REYNOLDS SMASHES THE LAP RECORD! CANNON LEADS 1200’S.
In what was to be effectively a weekend of 54 laps of endurance racing, Round 2 of the CAMS NSW Formula Vee State Championship at Wakefield Park started in cold and windy conditions, with 24 Formula Vees hitting the slippery tarmac on the Saturday morning qualifying session. The conditions had already claimed one of the leading drivers, with Tim Brook having returned to Sydney even before the green light shone after his Elfin?s engine failed during Friday qualifying. But Tim?s absence didn’t mean that the competition would be any less intense, with 2011 shaping up with one of the most competitive number of Formula Vees in years at any one time.
QUALIFYING By the end of the 20 minutes qualifying sesion, Daniel Reynolds had smashed the outright lap record in his Sabre with a 1.07.55, leaving Daniel?s greatest nemesis, Mick Kinsella, over half a second behind in his Dynamic Home Loans Jacer. Dylan Thomas continued to demonstrate his lead CXC Stinger form by shadowing Kinsella by less than 0.2 seconds, with Tim Hamilton in the Rennsport Jacer, and the veteran Stephen Butcher in the second Team CXC Stinger in a fabulous veteran’s performance, rounding out the 1.08 bracket.
Tim Hamilton takes third place overall for the weekend Richard Nairn in his Jacer Lead Mako driver, Simon Pace, continued to forge his way to the front of the grid with a 1.09.1 time, only less than 0.3 seconds ahead of the fast improving Gary Ogden in his Lincoln Electric Corsica,followed by Mat Pearce (Pearce Plumbing Jacer), Darren Williams (DMW Masonry Jacer), and Dean Cavanagh in the Chilla Truck Bodies Jacer rounding out the top ten.
Ben Oldfield (Jacer) finally showed some of his expected promise to latch on to the fast guys, while Clem Fama (CGF Joinery Jacer) started to show some of his past promise, reliably taking out twelfth. Clem was followed by Leigh Hemmings (Polar), the solid and experienced Leigh Porter (Jacer), then Morgan Freemantle in the venerable ASTEC, then Brendan Woods (Jacer) quietly sizing up the field in 16th position, with Rookie Lachlan Higgins safely completing qualifying and commencing preparation for his first full race in the ex State Championship winning Sabre.
Bernie gets the Kingfisher back on track Dylan Thomas now races always at or near the front Lachlan was followed by a spluttering Jacer driven by Garry Hook (don’t tell me, carby problems? –Ed), then a safe Rookie Rodney French in a Team CXC Stinger, with Rodney just heading off the lead 1200 of Bernie Cannon (Kingfisher), then Richard Nairn in his perfectly presented Jacer, then the second 1200 of Michael Gale in his Mako, with Rookie Stephen Cannon in the Nimbus filling out the grid, except for an unfortunate Michael Cluderay, whose few completed qualifying laps due to persistent engine problems in his Blue Gum Kitchens Jabiru cut short what otherwise could have been a top half of the grid position.
By the end of the 20 lap Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, Daniel Reynolds? pre-race prediction of a 1.06 Formula Vee lap didn’t seem so smug after his fastest lap smashed both the previous official lap record, and that morning?s unofficial lap record! Daniel?s 1.07.38 was nearly 0.2 below his Qualifying time, and helped forge a staggering winning margin of nearly 14 seconds ahead of Mick Kinsella’s
Jacer. Dylan Thomas charged relentlessly throughout the race to clear Tim Hamilton and close on Mick Kinsella, with Tim taking out fourth place in a photo finish with Stephen Butcher and Simon Pace.
Apart from the new lap record, the remaining highlights were Lachlan Higgins? and Rodney Fench’s solid and safe performances (as well as good lap times in the 1.10?s and 1.11?s), and Michael Cluderay?s recovery from engine dramas. Commiserations to Garry Hook, Leigh Hemmings, and Stephen Cannon, for their DNF?s in the 20 lap endurance event. Fortunately, all the fears of fuel starvation did not eventuate for any competitor!
Fortunately, the Sunday morning weather was warmer and calmer, but the apprehension throughout the paddock if Daniel Reynolds would attack another lap record was no less, or if Mick Kinsella could once and for all contain Reynolds’ domination.
Sixteen laps after the green light flashed, Daniel Reynolds was first past the chequered flag for the second time, but with no new lap record, and with the determined Kinsella just a few seconds behind. In a superb display of top-level Formula Vee racing between the two great drivers, Kinsella stole the lead from Daniel into the first corner, but then followed several laps of lead swapping over the
Start/Finish between the two, until Daniel eked out a few faster laps by just tenths of a second each over the second half of the race.
This time, Tim Hamilton?s journey down from Queensland became better value when he pushed out Dylan Thomas to take third place by a few seconds, with Simon Pacer a few seconds again behind Dylan. Mathew Pearce, Stephen Butcher, Garry Ogden, Ben Oldfield, Morgan Freemantle, and a fast-closing Michael Cluderay, battled eachother for the entire race with only ten seconds separating them after 16 laps.
Clem Fama must have kept his heavy artillery muzzled for this event with a quiet 13th position, as did Leigh Porter a mere second behind Clem. Brendan Woods and Lachlan Higgins raced wheel to wheel for the entire race a few seconds behind Porter, with barely 0.1 of a second separating them over the Finish line, while Leigh Hemmings recovered from his race 1 DNF to take out the seventeenth placing.
Bernie Cannon, Michael Gale, and Stephen Cannon crossed the Finish line line-astern to complete a reliable 1200 category finish,Richard Nairn and Rodney French completed the field of Vees that crossed the line, while Dean Cavanagh and Garry Hook DNF?d, Dean laying forlornly in the midfield, and Garry?s Jacer laying forlornly in the paddock (not carby problems again? – Ed)
With Daniel Reynolds on a high after two race wins out of two so far, and Mick Kinsella ever-closing on Daniel?s tailpipe, the Formula Vee spectators focused their attentions throughout the 18 lap endurance Race 3 on the front two, although Dylan Thomas stole his share of the limelight with his determined chasing of Tim Hamilton for the first few laps, which turned into a determined chase for the entire race. But after a number of brave and daring passing manouvres between the leaders, the race settled down from sprint mode into endurance mode, where a Kinsella mistake would have assured Daniel of a win, or a Reynolds mistake would have ensured Mick of a win.
By the end of 18 laps, Reynolds claimed a three-peat for the weekend, with Kinsella confirming his continuing closing of the gap, less than 1.1 seconds behind. Thomas, however, timed his chase to perfection, outgunning Tim Hamilton into third place with two laps left to race. Tim?s disappointment however was made up for with another brilliant and deserved fifth place for Simon Pace in the sole Mako, beating Stephen Butcher by less than a second after 18 laps, and trouncing the former lead Mako driver, Gary Ogden in his Corsica.
Daniel leads on the back straight on the first lap Mick leads on the next lap Darren Williams and Clem Fama raced Ogden wheel to wheel for the entire race in their Jacers, only to watch the orange Corsica „s exhaust pipe throughout the last lap. Michael Cluderay continued his great Race 2 form, with a great lap time below 1.09.5, dragging Morgan Freemantle and Dean Cavanagh with him across the line less than one second behind. Leigh Porter had a quiet race to 13th place, although he dutifully dragged Brendan Woods and Lachlan Higgins throughout the race for them to cross the line in a dead-heat. Bernie Cannon was next with a clean-sweep of the 1200 class, with Rodney French and Richard Nairn in their 1600’s next, and with a determined Garry Hook finally completing his first race for the weekend, complete with continuing engine problems.
Dean Cavanagh and his potent Jacer Kinsella gained on Reynolds throughout the weekendStephen Cannon persistently took out second place in the 1200 class, heading the usually dynamic Ben Oldfield in his 1600 Jacer, who pitted on lap 8 with a less than dynamically screwed down dzus fastener on his engine cover completing the last of the runners. This time, the forlorn awards go to Mathew Pearce (broken throttle cable) and Leigh Hemmings, whose stricken Polar stared the wrong way down the hill after a U-turn attempt on the infield. Determination may have been the word and the action for the entire weekend for the entire field of Vee competitors, however, the spirit of the weekend was best summed when Daniel Reynolds dedicated his trophy win to our great mate, Mat Harrison.
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