BIG SATURDAY FULL OF ACTION AT MOTOR FESTIVAL
Racing began in earnest today with the five race categories present launching into action, and the two regularity competitions taking to the track to race the clock.
In the Kenda Tyres HQ Holden challenge, Rod Dawson and Paul Butler led from pole position to win the first of two Kenda Tyres HQRA one-hour endurances races today, taking the flag first by more than 13 seconds in an 18-lap affair.
The 69 Designs sponsored HQ led home the Security Merchants car of Rod Raatjes with the Tascar Motorsport entry of John Wise, a long-time HQ competitor, in third place.
Gary Bonwick was fourth whilst Victorian David Keleher completed the top five with 15 cars finished the race on the lead lap in a race that featured pit stops and – for some – a driver change mid-event. The race went safety-car free for its duration in a show of clean driving from the big HQ Holden pack.
The ever exciting FW1 Aussie Racing Cars put on a show, Darren Chamberlain leading home a tightly grouped pack in race one to win ahead of Kyle Clews and Peter Carr, with Darrin Masini in fourth place less than one second behind the winner after a late-race safety car bunched up the field.
Race two saw Peter Carr take a commanding three-second victory, managing to ‘break the draft’ following a three-lap safety car for a crash at the top of the mountain.
Maurice Masini finished second and Adrian Cottrell third though big names like Trent Young – who had been in the top five in race one – failing to finish.
Adelaide driver Jordan Skinner won today’s debut Formula 3 race on Mount Panorama, leading from start to finish in a stunning performance to chalk up his first ever race victory.
A large battle waged for second place between John Magro, Nick Foster and James Winslow early in the race before Winslow charged his way through to ultimately finish second, after starting last.
Winslow also set the fastest lap of the race, a stunning 2:05.30s lap that is a class lap record. Allan Simonsen’s 2:04.95 set in the drive Bathurst sprint event last year is deemed the outright race lap record with F3 driver expecting it to be overcome tomorrow.
A dominant performance from Greg Toepfer saw him dominate today’s pair of Group N Historic Touring Car races driving his HQ Monaro.
Bathurst driver Michael Anderson, driving a GTHO Falcon, was second in both races on what is his first ever race meeting on the Mountain. Tasmanian driver Leon Bell (Holden Monaro) finished third in race one but failed to finish the second, the final spot on the podium snared by Falcon GT driver Cameron Worner.
The CUE Production Sports Cars had a pair of races today – one each for the individual drivers who will combine for tomorrow’s one-hour mini endurance affair.
Neale Muston dominated race one to win by nearly 15 seconds in his Porsche GT3, leading home Lotus drivers Simon Hogg and Peter Lucas.
Driving solo tomorrow, Muston again dominated the second race later in the afternoon with Scott Bargwanna second and Ben Porter third. Touring Car Masters star Andrew Miedecke finished fourth in the Daytona Coupe he will share with Jamie Augustine tomorrow.
Alex Veryinis was the dominant performer in the New South Wales Road Racing Club’s pair of regularity sessions, running the closest to his nominated time in both of today’s sessions driving a HSV Clubsport.
Doug McPherson (Porsche 964) and Mark Croudace (Porsche 968 Clubsport) were the best of the large field in the Porsche Club of NSW’s two on-track outings today, respectively.
The on-track action continues tomorrow with the Event commencing at 0820am.