Domaschenz Duo Wins CCUP Endurance Challenge
30/06/2009 at 5:58:54 AM:

Jason and Craig Domaschenz have taken out the second annual Commodore Cup Endurance Challenge at Winton on the weekend, and claimed the Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy.

The Domaschenz brothers qualified seventh, but moved up to second in a wet and chaotic opening race. The Domaschenz team then took advantage of a drive-through penalty for Race 1 winners Tony Bates and Steve Owen to win Race 2 and the round. The event victory has also given Jason Domaschenz the Commodore Cup series lead at the half-way mark.

“I’d like to thank my brother, he did a great job,” Jason said. “Consistency paid off this weekend, so we just need to keep being consistent for the rest of the season.

“I hadn’t been behind the wheel for a while, so it was good just to get out there and have a run,” Craig Domaschenz added.

Tony Bates and Steve Owen finished second overall, but were disappointed to miss out on the round win after dominating practice and qualifying, and winning Race 1. A drive-through penalty in Race 2 for jumping the start, combined with a rev-limiter problem that was costing both drivers around a second a lap, conspired to relegate Bates and Owen to runner-up status.

“It was a tough weekend, with trying conditions for all the competitors,” Bates said. “The Domos were the most consistent over the weekend, they both drove really well and deserved the win in the end.

“I really enjoy Commodore Cup even though the cars aren’t as fast as V8 Supercars,” reigning Fujitsu V8 Supercar champion and Holden Racing Team endurance driver Steve Owen said. “You can just drive the car so loose, sideways and smoke up the tyres, so it’s good fun from a driver’s perspective. It was good to race against some of the regular guys who are out there every week.”

Geoff Emery and Ross McGregor finished third overall, giving McGregor his first Commodore Cup podium finish. Emery and McGregor finished fourth in Race 1 and improved to second in Race 2, despite a shambolic driver change pit-stop (click here to see the video). Emery’s performance was particularly impressive considering he was suffering from the flu.

“It’s been a lot of years coming, but we got there,” McGregor said. “The co-driver was obviously very important in this. I let Geoff have some of the time, but I hogged it as much as I could until it looked dangerous that we weren’t going to get into third, and then I let him have a drive!”

Denis Pana and Chris Delfsma scored the Bendix Brakes hard-charger award for overtaking the most cars throughout the two races. After qualifying a lowly 21st, Pana and Delfsma stormed to ninth in Race 1, and backed up with 12th in Race 2 to finish 10th overall: a net gain of 11 positions.

“Our strategy worked really well and it’s great to get a result for all the sponsors who have stuck by me over the years,” Pana said.

Hard luck stories abounded throughout the rest of the field, with two-time Australian Rally champion Simon Evans and his team-mate Jeff Watters enduring a mixture of slow pit-stops and brake problems en route to 21st overall. Nick Parker, the series leader coming into the round, also experienced a tough weekend alongside his co-driver Shane Price, finishing 11th overall and falling to fourth in the series standings.

The next round of the Commodore Cup national series is at Eastern Creek, July 17-19.

Commodore Cup national series – top 10 pointscore (after 3 of 6 rounds):
1. Jason Domaschenz – 375 points
2. Brett Holdsworth – 368 points
3. Tony Bates – 350 points
4. Nick Parker – 345 points
5. Michael Tancredi – 330 points
6. Ross McGregor – 321 points
7. Adam Lloyd – 274 points
8. Phillip Menzel – 270 points
9. Matt Chick – 269 points
10. Josh Hughes – 264 points
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