The second round of the Aussie Racing Cars National Championship at Phillip Island produced once again the crowd pleasing racing expected from the country’s biggest racing series. The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit suites the 1200cc Yamaha Powered aptly named Pocket Rockets, the wide open high speed track sees top class pack racing not seen in any other series. And once again four and five cars wide!
Round two saw a couple of the new comers take it to the more experienced drivers this weekend, dominating for most of the weekend with two wins from four was Queensland’s Ben Walsh (Dr Ink Tattoo Removal Chev Camaro) matching Walsh’s speed was his team mate Kel Treseder (Fluid Management Australia). Current Champion Brendan Pingel (Spirit Of Lockyer Holden Cruze) wasn’t standing around watching them, he was determined to be up on the podium to continue his fight to defend the title, “From my perspective, there are many positives that have come out from the race weekend” said Pingel on his media page.
Over the weekend there were at least another 10 cars ready to step up to the top spot should there had been the opportunity.
This event saw 4 woman compete in the series, a first for Aussie Racing Cars and a first for any national class of racing for quite some time! Long time ARC racer and fan favourite Ruth Bowler (Ruthie Racer Racing Ford Coupe) was joined again by Emma Clark (Rail System Engineers Toyota Aurion) fresh from her first Clipsal 500, along for the ride were two new youngsters, Charlotte Poynting hails from New South Wales and was racing the Poynting Race Team Camaro, and finally Madison Dunston from Townsville had her first taste of tin top racing in her Bounce Coffee Toyota Aurion.
Traditionally this event is at the end of the year and with the April date it was expected to be cold, wet and hot, that’s what Phillip Island offers and that’s what prevailed for the weekend. Practice and Qualifying and race one all took place on Friday morning, it was a new situation for the class and the quick turnarounds had a few teams scratching their heads!
Friday was a beautiful day weather wise, quite hot even, however the day started with a thick fog covering the circuit, this eventually cleared and Trent Young (Direct Clutch Services Nissan Altima) was fastest in practice, qualifying just 50 minutes later saw Walsh take pole from Treseder and Pingel, Brendon Tucker (Variety Group Camaro) started his weekend off well with 4th spot on the grid with Adam Uebergang (Uebergang Racing Euro GT) in the fifth spot. Race one was an all Walsh affair, he pulled away from the field and stayed that way for the entire event with a 2.5sec lead over Treseder in second from Pingel. “I put my head down and drove a very fast paced race without errors. My 5 fastest laps all within a tenth of each other” said Walsh on Facebook after the race.
Saturday started wet and grey and the temps well down on the previous day, a greasy track greeted the class for race two in the morning which saw Wash win again from Treseder and Pingel. The second race on Saturday was the full reverse grid, staggered start event, again this format made for some of the best racing seen at the island, the race was cut short with a safety car, in the end the youngest driver in the field won, Zac Best (Best Leisure Industries Euro GT) took line honours from David Sultana (David Sultana Motorsport Toyota Aurion) and in his second podium in two events Grant Thompson (Western Sydney Motorsport Mustang).
Sunday was a brilliant day weather wise, the fourth Aussie Car Race was scheduled for late afternoon (4.05pm) which suited some teams as there were a number of engine changes and other cosmetic changes needed to some cars from Saturdays races. Another hard fought race saw Young prevail over Treseder with James Duckworth (RDA Brakes/Rinkin Racing Nissan Altima) taking third. The weekend leaders of Walsh and Pingel clashed at turn one on the first lap affecting both of their weekends results, the end of the race saw Chris Stevenson (Hertz Nissan Altima) have a massive roll-over at the Hay Shed turn after being bumped by Zac Best, Stevenson was hospitalised overnight but released the next day.
After all was said and done Kel Treseder was awarded outright position for the round “You little ripper! First Aussie Racing Cars round win, thanks so much to everyone for the support. I’m absolutely stoked” said Treseder on Facebook, second was Ben Walsh (Provisional) with James Duckworth in third.
Treseder also took out the Rookie Trophy. The Gold Cup went to Glenn McNamara (The Torque Team Camaro), and with team mate Grant Ludbey (The Torque Team Euro GT) the Teams Championship. The Masters cup went to Ben Walsh.
The class has a six week break until round three which is at Darwin’s Hidden Valley raceway, one of the highlight meetings this year. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more photos.
To read the more in depth race reports visit this page on our website (http://www.aussieracingcars.com.au/race-reports/1751) and the point scores can be found here: http://www.aussieracingcars.com.au/racing/point-scores/2016-results (At the time of posting the point scores are still be worked on due to a number of transponder issues).