The 2018 Aussie Racing Cars champion Joel Heinrich took the round win over the weekend at The Bend Motorsport Park, but he didn’t have it all his own way, tough racing at the top of the field saw Justin Ruggier fire the first shot with pole on Friday afternoon, and a win in the last race on Sunday, Kel Treseder also took a win with Heinrich winning the other two races. Stand out for the weekend was Luke Fraser who had 3 third spots and a 6th which was enough for 3rd outright, Ruggier was second for the weekend.
ROUND 5 WINNERS:
1st Outright: Joel Heinrich
2nd Outright: Justin Ruggier
3rd Outright: Luke Fraser
Gold Cup: Jonathan Bloxsom
Masters Cup: Leigh Bowler
Rookie: Luke Fraser
The next round of the Championship is on the Gold Coast in October.
The Bend Motorsport Park
FOLLOWING QUALIFYING, it will be tight going into race one of round five of the Aussie Racing Car Championship Series with just seven hundredths of a second covering the top three.
In a Mustang bodied racer, series leader Justin Ruggier just managed to score pole with a 2 minutes 8.2216 second flyer to pip Camaro pilots Luke Fraser and Kyle Honour. Fraser hasn’t raced one of these cars for 18 months while Honour is in just his second race meeting in the category.
Reigning title holder Joel Heinrich who has not competed at all events this year, was fourth fastest ahead of series contenders Kel Treseder and Josh Anderson Racing in their Camaros as well as Blake Sciberras (Mustang).
Paul Morris had an electrical gremlin and no competitive times from the practice session, but brought his Altima up to eighth in qualifying ahead of Leigh Bowler, Matt Forbes-Wilson and Reece Chapman, all driving Camaros.
Twelfth was Kody Garland Racing (Altima) in his debutant year ahead of Adam Clark (Camaro), Charlotte Poynting Racing (Mustang), Bruce Heinrich(Aurion), Troy Dontas (Camaro), Jeff Watters (Altima) and Jonathan Bloxsom (Camaro).
On debut and subbing for Brad Woods, production car racer Ollie Shannon(Camaro) placed 19th ahead of Craig Thompson (Mustang), Kent Quinn (Aurion), Ian Chivas (Altima) and the returning Grant Thompson (Mustang) after breaking ribs in a dramatic rollover at the Darwin round.
There are two races tomorrow Saturday, 9.25am and 1.40pm.
Races 1 and 2
VICTORIES WERE shared in the first two races of round five of the Aussie Racing Cars Championship Series at the The Bend Motorsport Park with Joel Heinrich and Kel Treseder taking the honours.
Pole sitter Justin Ruggier (Mustang) led at the outset of race one with Heinrich (Cruze) in tow. Luke Fraser (Camaro) held third ahead of Kyle Honour (Camaro) who ran wide at turn five and sacrificed several places. From eighth, Paul Morris (Altima) made a great start and went up three places to fifth through the first sequence of corners.
Heinrich slipstreamed his way to the lead at the start of the second lap, and just before the safety car was out due to Ollie Shannon’s Camaro blowing its engine and the car catching fire. Fortunately, Shannon escaped unharmed.
After the resumption, Heinrich held sway at the front to win clear of Ruggier. After losing third to Treseder briefly, Fraser finished ahead while Josh Anderson (Camaro) relegated Morris to sixth. Then followed Leigh Bowler (Camaro), and Honour (Camaro) who had Kody Garland (Altima) just behind after he put a late passing move on Adam Clark (Camaro).
Race two produced a similar scenario in the beginning with Ruggier leading from Heinrich before the latter took the lead into turn one on the second lap. Treseder was in the battle as well, splitting the two on lap three, and taking the lead shortly after as Fraser jumped on the back of the four-car que.
Heinrich regained the lead midway through the race before Treseder angled past towards the end, holding on to win ahead of Heinrich, Fraser and Ruggier with the four covered by just eight tenths of a second.
Morris and Anderson diced for much of the race with Anderson eventually coming out on top with Bowler immediately behind. Then it was Chapman who just held off Blake Sciberras, a non-starter earlier with gearbox issues with his Mustang.
Tenth went to Clark ahead of Jonathan Bloxsom (Camaro), Craig Thompson (Mustang) and Troy Dontas (Camaro). Garland was non-finisher after contact with Chapman damaged his Camaro. Damage after an early spin also put the Charlotte Poynting Mustang out. Bruce Heinrich suffered his second DNF with a loss of power out of his Aurion.
The final two races for the weekend get underway at 8.25am and 3.35pm tomorrow.
PLAYING HIS once-a-season double points Joker was a bonus for Joel Heinrich as he also won the fifth round of the Aussie Racing Cars Championship Series at The Bend Motorsport Park. Second overall went to Justin Ruggier with Luke Fraser picking up third ahead of Josh Anderson who also played his Joker.
As usual race three of the round is the reverse top ten with Adam Clark (Camaro) and Blake Sciberras (Mustang) starting off the front row. Clark led the opening lap whereas Sciberras drifted wide at turn five and dropped to fifth behind Paul Morris (Altima), Leigh Bowler (Camaro) and Ruggier (Mustang), and ahead of Heinrich (Altima) and Fraser (Fraser).
On the next lap the latter went through to the lead with Fraser into second and Heinrich to third. Morris had a guard on a tyre and was losing pace while Sciberras was hit and spun out.
Heinrich soon moved to second and then took the lead as Ruggier waved him past. “He had more pace and knows this place better than me. So, I thought I might be able to learn by following him.”
In the end Ruggier had to hold off a challenging Fraser for second while fourth spot went to Anderson over Bowler. Further back it was Clark in front of Matt Forbes-Wilson (Camaro), Kyle Honour (Camaro), Reece Chapman (Camaro) and Charlotte Poynting (Mustang).
Title contender Kel Treseder was a non-starter, his Camaro broke the rear universal joint on the out-lap.
Ruggier certainly learnt from laps behind Heinrich. Through the early laps of the final race Ruggier led until Heinrich passed him. Fraser also slipped through for a period and from the back of the grid, Treseder also joined the trio.
Ruggier was not going to settle for second this time. There were a couple of lead swaps before Fraser also had a crack on the final lap, but that only resulted in a spin for him. That maneuver allowed Ruggier to jump clear and checked up Heinrich who was then challenged by Treseder. In the run to the flag out of the last corner he missed taking second off Heinrich by a mere 0.04s.
Bowler was next, winning the dice over Anderson. Fraser recovered for sixth ahead of Honour. Morris was next across the line before a 10s penalty for turning Chapman around on lap 1. Morris was thus relegated to 11th behind Kody Garland (Altima), Charlotte Poynting (Mustang) and Troy Dontas (Camaro). Sciberras’ shocking weekend continued as he retired with broken rear suspension.