Kostera Clinical at Morgan Park
16/08/2010 at 9:25AM

After winning the Australian 6 Hour at Eastern Creek a month ago (with Warren Luff) Stuart Kostera produced another polished performance, clinically taking two outright wins at round five of the Australian Manufacturers Championship at Morgan Park over the weekend of August 14-15.

At the helm of the Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Kostera was without peer, and was never under any pressure from his rivals. “The car was just perfect today – it never skipped a beat,” he said after the second victory.

TMR boss Alan Heaphy was pleased with the performance of his charge. “He is very good, very underrated. Stuart is just one of the drivers that is quick and good on machinery and he got out of the car without even a sweat up,” he said.

Kostera moved to second in the Drivers’ Championship behind leader Garry Holt. He leap-frogged Jake Camilleri who also makes a points gain on Holt. Kostera’s team mate “Inky” Tulloch was less fortunate with his endeavours. He was an early casualty in race one with a blown turbo and then became entangled with Hadrian Morrall’s Mazda 3 MPS at the new turn ten that caused damage to the front of his car.

“It was a bit concerning really as the hit caused the radiator at the front of the car to push back on the wheel – fortunately we got him in for the pit stop straight away and fixed that,” Heaphy added.

Tulloch ultimately finished third, passing Peter O’Donnell’s GWS Personnel BMW on the final lap, the pair also getting by Mark King driving Bob Pearson’s Evo which ran out of fuel on the final lap of race two. King had been second at the time and was passed by Camilleri just before Evo stopped within sight of the flag. It was the second time it ran short on fuel – in the first one hour, the team fell shy by four laps.

Camilleri finish with a third and second in the Mazda 3 MPS while Tony Quinn was the runner up initially, his second race finished early with a front brake seizure on the VIP Petfoods Evo 9.

O’Donnell finished with a pair of fourth places and two Class B wins, beating series leader Holt to the line on both occasions. “We made a mistake here this weekend with tyre choice,” the defending champion Holt stated. “The tyres are too hard and the Holden Astra Turbo doesn’t have the outright pace we need.”

With a down on horsepower engine Cam Wilson and Lee Castle combined in the former’s Subaru Impreza for a pair of sixth placings and ultimately finished second overall in Class A through sheer reliability, and beat home the Class C protagonists Colin Osborne, Greg Symes’ BMW 130i and Morrall.

In each race Richard Gartner was next and second in Class D while the Class F (Alternate Fuels) Holden Astra was eleventh. Brooke Leech started before Belinda Halliwell took over for the second half of race one. The car didn’t need to stop but the girls were using the race to gain road circuit experience and plan the opposite strategy for race two.
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