SIMPSON and Ash Samadi have starred in their respective warm-up races for tomorrow’s Super Sunday at the Bathurst Motor Festival.
The NSW Production Touring Car Series and Production Sports Car series will both tackle one-hour endurance races today and both staged a pair of 30-minute qualifying races across today’s packed program; Simpson (Production) and Samadi (Sports Cars) dominating their respective classes today.
Their dominance belayed a competitive day of racing at Mount Panorama as five race and two regularity categories took to the track in fine and warm conditions.
Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the first race on Mount Panorama, racing identities including Bathurst legend John Goss mixed with a strong crowd and other identities enjoying the racing celebration.
As well as racing identities, some celebrities were also out and about – MC Bliss, of ARIA Award winning group Bliss ‘n Eso, enjoying some time in the Formula 3 paddock today as a guest of a team sponsor.
On-track, Ryan Simpson won both Production Touring Car races driving his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X RS, in a day dominated by the three-pointed diamond product.
Simpson led Jake Shelley and Leigh Burgess home in race one, and Jason Walsh and Gerry Burgess home in the second.
Brett Howard (HSV) and Peter O’Donnell (BMW) each scored a fourth-place finish today to keep the four-wheel-drives honest.
In the big-dollar Production Sports Car field it was Ash Samadi taking out both races in his GT-specification Mosler GT3, though he was forced to work for his wins in both races today.
Samadi edged out Dodge Viper GT3 driver Ross Lilley by just 0.2s in race one, and old rival Neal Muston’s Porsche by less than one second in the second 10-lap race.
Ben Porter finished third in race two to fly the flag for the British-built Lotus.
James Winslow won the opening race in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers championship in controversial circumstances after a last-lap collision with race leader, Steel Guiliana.
The race officials were investigating the incident this evening as this release was issued.
Click here to read a full Formula 3 race report from today.
In the Group N Historic Touring Cars, Dean Neville converted pole position into a comfortable race one win in his Chevrolet Camaro, taking the flag first by a full sixteen seconds over second-placed John Harrison.
Neville’s Mustang led two Mustang’s, with noted Historic Touring Car racer Darryl Hansen finishing third in his Mustang Coupe.
Michael Anderson (Ford GT) and Leon Bell (Holden Monaro) showed some Aussie pride in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Group N cars will contest a further two races tomorrow, respectively.
Brian Fitt and Stan Bougadakis topped their respective sessions in the Porsche Club regularity trials, whilst Chris Clark and Greg Boyle topped their NSW Road Racing Club regularity trials held today.
Action kicks of tomorrow morning at 8:20am with races, with the highlights set to be the 13-lap Formula 3 finale and the two, one-hour races for Production Sports Car and Production Touring Car series races.