MANY OF the Aussie Racing Car teams were quite pleased to be heading north last week, temps in Sydney and Melbourne saw their days starting around 1C, whereas winter in North Queensland saw the drivers and crews basking in 18-27C the entire time.
Twenty-six cars had made the trek north, 25 were on track, the 1 missing was Shane Dale’s FG Holden which just happened to be Mark Duckworth’s first ever Aussie Racing Car, Mark is the father of our current champion James, Dales car was on display in the ARC Pits all weekend. (see our Facbook Gallery for photos of this old car).
Also missing in action was Ruth Bowler, she has been a little unwell lately and we (and her fans) missed her last weekend in Townsville, the rumour mill was saying she was at Red Bull Ring to test drive an F1 car, of course she has denied this!!
The class hasn’t been to Reid Park since 2012, and only two drivers in Peter Carr and Craig Woods have raced at the circuit, Carr was asked how different the circuit was since the last time, “not really at all, I hopped back in the car, did a couple of laps and it all came back, it’s fast, wide and I like it” was his comments on Sunday morning.
However fastest out of the box and first to settle in to the new circuit was Kel Treseder. Friday morning the pocket rockets were first onto the track, and being a street circuit its traditionally dusty and slippery – not rubbered up they call it. This didn’t seem to have any effect on Treseder whom went out and set the fastest time in practice, and carried this pace into qualifying to take pole. Treseder was keen to get back to the pointy end after a tough couple of rounds.
It all looked very promising for the Queensland driver, at the start of race one he and Jaie Robson gapped the field to turn two, with Carr in tow, and settled in for a battle, however on lap three Treseder was forced to pit with a broken gearbox, the crew checked it out and elected to send him back out, he circulated and finished 18th last car, but not DNF, 7 drivers had DNF’s (did not finish) results in the first race.
Ian Chivas spun at turn 10 and couldn’t restart, a result of his spin saw Townsville local Maddy Dunston go left to avoid hitting Chivas and collect the outside wall, she came back out minus the boot and bonnet but was unable to finish.
Three Western Sydney Motorsport cars all came together at turn six, Charlotte Poynting, Craig Thompson and Grant Thompson were unable to continue after all spinning with the later collecting the tyre wall. Adam Uebergang and Ben Wilcox also failed to finish.
At the front of the pack Carr and Robson swapped positions a couple of times for the lead, with Robson sneaking past on the final lap to take the win from Carr, James Duckworth was third.
Race two just under two hours later was a start to finish emphatic win by Robson leading all 10 laps, no safety cars interrupted this race, fighting it out behind Robson was Carr and Craig Woods, both spending laps in second place throughout the race. Grant Thompson was unable to start this race due to the damage to his Mustang, it was repaired for the final two events. With this race running full duration there were some tired (and hot) drivers in Parc Ferme after the event.
Carr also set a new lap record for the Reid Park circuit of 1:24.9587 dropping it from Trent Youngs record in 2012 of 1:25.0263,
The third race as always is a top 15 reverse grid affair, and starting off pole was Jeff Watters and the leading lady (as in points for the ladies trophy) Charlotte Poynting, both got clean starts and Watters lead the race through turn two, however his lead came to an end when our new young driver Joshua Anderson out braked himself and tapped Watters at turn 12 sending him spinning.
The quicker cars of Carr, Treseder and Uebergang made their way through the melee of Aussie Cars to finish in that order, on lap six of the nine eventual laps Robson snapped a tailshaft which resulted in him not finishing.
The final race for the weekend was in the middle of the day on Sunday, and again the three fastest cars for the weekend were on top. Carr took the lead when the lights went out and that’s where he stayed for the race duration.
Likewise Woods did the same in second spot, Duckworth was comfortable in third spot although he had Robson knocking on his door from fourth, and on the second to last lap Robson edged past for the third step of the podium. With Duckworth in fourth, fifth for the final race went to Reece Chapman.
The Championship now heads to Sydney Motorsport Park on the 18-20th August for Round Five. As always thanks to our sponsors, Game Over, Darrell Lea, Kumho Tyres Australia, RDA Brakes.
The Townsville Gallery can be found here on Facebook.
Current Standings after Round Four
1st Craig Woods 197pts
2nd James Duckworth 194pts
3rd Blake Sciberras 192pts
Craig Thompson 19pts
Leigh Bowler 18pts
Ben Walsh 13pts
Brendon Tucker 40pts
Jeff Watters 22pts
Sam Chester 13pts
Jair Robson 36pts
Luke Fraser 10pts
Cobi Rontaunay 8pts
Charlotte Poynting 30pts
Emma Clark 26pts
Madison Dunston 19pts
Western Sydney Motorsport Team 1 40pts
Sean Rose Motorsport 24pts
Rinkin Motorsport 14pts
Peter Carr: All I can say is, is that it is rare to go away from a weekend racing with what feels like a perfect weekend. For that I really have to thank Western Sydney Motorsport. What Craig has put together is truly a superb team on all accounts. I can not speak more highly of the outfit. The car was faultless all weekend from the moment it was rolled out in practice to the last lap dash in race 4.
Jaie Robson: Race 1 I started 4th, found myself in the lead by turn 1, then the safety car was deployed. At the restart, I dropped from 1st to 3rd then to have the safety car deployed again. Second restart I was 3rd and made it to 1st by the first corner and then took the flag for the win. Race 2 started from 1st and led the whole race without any safety cars. Race 3 the top 15 reverse grid race, I had to start 15th and by the 4th lap I found myself in 4th position, just set the fastest first sector to then only have a tail shaft fail which ended my race. Race 4 I started 9th and was given 2 success restrictors, losing a bit of power I ended up finishing the race 3rd. Overall with 2 wins, a DNF and a 3rd, I finished the round 5th and Rookie of the round. I’d like to thank 6star Custom Paint, Liquid Clothing co, Plumb By Design for their support, Paul Reitdyk and Mitch Biner from Western Sydney Motorsport for giving me a competitive car as always and of course my Dad for everything he does for me.
Jeff Watters: “Townsville was a challenging weekend for me in the #96 Cure for MND Foundation Nissan. A strong result in race 1 was thwarted after Ueby [Adam Uebergang] was spun on the last lap. Race 3 went from awesome to awful when I was spun out of the lead nearly the end of the first lap & ended up dead last on the track – with a similar result in race 4. Thanks to WSM for their awesome car preparation”.
Kel Treseder: “Our weekend got off to a flyer, fastest in practice we also took pole in qualifying on Friday afternoon, I got off to a flyer in Race One but the gearbox broke sending me to the rear of the field, we replaced the engine and I spent the balance of the weekend making my way forward, second in Race three was my best position for the weekend. We’ll strip the car down and make sure we are fighting fit for the next round at SMP. I also just want to say thanks to all that came and said Hi in our pits over the weekend”.
Dale Dunston: “What an amazing experience to finally join you all on the track! Thank you to all the people that supported us on the weekend to make this possible. Especially Pitsop Karting, McDonalds in Townsville and Peters ice cream.
Ruth Bowler (who was MIA): “What a hotly contested Ladies Cup we have this year with all three challengers vying to take my 2016 Championship title! Congratulations to Emma Clark on her maiden round win and to the crews for Maddy and Charlotte for fielding their cars for each race despite adversity. Well done! Exciting to see the determination of our lady racers to succeed. Looking forward to returning to the battle myself!”