RACE REPORT – 2018 Round 7, Sydney Motorsport Park

NSW Motor Race Championship – Round 7
SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK, 17th and 18th of November

 

The last round of the NSW Production Touring car championship was held at an overcast Sydney Motorsport Park, the format for the meet was two qualifying sessions (Driver A & B), two sprint races on Saturday afternoon (Driver A & B) and a one-hour enduro with compulsory pit stop Sunday afternoon.

Qualifying for driver A saw Tony Virag claim pole from Clay Skinner, Mark Caine and Matthew Holt. Qualifying for driver B was Deiter Holzl from Christian Fitzgerald, Cary Morsink and Stephen Thompson.

A field of 31 cars came out for the first of the two sprint races (Driver A sprint) and Skinner made a great start from Virag, Paul Loiacono and Holt. Unfortunately not long after the start a safety car came out due to a stalled car still sitting on the grid. Two laps passed with the field neutralized behind the course car as they removed the stationary vehicle; once they resumed racing Virag wasted no time getting past Skinner.

The two leaders pushed on, building a gap from a five-way dice for third place that included Loiacono, Holt, Darren Herbert, Mark Caine and Trevor Symonds. Towards the rear of the field Charlie Viola hit the back of the Toyota 86 driven by David Hassal, the Toyota driver subsequently spun is car and fortunately he was not collected by any other car. Viola received a 33 second penalty for his indiscretion. Harrison Grey started touring slowly with gearbox problem, he finished the race albeit in last position with a long night ahead for the crew installing a new gearbox.

Daniel Smith and Josh Muggleton put on a great race with the two drivers swapping positions numerous times with Muggleton pipping Smith for the first time this year coming out of the final corner. In the end though, Virag was too strong coming home in 1st position from the hard charging Skinner, Holt beat the rest to finish 3rd.

The driver B field was smaller but the racing was as exciting, Holzl made a good start and was closely followed by Thompson and Matt O Brien. Holtz speed advantage was evident and it did not take long for the leader to build a comfortable gap from the rest of the field. By mid-race the field was rather spread apart and, in the end, Holzl won comfortably from Thompson and Fitzgerald.

The final race of the year had arrived and Caine made the better start closely followed by Loiacono and Skinner, the latter arrived at turn 2 too hot and had a massive front brake lock up nearly drilling Caine at the back. As the race settled Caine and Holt raced for the lead and built a small gap to a four-way dice for third that included; Skinner, Loiacono, Herbert and Hodges.

The Integra of Shylan spun at the fast turn 1 and his car subsequently came to a holt on the infield between turn 1 and 2. The integra remained stationary for a while and surprisingly the safety car did not come out, he eventually fired the engine again and got going. The newly wrapped Commodore of Dean Potts started touring slowly and eventually retired, not long after this the safety car came out and this caused the strategy to change for some team. Once the field was released Caine, Holt and Skinner proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field to make a 3-way battle for the lead.

Paul Pearson was the cause of the second safety car to come out, his Yellow and Black Commodore hit the outside wall coming out of turn 5 and that is where it sat until the pickup truck removed the stricken car. The field was released again with only a few minutes left to race so it was a sprint race to the finish. Caine, Holt and Virag battled for podium position with Caine coming home 1st, Virag 2nd and Holt 3rd. Unfortunately, time penalties where applied to 5 drivers including Virag, this moved Holt to 2nd and Skinner took the last podium.

Congratulation to Daniel Smith on becoming the 2018 NSW Production Touring champion

 

 

 

Enduro results

1     2  Mark Caine (NSW)         Angry Cactus Racing            2015 HSV R8         

2    65  Matthew Holt (NSW)       Cavanagh Electrics             2013 HSV Clubsport R8

3    32  Clay Skinner (NSW)       Andersons Scaffolding          2008 Mitsubishi Evo X

4    11  P.Loiacono/D.Holzl       Fibre 15                       2008 Mitsubishi/Evolution X

5    53  T.Symonds/R.Coulthard    Project Dry Hire / Coast Wide  2004 Holden VY Commodore

6    16  S.Hodges/A.Reid          Hi Tec oils                    2003 CSV Mondo GT   

7   840  Darren Herbert (NSW)     Herbert Racing                 1998 Lancer Evo 5 RS

8     8  Geoff Kite (NSW)         GandK Refrigeration            2013 Holden VF SSV Redline

9    40  J.Herington/M.O’Brien    Commodore Shop Cardiff         2011 Holden Commodore

10   81  J.Muggleton/J.Muggleton  JJM Motorsports/Volksmuller/SpliceElec 2007 Volkswagen Golf GTI

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