This year’s trip to Bathurst was a vast improvement on last years for the Advantage Motorsport team of Chris Stevenson and Jeff Watters.
Heading into the round in 4th place-Stevenson has left the mountain in 2nd place, with a 4 point lead on Adam Uebergang in 3rd. Watters also consolidated 3rd in the Gold Cup class-with a season best finish of 16th in Race 4.
The weekend was marred by several huge crashes-Chaz Mostert’s crash in Qualifying for the V8s resulted in Race 2 being cancelled, then Damian Flacks massive rollover caused the Aussie Race 3 to be red flagged and declared a non race.
The weekend started well for Stevenson-with him topping the time sheets for much of practice and finishing in 5th. Watters struggled without the aid of cars around him to provide a tow-but was improving and finished 27th.
A setup change to Stevenson’s car did not serve up the benefit he was hoping for in Qualifying and with a poorly handling car in this session-he dropped to 15th. Watters was on the improve-but a competitor blowing an engine in front of him on his hotlap had him finish in 28th.
Race one was the only one to go the full distance. Stevenson steadily made his way forward and was as high as 8th-before a battle with several others dropped him to 13th. Watters had made up 8 places until a spin on the final lap dropped him 4 places to 25th.
With Race 2 cancelled and Race 3 declared after 2 laps-everything was riding on the double points Race 4. The starting grid went back to the positions at the start of
Race 2-so Stevenson off 13th and Watters 25th. Both had made up several places off the start-but a crash between Sam Milton and Craig Woods on the first lap brought out the safety car. After 2 laps behind the safety car-it was a one lap dash to the finish. Stevenson was up to 6th and had a great battle with Trent Young as they came down the mountain had the team holding their breath. He couldn’t quite make the pass stick and they crossed the line .2 of a second apart. Watters also improved his position-crossing the line in 17th place.
With a 4 point lead on Uebergang in 3rd and 16 back to Woods in 4th, Stevenson needs to maintain his consistent finishes and he will cement 2nd place for the season. Watters is 16th in the Series and his holding down 3rd in the Gold Cup Class for Over 50, only 2 points adrift of John Reynolds.
The next round is almost a home round-at Phillip Island in November-with the final round at Sydney Olympic Park in December.
Both drivers are aiming for a clean final 2 rounds and both will post their best results in Aussie Racing Cars.