive to tyre choice. If Kerry finishes third in every race from here he’ll win the championship so we’re not looking at that – we’re just going for wins.”
A frustrated Darren Hossack struggled this weekend, breaking sixth gear in race two after its earlier dramas cost him a race one victory. Baily finished second overall, and with Wall third extended his championship lead by one point with two rounds remaining – at Queensland Raceway and Wakefield Park, in October.
John Bowe and Peter Edwards combined to give Ferrari a win in the second one-hour race in the Australian GT Championship – Protected by Sargent Security, Bowe executing an aggressive late-race move to pass leader Peter Hackett with two laps to go.
Bowe took advantage of a safety car – to remove the damaged Roger Lago / David Russell Lamborghini that crashed late in the race – to close on the leading Mercedes before working his way past in the encroaching twilight.
“These GT guys race hard and fair and it’s a joy to compete against them,” Bowe said.
“I love the cars and enjoy working with Peter (Edwards) and the team is great: In fact I think I’m getting my mojo back!”
Despite not winning the race, Hackett won the round and also clinched the CAMS Australian Tourist Trophy in the process – based on his results across the last two rounds.
Neale Muston continued his local domination of the Radical Australia Cup, taking out round four of the series despite only finishing fifth in today’s second 50-minute mini-enduro.
The race one winner has now won the last three Radical rounds held at Sydney Motorsport Park, his win this weekend making it three wins from four rounds this season – and the only one he didn’t win was when he didn’t compete.
Tony Palmer won today’s race ahead from Glyn Edis and Simon Haggarty, Simon’s father Tony winning the Masters division.
Comeback king Tim Macrow won the fifth round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers’ Championship, beating home championship leader James Winslow to win the feature race held this afternoon.
The former champion was slow away but an aggressive move at turn two saw him hustle past Winslow and sneak away to a lead he’d never lose. It was the third time in three years that the Victorian has made a one-off comeback to the wings-and-slicks category and recorded a victory.
Winslow was second and his team-mate, NSW Central Coast driver Steel Guiliana finishing third.
Kane Rose won his third consecutive Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge Australia round in a row, winning race two on Sunday morning and a narrow second in race three to secure the round victory.
Jeff Bobik was again his closest challenger, the pair engaging in a mighty battle for the lead of the final race with Bobik doing enough to hold on to the lead in a close finish. John Goodacre finished third overall.
Reece Murphy and Allan Jarvis were the clear benchmarks in the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series, Murphy edging out the defending series winner for the round win despite the latter winning the second race of the day.
Damien Ward edged out Adam Brand for the final spot on the round podium, with the Swifts to return to the track.
The next round of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils can claim blockbuster status, Ipswich’s Queensland Raceway the scene of round six and a seven-category program that includes two, 200km endurances races for the Australian Manufacturers Championship – Saturday’s to run into the night.
The round also includes the return of the Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car series, on August 13-15.