The Aussie Racing Car series wrapped up another exciting year last weekend at the Sydney 500, 33 entries took to the concrete jungle of the Homebush Street circuit. 2015 has been a long year for the pocket rocket class, the teams, families and management have “criss crossed” the country as well as travelling to New Zealand.
A new champion has been crowned, Brendon Pingel from Gatton Queensland took out the competition, this first time a Queenslander has ever done so. And with a record 33 point lead over Victorian Chris Stevenson, “our lead is the biggest ever seen in the 18 year history of the Aussies, that’s pretty cool, it’s been a tough year and a tougher final round” said Brendon after the last race.
Sydney put on a great party for the Sydney 500, the circuit is one of the toughest the series went to this year, the tight and twisty circuit is encased in concrete, there is no margin for error, yet the class still ran 4-5 wide into many of the corners and crazy chicanes. Pingel had to finish each race to ensure he kept his hold on the cup, however Stevenson had to win each race to catch him and this proved too hard this time round. Consistency paid off for Pingel in the end.
The final round saw a number of new drivers join the series, we welcomed new comers Kel Treseder and Ian Chivas to the fold, a baptism by fire coming in on the last round on a street circuit, both handled the event well, we also welcomed back Peter Carr who we last saw at Sydney Motorsport Park in August. Straight off the bat Carr proved to be quick, also welcomed back and for his first round this year was Simon Smith, he too was fast and surprised a few drivers as to how fast he really was in an older car.
You couldn’t fault the weather, after the past few years where Sydney has laid on the rains this weekend was clear blue skies all weekend, albeit somewhat pretty hot. It took a while for the track to scrub clean and for some rubber to get laid by the other classes, so practice and qualifying were very full on for the guys and one girl.
Qualifying Results saw Carr (Toyota Aurion) top the charts from Trent Young (Toyota Aurion) and Adam Uebergang (Euro GT).
Race One Results a tough first race first early Saturday morning had Young win from Craig Woods (Mustang) and Carr taking third, behind him Blake Sciberras (Toyota Aurion) and Uebergang rounded out the top 5.
Race Two Results the second race was only a few hours after the first, this time Woods took the top spot from Young and Carr, the final 2 spots in the top five were a reverse of race one, of Uebergang and Sciberras.
Race Three Results saw the field fully reversed in our traditional reverse grid handicap race, new comer Adam Casuccio in his new Toyota Aurion won the race from Mark Griffith (Euro GT) with championship hopeful Chris Stevenson (Nissan Altima) in third, Woods and Sciberras rounded out the top 5.
Race Four Results had Woods again winning from Carr, Simon Smith (Falcon) took a creditable third from James Duckworth (Euro GT) and Uebergang.
One of the standouts for the weekend was Jeff Watters carving his way through the field, jumping chicanes and super wide elbows, his 11th place in the last race was a person best for him, we also acknowledge his support of the charity the class now supports being the Cure for MND Foundation, it was Jeff’s goal to help this amazing cause, and at Bathurst he changed the livery on his car to that of the Foundation and encouraged all the teams and drivers to help out. Cure for MND will continue to be our charity of choice for 2016.
Class of 2015 Champions
We salute and congratulate the winners for the 2015 Aussie Racing Cars Series:
Outright Winner and 2015 Series Champion: Brendon Pingel (438pts)
Outright Second Place: Adam Uebergang (405pts)
Outright Third Place: Craig Woods (399pts)
1st Allen Smith (436pts)
2nd Jeff Watters (433pts)
3rd Michael Rinkin (421pts)
Brendan Tucker (431pts)
Kent Quinn (419pts)
Craig Thompson (421pts)
Grant Thompson (414pts)
Ben Walsh (392pts)
Blake Scibberas (298pts)
2016 and Beyond
Now that the series has come to a close we really enter our own silly season, cars are being sold with new or upgrades for many teams, slowly they’ll release their details of drivers and cars for 2016. And with next year in mind our calendar is in the final stages of being locked in, whist we can’t release it just yet, we can tell you it’s looking very exciting, with some events we missed this year on the calendar, and secretly there’s another trip across the ditch lined up, with even more exciting news around that too.
So in winding up the year, on behalf of the Aussie Racing Cars we’d like to thank all our drivers, teams, team families, our officials and management and of course all of our fans in Australia, New Zealand and worldwide, your support of our class is second to none, we hope you enjoyed the year as much as we did and we look forward to entertaining you again soon in 2016.