Saloon Car: Heinrich hammers at home round
6/07/2007 at 1:12:32 PM:

Reigning and four times title holder Bruce Heinrich proved to be unbeatable on his home circuit Mallala in South Australian, at the fourth round of the Supaloc Australian Saloon Car Championship last weekend . . . and hammered in the series lead as a bonus.

The Ford Falcon AU driver was second fastest in qualifying but won all three races, leading two of them from lights to flag and then regathered the lead with a sudden deluge of rain brought many unstuck in the second race.

The South Australian acknowledged that he didn’t have the fastest car under him at Mallala, “But it is also about racing smart . . . and certainly this place I like and know well,” he added.

Fellow state residents and Ford drivers Steve Kwiatkowski and Matt Lovell finished consistently high in the results while their major rivals fell away, to claim second and third respectively overall.

In the first of three races previous series leader and fastest qualifier Kris Walton was a little slow away, giving Heinrich an edge while Shawn Jamieson looked to squeeze his Holden between the two Fords into turn one. There was not quite enough room and Walton came off worse after a touch from the Commodore – spinning around. Heinrich was untroubled from there, keeping Scott Nicolas (Falcon) at arm’s distance.

There was fierce dicing behind this pair with the track still slippery from overnight rain. Brad Fox (Falcon) ultimately took third ahead of John Goodacre’s Commodore, Lovell, Kwiatkowski, Jamieson, Kevin Weeks (Commodore) and Walton in a good recovery.

Heinrich led the second race until a miscue at turn seven on the opening lap, allowed Nicolas and Goodacre through. The rain teemed down as they headed off onto their third lap. Both Nicolas and Goodace went off at turn four on that lap when the sudden rain shower made things very slippery. “I went to brake at the same point as previously and there was just a sheet of water across the road,” Nicalas said.

Several others were also caught out, including Weeks, Robert Lonie (Holden), Wayne King (Falcon), Fox and Grace Monterosso whose Commodore was very badly damaged. She was taken away for a medical examination while it took seven laps to clear the damage. As a result of the melee, Heinrich was back in front and won from Kwiatkowski, Jamieson, Lovell, Walton and Goodacre.

The track was totally dry and the sun was out for the last race. Heinrich led all the way while Walton fought through to second ahead of Lovell (who held third despite a turn two off when Walton succeeded in getting by) and Kwiatkowski. “It could have been interesting if not for the first race incident, but then we didn’t have the race pace of Bruce anyway,” acknowledged Walton. Nicolas came from the rear to fifth ahead of Goodacre and Troy Hoey’s Ford.

The Australian Saloon Car Company (TASCCO) is a foundation member of the CAMS National Racing Championship, one of the five core categories (Production Cars, F3, Saloon Cars, Commodore Cup and GT/Porsche) in partnership with CAMS that now make up the Shannons Nationals.

The popular six cylinder Holden Commodore verse Ford Falcon category is supported by Supaloc Steel Building Systems, Pedders Suspension, Kumho Tyres, Xtreme Clutch, EMS Fuel Injection, Cebco Brakes and CSA Alloy Wheels.

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