Round 4 of the NSW Motor Race Championships returned to Sydney Motorsport Park with a mixed bag of conditions. Staring out dry on Saturday, a freakish storm cell with strong winds rolled through mid afternoon scattering tents and creating 15 minutes of havoc both on and off track. This left the afternoon sessions with a wet track with which to contend, though Sunday started cold and bleak, but the sun shone and thawed us all out for a great day of racing.
This round saw the Improved Production category take a mid-year break, and instead the round featured a one hour enduro by the Production Sports Racing Cars Association; a real treat to see many of these cars in their annual sojourn to SMSP.
Enduros are tough on both drivers and cars, and this race was no different with nearly a quarter of the field failing to go the distance. A marvellous effort by the Mawer/Lazaris (Lotus Exige GT3) team, starting from 12th on the grid and holding on to a half race lead in the closing stages to take the win. Not so lucky was Anthony Soole, who’s birthday was spoiled by a late in the race gearbox failure which saw him drift to a stop out of turn one and hand the Class B race win to Nick Cancion (Mazda MX5). Class C went to Rob Hay in another MX5, managing to hold off the McGann/Stannard (Porsche 944) pair who were only seconds behind during most of the race.
Formula Ford was a see-saw affair all weekend, with Hamish Hardeman (Mygale ST13) and Nick Rowe (Mygale SJ10A), swapping the honours in all three races. Hardeman took the race wins in race one and three and Rowe took home a first, second and third across the weekend, leaving Jacob Parsons (Spectrum 014) to be content with a second and two thirds.
Thundering Sports Sedans racing saw a determined Steve Lacey, who has suffered race ending steering problems over recent months, come out in a determined bid to get his championship aspirations back on track. He finished with two third place finishes in race one and two. Starting from fourth on the grid in race three, he took a very aggressive race line early in the race to first edge out Chris Jackson (Holden Calibra) and then a couple laps later he pushed Anthony Macready very wide to slip by and eventually hold on for second spot in his best finish in quite a while. Birol Cetin (Camaro) took two race wins and his consistency is holding him at the top of his class. Grant Doulman enjoyed a rare race win and a second place, before exiting early in race three.
The HQ racing was a family affair with the Heinrich brothers squaring off against each other. Grabbing four podiums between them they hogged the front end of the field for most of their events. Both Joel and Bruce had race wins and a third place each. They are a competitive pair, giving no quarter as they swapped a bit of paint with each other in race two at turn two.
Aaron Seton blitzed the field with three straight race wins in the Production Touring category in his EVO 10, and absolutely hammered it in race two to record a lap record pass of 1:42.72. Congratulations Aaron!
– Words and pictures by Rob Annesley