Words by Garry OBrien
Pics by Tyler Jones
Hosted by Sydney Motorsport Park on April 15-16, the second round of the NSW Motor Racing Championships was enormous where the big program featured three national categories.
Race one of round two of the Australian Formula Ford Series was taken out by Matt Hillyer. He staved off his Sonic team mate Conor Somers by 0.06 seconds. The race was a two-lap affair after a first lap safety car for the stranded Kyle Cotter. On the resumption, Lachlan Strickland and Synergy’s Eddie Beswick diced for third with the latter getting ahead. Then followed Zak Lobko from Dan Frougas and Xavier Kokai.
Hillyer backed up with a repeat in race two. He lost the lead for a lap to Somers. CHE’s Lobko finished third after his team mate Strickland and Beswick had contact. Behind the three Mygales, Kokai (Spectrum) was ahead of Frougas and Kobi Williams.
From the outset of the last race, Hillyer led as his nearest rival became Lobko due to Somers with a slow start and a clash with a rival at the first corner. Lobko glimpsed the lead after a couple of laps. Hillyer regathered the front running before the two clashed and Hillyer fell to sixth.
Lobko won ahead Williams as Strickland fought back to third, just ahead of Beswick, while Lachlan Mineeff placed fifth. Behind Hillyer in the round result it was Lobko second and Somers third. After a penalty in race one and second place, Thomas Kalamakis was a two-race winner in the Kent class, ahead of Will Liston who took the first.
Tim Macrow Racing shutout the front row in round two of AGI Formula Cars featuring Australian Formula Open. The Dallara F3s with Trent Grubel and Ryan Howe at the helms, were ahead of Gerrit Ruff and Miles Bromley. Both Ruff and Bromley stalled at the start. The latter was tagged by Graeme Holmes and Ruff by Lawrence Katsidis. The race was red flagged and declared a non-event.
Grubel (Dallara F312) was the tearaway winner of the next two races. Ryan Astley was second in the initial part of the first before he lost out to How. The 2015 Gold Star winner Jon Collins came through for third for Gilmour Racing when he displaced Astley on the penultimate lap.
In the later race, How held second throughout. Collins dropped spots to Astley, Winston van Laarhoven and Myles Bromley on the second lap, but fourth back to finish third. Van Laarhoven was next ahead of Astley, and Andrew Roberts.
It was the opening round of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Scholarship Series. Former Development Series and RX8 Cup driver Marcus La Delle completed a clean sweep. He trailed pole sitter Cody Burcher in the first few laps of race one before he took over the lead and won by half a second.
Max Geoghegan displaced Ben Gomersall to take third while Lachlan Bloxsom pulled a last lap move on Clay Richards for fifth. Then followed Hayden Hume, circuit racing debutant Ryan Tomsett, Matt Hillyer, 2022 Excel Nationals winner Ethan Grigg-Gault and Brock Stinson.
In race two, Burcher chased La Delle at the start but lost out to Geoghegan and Bloxsom who took over second by mid race. Richards finished fifth after a short scrap with Gomersall who ultimately crossed the line behind Hume and Tomsett. Stinson was ninth ahead of Grigg-Gault.
The third race was red flagged after four laps. Tomsett, Grigg-Gault and Jack Wesbury tangled at turn seven. When the race recommenced, Bloxsom was the runner up after he briefly lost second to Geoghegan. Burcher was next in front of Hume, Gomersall, James Wilkins, Oscar Targett and Stinson.
Round two of the NSW Sports Sedans saw Brad Shiels (Fiat 124/Rotary Turbo) lead all the way in the opening race ahead of Steven Lacey (Chev Camaro). Beril Cetin (Camaro) was second for a period until the engine cried enough and that promoted Matt Ingram (Mazda RX8) to third.
Shiels continued on his winning way in race two, followed by Lacey and Peter Ingram (RX7). In the last (trophy) race, the Chev Camaro driver was second until stopped at turn five with a fuel pump issue. That allowed the Ingram brothers Matt and Peter (RX7) to fill the minors.
The second round of Formula Vees produced a close first race result with Craig Sparke (Jacer) narrowly over Darren Williams and John McDonald (Jacer). Sparke slipped away to a comfortable win in the next, and Aaron Pace edged out fellow Sabre pilot Williams for second. The latter scored the last victory ahead of Sparke and Simon Pace (Sabre). The race shortened due to an incident at turn eight with McDonald and Aaron Pace.
NSW Supersports completed their second outing with John-Paul Drake (Wolf F1 Mistral) forging through to take race one from the back of the grid. He won from Alex Kenny in his new Nova Proto. Drake had to return home to SA after the race and left Kenny the victor over Ryan Godfrey (Wolf Tornado) both times.
Improved Production featured under and over 2.0 litre races. Ryan Gorton (Nissan 200SX) led the ‘unders’ initially but retired at the end of lap one with broken driveshafts. Kurt Macready (Nissan Silvia) was the winner over Michael Ricketts (Nissan Pulsar).
From the rear of the grid Gorton won the second race, his job made easier when Macready retired early. Gorton was out of race three early which paved the way for Ricketts to notch up a win. He too came from the back of the grid after a lose in the previous race.
Zak Hudson (Mazda RX7) led all the way in the ‘overs’ race. He also won race two, again ahead of Lachlan McBrien (BMW E46 M3). But after leading throughout race three, the RX7 was plagued by tyre wear and was pipped at the line by McBrien.
The first Production Sports sprint race had an immediate safety car due to a crash by Warwick Morris (Lamborghini Huracan) after the start. David Ryan (Porsche 991) was first across the line but a 5.0 second penalty gave Marcel Zalloua (Audi R8) the win. Paul Lucchitti (Audi) was second before he held off Zalloua in the next. The latter won the one-hour enduro by almost a lap over Lucchitti with David Ryan/Geoff Morgan a distant third.
There were four races for Superkarts in which Lee Vella set the pace in his 125cc Gearbox Avoig Elise. He led the first until he dropped out, after which he won the next three.
The next NSW Motor Race Championship round is scheduled for May 27 – 28 at Sydney Motorsport Park.