Former HQ Holden and Saloon Car racer Daniel D’Aquino has been confirmed as the highest point-scorer in Round 1 of the MRF Tyres NSW Production Touring Car Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park, after winning Class B2 in each of the three point-scoring races aboard his newly-built Holden VE Commodore SS.
While D’Aquino was dissatisfied with the handling of his Commodore after Friday practice, he and his team improved the car over the weekend, taking advantage of the highly-variable conditions which included a mixture of wet and dry racing.
Saturday’s opening one-hour race, held in conjunction with the MRF Tyres Australian Production Car Series, was predominantly wet and it was Matt Holt who ended up as the highest-placed NSW PTC competitor in the outright results, finishing in an impressive second position. The conditions produced a mixture of results, with newcomer Reece McIntosh putting in a giant-killing performance aboard his VW Golf GTI to finish fifth outright.
Tom Muller, brothers Daniel and Jacques Oothuizen and Duane West also recorded outright top-10 results, while reigning Class D champion Edan Thornburrow held out a charging Zach Loscialpo in the battle of the Toyota 86s.
Saturday afternoon featured a sprint race for NSW competitors only, Holt taking the outright win ahead of Muller and Stephen Thompson.
The second of the sprint races, held on Sunday morning, did not count for series points but still produced an enthralling contest on a wet racetrack. A Safety Car was deployed after Barry Sternbeck crashed on the first lap, and restarted for a one-lap sprint to the line; McIntosh took an amazing outright victory after holding out a hard-charging Alex Bryden (Mercedes A45 AMG) along with Thompson’s Evo X.
The weekend’s racing concluded with another one-hour endurance race, and this time it was Thompson who ended up as the highest-placed of the NSW drivers in fifth outright, after Matt Holt suffered a late puncture.
Alex Holzl (BMW 1M) was third of the NSW runners, with D’Aquino securing the points lead with another Class B2 win and an outright top-10 finish.
The final class winners were:
Class X – Joe Krinelos
Class A1 – Stephen Thompson
Class A2 – Matthew Holt
Class B1 – Peter O’Donnell
Class B2 – Daniel D’Aquino
Class C – John Fitzgerald
Class D – Zach Loscialpo