Lakeside Park Raceway, QLD Production Touring Enduro, Round 1, 2 April 2017


The inaugural round of the Bilstein Suspension Queensland Production Touring Car Championship finished how it started, with Karl Begg claiming victory in the third and final race of the weekend.

Sunday’s one-hour enduro was, not only the feature race of the weekend, but also the opening event on the program at Round 1 of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship meeting at Lakeside.

After taking pole by a comfortable margin, and holding off Beric Lynton in the two Saturday afternoon sprint races, Begg started from pole for the one-hour feature.

It was predicted that the battle for outright honours would be between Begg and Lynton, and the form guide wasn’t wrong, as the two set out on an epic duel in the first-half of proceedings.
With a compulsory pit-window in the second-third of the race, Begg was first to dive into the lane, as Lynton assumed the lead of the race.

Begg’s pit-stop was faultless, and he resumed without trouble, for a clear run to the chequered flag.

As luck would have it, Begg would go unchallenged to the chequered flag, when Beric Lyton was forced to retire just after he completed his compulsory pit-stop.
Fire marshals pulled Lynton up as he approached pit-exit, to address the small amount of smoke coming from under the bonnet.
Officials wouldn’t allow Lynton to resume, and he was forced into retirement.

From there, Begg continued to gradually extend his margin over Brian Anderson, who was elevated to second position as a result of Lynton’s demise.

For Anderson, the race was smooth and uneventful – he ran his own race, with the only action coming when he had to navigate lapped traffic, which he did without any trouble.

For much of the race, Anderson kept the margin between himself and Begg very respectable, but in the last five minutes, Begg increased the margin from 20 to 38 seconds, as he cruised to a comfortable win – taking the chequered flag and creating history, as the first winner of a Production Touring Car round on Queensland soil. He was also the winner of Class A2.

Third outright, and second in class A2 was the series president, Gerry Murphy.

Murphy battled with his BMW all weekend, and while there’s still some fine-tuning, tweaking and testing to be done, he was rather pleased with the progress across the weekend, and the fact that he could bring it home for an outright podium finish.

Fourth place went to Justin Anthony and Bruce McKenzie – they were winners in Class C.

Fifth place to the winners of Class D, Michael James and Troy Rolley in a car that is very popular in the NSW Championship, a Toyota 86.

In sixth position was Bruce Forsyth in his Class D BMW, while the Mazda 2 of Tony Bonanno came home at the tail of the field – claiming Class E in the process.

Just the one retirement – that was Beric Lynton, on a day where Karl Begg staked his claim for QLDPTC supremacy, and BMW went 1-2-3-4, but both Begg and BMW will have a massive fight on their hands in two months time, when the NSW series contenders invade Queensland, to do battle in Round 2 of the QLDPTC, Round 3 of the NSWPTC – the race that signals the start of the MoComm Cup for 2017.


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