RACE REPORT – 2018 Round 5, Wakefield Park

NSW Motor Race Championship – Round 5
WAKEFIELD PARK RACEWAY, 21st and 22nd of July

                                         2018 NSW Production Touring Championship



Winter woolies were in order for the 5th round of the NSW Motor race championship with subzero temperature early in the morning and a freezing wind that would not abate, due to this the drivers would find it difficult to maintain heat in the tyres. This was an Enduro weekend and the format was two qualifying session (due to the large grid the first one was split), two sprint races on Saturday, a top 10 shoot out and 1hr long race on Sunday.

The 35 driver field was divided into two sessions with Brett Howard in the #65 HSV Clubsport the fastest of the combined session, while in driver A his co-driver Matthew Holt was fastest, claiming pole with a great time of 1:05.6191. Mark Caine and Trevor Symonds qualified 2nd and 3rd. Simon Hodges had a spin at the fish Hook , Harrison Grey and Ollie Shannon both went wide at turn 2, it was evident that the drivers where pushing hard.

A field of 31 cars came out for the first of the two sprint races (Driver A sprint) and Holt made a great start, beating Caine and Symonds to the end of the straight. At the end of the first lap this V8 trio was keeping Simon Hodges and Dieter Holzl at bay. The leader Holt, found his rhythm and started building a small gap to Caine who subsequently was doing the same to Symonds.

 Joshua Muggleton, Jamie Hodgson and Paul Pearson put on a fantastic race midpack with the three drivers swapping positions in a spirited battle. At the front Holt took control of the race finishing home 1st, Caine was able to withhold the increasing pressure from Symonds to finish 2nd while the latter arrived home 3rd.

20 drivers started the driver B sprint race with pole sitter Howard lighting up his rear tyres and going nowhere at race start. The two Evo’s of Thompson and Brandon Wan Lum took command of the race, however it was short lived. Robert Coulthart went wide at turn 2 and became stuck in the gravel trap causing the race to be red flagged and restarted.

Howard did not make the same mistake in the restart and beat Thompson to the second corner with Wan Lum in close pursuit. Howard and Thompson built a small gap to the 3rd positioned car and during the second lap Thompson put on a great move to take over the lead. As the two leaders went up the hill Thompson made a mistake at turn 3 and travelled on the infield all the way to turn 4 without losing the grip of the race. The race settled down and the final order was Thompson 1st, Howard 2nd and Wan Lum 3rd.

The top 10 shootout was held on Sunday prior to the race and Symonds was fast enough to claim pole from Holt, the second row was occupied by Caine and Steve Hodge. As the lights went out for the start of the enduro Holt made a brilliant start and was followed by Caine and Lane. It did not take many laps for Holt to take control of the race and build up a comfortable lead from Caine, the Hodges & Reid CVS made their way into 3rd position on the track. Tony Virag was pressing hard midfield and overtaking cars as the laps progressed finding himself at the pointy end just prior to pitstop, he was the first leading car to blink. Caine followed suit and Holt was not long after that giving the temporary lead to Steve Hodges.

 The last of the leader to stop was Lane and once the race cleansed itself the order was Holt/Howard in 1st position, Hodges/Reid in 2nd, M Kavich/B Wan Lum 3rd and Virag/Sternbeck 4th. Daniel Smith in his Yellow Integra was pushing hard, he toured at high speed the outfield at turn 2 and rejoined the race about 100m up the hill, he was not alone; Harrison Grey went off at the same corner 3 times during the race.

At the 40 minute mark of the race the Raddatz/Head Alfa Giulietta stopped at turn ten causing the safety car to come out and bunched up the field. At restart the Holt/Howard Holden continued his great form and proceeded to control the race from Hodges/Read and Kavich/Wan Lum. Adam Gosling had a spin at the end of the straight but eventually got going again. The positions remained the same except for a late surge from Virag/ Sternbeck.

As the checkered flag fell Holt/ Howard was first across the line from Hodges/Reid and Virag/ Sternbeck, however a string of penalties was handed to the leaders that would shuffle the finishing order. The race winner Howard and 3rd placed Virag where given a 30 second penalty each for overtaking under yellow flags.  The final result was Hodges & Reid 1st, Kavich & Wan Lum 2nd and Symonds& Lane 3rd.


Enduro results

1    16  S.Hodges/A.Reid           HiTec Oils                     Holden CSV Mondo GT 

2    24  M.Kavich/B.Lum             Race For A Cure                Mitsubishi EVO X RS 

3    53  T.Symonds/P.Lane         Project Dry Hire/ Coast Wide C Holden VY Commodore 

4    65  M.Holt/B.Howard             Cavanagh Electrics             HSV Clubsport       

5     8  Geoff Kite                         G & K Refrigeration            Holden SS Redline   

6    41  T.Virag/B.Sternbeck       Track Day Club                 HSV VF GTS          

7    43  Adam Gosling                 Memada Motorsport              BMW E46 M3          

8     2  Mark Caine                       Angry Cactus                   HSV R8               

9    74  Deiter Holzl                     Fibre 15                       Mitsubishi EVO VII  

10   31  S.Hodges/A.Grech         Secure Wealth                  BMW M135i

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