RACE REPORT – 2018 Round 4, Sydney Motorsport Park

2018 CAMS NSW Production Touring Car Championship

Sydney Motorsport Park, 30th of June & 1st of July

A cool but sunny weekend of racing was installed for the Production Touring drivers competing in the NSW championship round at Sydney Motorsport Park. Twenty eight cars came out to qualify in a variety of cars that make up the Production Touring classes. The V8 Powered machines where represented by Tony Virag ( HSV GTS),Mark Caine ( HSV R8), Matthew Holt (Clubsport R8) and the other front runners would be the Mitsubishi Evo brigade of;, Clay Skinner, Jimmy Vernon, Stephen Thompson.

The during qualifying  the Honda Integra of David Baker went wide at turn 1 and eventually became stuck in the gravel trap, this caused the Red flag to come out. At session end Skinner claimed pole with a time of 1:42, 3341 and beside him on the front row was Vernon. The second row was high capacity territory with Holt and Virag while the third row was occupied by Caine and Adrian Wilson (BMW). The race program for the meet would be race 1 on Saturday afternoon and races 2 & 3 during Sunday.

Vernon made a great start in the first race however the same could not be said about the pole sitter Skinner; with his car coasting to a halt at the end of the main straight only covering a few hundred meters. A front Vernon capitalized on the pole sitter misfortune to lead and quickly build a small gap to the chasing trio of Virag, Holt and Caine. As the race evolved Vernon seemed in command while Virag and Holt put on a great display of clean close racing.

Dices where appearing throughout the field, in particular the one between Scott Sullivan and Finley Hills. These two drivers tussled for the duration of the race with Hills late braking his nimble Mazda 3 to overtake the bigger Commodore of Sullivan only to be re overtaken on the main straight. Gavin Holland and Harrison Gray gave each other no quarter has did Thompson and Darren Herbert fighting for 4th position.

Vernon looked comfortable in the lead when his car ran into trouble forcing him to retire, all of a sudden Virag was keeping Holt and Caine behind and for a race win. The final result was Virag 1st, Holt 2nd, Caine 3rd, Thompson edged out Herbert to claim 4th.

The start of the second race would be a V8 benefit, Virag made the early running closely followed by Holt and Caine. Vernon who had started at the back of the grid due to the previous DNF found himself in 9th position after the first lap. The dice up front was intense between the trio of Holden drivers, the quality of racing was second to none. In mid pack Adam Gosling, Adrian Wilson and Simon Hodges where having their own private battle and towards the back Stuart Vaughan and Andrew McMaster maintained the intensity.

Caine pulled a great move on Holt to take second position as Vernon continued his march forward. Virag and Caine where now able to slightly pull away from Holt and these two drivers race till the end with Virag winning by a mere 0.3 of second from Caine. Holt finished a strong 3rd, Thompson was 4th and the recovering Vernon came home 5th.

Virag was looking to win the trophy race however a bad start would ruin his plans, he would lose half a dozen position by the time the cars arrived at turn 2 for the first time. Caine and Holt capitalized on Virag’s mishap and made the early running with Vernon just shadowing them. In a moment of the race Ollie Shannon went wide at turn 1 and nearly became stuck in the gravel trap, eventually rejoining the race in last position. Racing was frantic with the marshals radios lighting up with contact messages all over the track, Stuart Clarke and Finley Hills amongst some of the drivers mentioned. Up front Vernon made a move on Holt to claim 2nd position on the track and began his chase on Caine, unfortunately the latter retired on lap six giving the lead to Vernon. In the end Vernon won from another recovering driver Skinner and in 3rd position arrived Holt. Virag made up for his bad start to finish 4th while the consistent Herbert came home 5th



Race 1

1    41  Royalty Wraps And Graphics     Tony Virag (NSW)         HSV GTS             

2    65  Cavanagh Electrics             Matthew Holt (NSW)       HSV Clubsport R8    

3     2  Angry Cactus Racing            Mark Caine (NSW)         HSV R8 

Race 2

1    41  Royalty Wraps And Graphics     Tony Virag (NSW)         HSV GTS             

2     2  Angry Cactus Racing            Mark Caine (NSW)         HSV R8              

3    65  Cavanagh Electrics             Matthew Holt (NSW)       HSV Clubsport R8    

Race 3

1    50  Shockwave Signs Motorsport     Jimmy Vernon (NSW)       Mitsubishi          

2    32  Andersons Scaffolding          Clay Skinner (NSW)       Mitsubishi Evo X rs 

3    65  Cavanagh Electrics             Matthew Holt (NSW)       HSV Clubsport R8  

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