On a beautiful blue-sky weekend, 198 entrants brought Round 5 of the NSW Motor Racing Championship back to Sydney Motorsport Park on September 21-22.
Racing was spirited, and several competitors were sporting new livery and cars this round. Simon Pace in Formula Vee ( Mako MK111) had a new paint job, and his racing successes have continued strongly into this round with one second, one third and a fifth placing over the weekend. Steve Lacey (Sports Sedans) drove a very quick Camaro to a second and third place, but ended with an unfortunate DNF in the third race.
In the HQs, Tony Camilleri’s good-heartedness reached new heights as he helped his fellow category competitors to get (or keep) their cars on the circuit, including changing brake pads on Troy Hulbert’ #82, replacing a head gasket for Adam Leach in #42, loaning a carby to Chris Molle in the 23 car, and assisting to repair drivers side panel damage on John Baxters #51 car.
As usual, some campaigns came to a premature end, and Ahmed Bagdadi (Improved Prod) was unfortunate to have a power steering line rupture, and cause a weekend-ending fire in the VXSS Commodore. Misadventure plagued Tim Miller as well, after qualifying fastest, he finished second in race one, only to be sidelined for the rest of the weekend after a broken driveshaft left him standing motionless on the starting grid. Peter Foote shattered a gearbox on turn 15, leaving a legacy of oil on the track and gave an almighty scare to two competitors who were right on his hammer. It also caused a lengthy delay and subsequent shortening of race one.
Terry Robertson ( Reynard 913), who is currently supporting five entrants in the Formula R class, spoke enthusiastically about the probability of seeing up to seven competitors in this class for 2014. This class offers an economical entry into competitive racing on the back of a Dallara platform with a VW engine, providing incredible reliability and cost-effective racing.
Production Sports saw Russell Bayley win all three races in his flying 7-litre yellow Chev Corvette with Lachlan Higgins (Porsche 996) taking second in all three. Sports Sedans best performer was Birol Cetin (Chev Camaro) with a first and second placing, before he succumbed to a DNF in the third race.
Improved Production was hotly contested with a large field of 34 cars, the pointy end a battle between Mark Ruta ( Mazda 808) with two race wins, and John McKenzie ( Commodore) with two second places and a third.
Production Touring was ruled by the triumvirate of Gerry Murphy (EVO 10) with three race wins, Matthew Holt (HSV GTS) with two race seconds, and Bob Pearson (EVO 10) with three race third placings.
Formula Cars’ clean sweep went to Garnet Patterson ( Dallara 301), followed by Graeme Holmes (Dallara F3) recording two seconds and a third placing. Tim Reynolds ( Sabre 02) had two race wins in Formula Vee, while Tim Brook (LE 100) took the other win and a second.
As the sun started to set, the final session saw the ever popular vintage HQ’s dashing and spinning, with Troy Hulbert (#82) executing a graceful 360 degree spin at turn 15. With wickedly twitching rear ends disappearing into the distance, Jeff Mulligan (#69) piloted the Baxter Coaches sponsored car to two first places and a third. Brett Osborn (#86) was his closest rival with a second, third and fourth results.
– words and pics by Rob Annesley