A good field of 195 competitors enjoyed the first day of Round Three of the NSW Motor Race Championships under warm clear blue skies on Saturday June 21st. Early morning racing on Sunday however was thrown a curve ball with showers and a wet and slippery track with which to contend.
With both practice and qualifying sessions conducted on Friday and Saturday in fine conditions, and cars and drivers seemingly sorted and ready for more of the same for Sunday, it was unsettling for many to rethink the slicks and some didn’t have a backup plan.
First to face the slippery conditions were the Superkarts. With their amazing power to weight ratio on some parts of the track it became like a “ballet on ice”. Fortunately apart from some spins, no-one saw gravel time. Results were dominated by Anton Stevens (ART-PVP) with two race wins and a second, followed by Mark Robin ( Stockman MR125) with one race win and three thirds.
Improved Production O2L saw Graeme Watts continue his dominance of this category with three straight race wins. Looking extremely confident on track, Graeme clocked the fastest lap time in the class with a 1:41.71. Steve Devjak (Commodore) was consistently less than a second behind and scooped three second placings. Joe Lenthall (Mazda RX7) had a good campaign gaining valuable points with two third place finishes. Joes new red and white graphic designed livery goes really well with the spectacular metre and a half of flame he had shooting out of his exhaust late on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately this weekend John McKenzies’ regular podium finishes in this class came to a temporary end with a smokey exit from race two. John said: ”The smoke looked like it was being caused by oil leaking into a valve stem. “ He commented that it was time for an engine overhaul anyway.
Formula Vee featured a big field of 35 racers who were also racing for positional points in the Clemenger International Freight Australian Series. This categories results was on a knifes edge, as the lead was swapped regularly and the final race placings were evenly distributed across Michael Kinsella ( Jacer F2K10) with a first and second, Dylan Thomas with a first and a third, and Tim Brook (Jacer F2K4) with a first, second and a third.
While David Crighton enjoyed two race victories in Improved Production U2L , Graeme Cox settled for second and third placings. Bob Jowett was only a half second behind Crighton in race one, however Bob’s luck ran out in race two as he over cooked it into turn one and impacted heavily into a tire wall. That same tyre wall was responsible for the front end damage to Danny Castro’s Silvia S13, and it was last seen sitting sadly crumpled next to Bob Jowetts Honda Civic in the recovery yard.
With one and a half seconds out front of the field in race one and two Birol Cetins’ Yellow Camaro purred along consistently. However today, only two race wins for Birol, as he was forced to exit early in race three after what appeared to be an unfortunate accident with Steve Lacey. Steve has been having the worst luck lately with his (also) Yellow Camaro, as he has suffered steering failure in his last three outings. I spoke to Steve prior to race three and he was upbeat in his belief that he had solved the steering issue.
Unfortunately in race three Steve got only as far as turn two before his left front tyre, listing at an awkward angle under the wheel arch, uncooperatively dragged his big machine into the grassy verge on driver’s left in a pall of scraping tyre smoke.
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley