REYNOLDS KEEPS A PERFECT 1600 RECORD – BOTH CANNONS FIRE!
A bumper field of 26 Formula Vees appeared at Eastern Creek on June 8/19 for Round 3 of the CAMS NSW Formula Vee State Championship, with the main question to be answered being if our fixed lap races would provide quality racing. By the end of the weekend, the question was resoundingly answered, with Formula Vee finishing all races with no Safety Car and no Red Flag, ensuring that we received our full entitlement of race laps and race time during the perfect weather weekend. In the 1200 class, Bernie Cannon continued his dominance of 1200 racing, although Michael Gale closed the gap on Bernie by a few points following the previous Wakefield Park meeting.
Bernie’s protégé, Stephen Cannon, also continued his improvement, with Bernie and Michael In the 1600 class, as is becoming the predictable in Formula Vee racing in NSW, Daniel Reynolds came into the weekend leading the pointscore with his superb Sabre 02 ahead of Michael Kinsella in his Jacer. Tim Hamilton, in his increasingly competitive Jacer, of course would have no intentions of letting the pointscore gap increase to Daniel and Mick.
By the end of the 15 minute qualifying session, Daniel Reynolds had taken out his third consecutive outright pole position for 2011 with a sub-1.08 lap, and nearly half a second clear from Mick, with Tim Hamilton only a tenth further behind. The old stager, Stephen Butcher, led the Stinger pack in fourth place half a second further behind Tim, with Mat Pearce on almost dead equal time in his orange Jacer.
Dylan Thomas was disappointed with his sixth place, but moreso because he was behind his mentor, Old Man Butcher! In seventh place, Tim Brook continued to perform miracles in his LE100, with Tim being followed by David Schulz in a fantastic top ten performance in the Nathan Sansom Stinger. The last two positions in the top ten were filled by Simon Pace in his Mako 3, who may have expected to be closer to the front of the grid than ninth, and then the last driver below 1.50,0, Darren Williams in his Jacer, who equally has been racing closer to the front than tenth.
Dean Cavanagh was next in his Jacer, proving that conditions need to be perfect to score pole positions, with Ben Oldfield next, a long way from where his raw talent should have him in his Jacer.
In the 1200 class, Stephen Cannon showed that his careful driving at Wakefield Park had not been without learning by taking out the leading grid position for a 1200 car in his Nimbus, a full second clear of 1200 pointscore leader, lead BS Racing driver, Bernie Cannon, in his Kingfisher.
Bernie led Michael Gale in his Mako for third place in the 1200 class, with rookie, Anthony Mitchell taking out the
final 1200 grid spot in his undeveloped Sabre 01. The final grid spot was taken out by the hapless but persistent Michael Cluderay, who endured problems in his Blue Gum kitchens Jabiru, after not recording a time.
Seven laps of hard racing between the front 1600 pack of Reynolds, Hamilton, and Kinsella, as the winter sun laid low in the North West sky, saw Reynolds take the almost predictable win, using his uncanny sixth sense to lead at the right time and place on the last lap, making his year a clean Sabre 02 sweep of all four races finished so far.
But this time, Mick Kinsella wasn’t in Daniel’s slipstream, but the green and black Jacer of Queenslander Tim Hamilton, who out-slipstreamed Kinsella to earn the 27 points for the race, with
Kinsella and his blue Jacer less than 0.1 second behind Tim.
Tim Brook continued his mythical performances to take his LE100 to fourth place nearly seven seconds behind Kinsella, but the close racing between Tim, Mat Pearce (fifth – Jacer), and Dylan Thomas, (sixth – CXC Stinger) could have accelerated him closer to Kinsella had they curbed their enthusiasm for the moment.
Similarly, Simon Pace (seventh – HDD Pace Mako), Darren Williams (eighth – DMW Bricks Jacer), and Garry Hook (ninth – Bottlemart Jacer) – in what was possibly the racing performance of his life after several race meetings full of technical DNF’s – could have been part of a nine car snake of Formula Vees with Reynolds at the front had they chosen the faster, but perhaps not so much fun, strategy and slipstreamed collectively to close the gap to the cars ahead.
Clem Fama in his CGF Joinery Jacer, took out the tenth placing a handful of seconds behind Hook, this time not replicating his race winning form at the previous FVANSW Club Pointscore round. Clem was followed by Ben Oldfield, (Jacer) who continues to demonstrate unrealized promise, then Dean Cavanagh (Chilla Truck Bodies Jacer), and then Michael Cluderay (Blue Gum Kitchens Jabiru) in a great performance less than one second behind Ben, after starting from the rear of grid, in a performance that should hold much potential for his efforts.
Behind Michael by barely a second was Leigh Porter (Jacer), Leigh hemming, (Polar), and Old Man Stephen Butcher, (Stinger Stinger), with Lachlan Higgins and Brendan Woods race-long dueling only a few seconds behind Butcher in their Sabre and Jacer.
Rookie Anthony Mitchell improved throughout the weekend Tim Hamilton’s Jacer always looks brilliant Anthony Mitchell, in his debut race, completed the field that crossed the line, although he performed respectedly with good times that reflect his undeveloped Sabre. Expect Anthony to be higher up the results sheets very soon. The last place belonged to Formula Vee Rookie, but the much pedigreed, David Schulz, who unfortunately DNF’d after a technical mishap on track.
Sunday morning’s race started in brilliant sunshine, with the pack charging down the Eastern Creek straight and through Turn 1 with no unexpected results. Reynolds retained the lead through Turns 1 and 2, with Hamilton and Kinsella also retaining their positions close behind.
The race at the front developed into a three, then four, car train, comprising Reynolds, Hamilton, Kinsella, and then Thomas, who slowly moved up the filed in Race 1 after stating from sixth, then finished fourth.
At almost lap record pace in the calm, but cool and sunny environment, the four cars steamed around Eastern Creek, lap after lap, with only occasion high speed and high risk passing taking place down the straight. Kinsella and Reynolds swapped places, and Kinsella and Hamilton swapped places, while Thomas slowly caught the flying front trio, then lost ground, then caught the trio again. In what was an exhibition of class and daring, the race continued to the end with style, Reynolds taking his fifth win of the year (out of five races), but with the slimmest margin of 0.06 of a second ahead of the brilliant and tough Kinsella, who kept out the flying Jacer of Tim Hamilton by 0.15 of a second, with Thomas only a second further back.
Fama was followed followed across the line ten seconds further back by another racing pack of five Formula Vees this time, led by Darren Williams, then Dean Cavanagh, Leigh Porter, and Lachlan Higgins and Brendan Woods, both of whom moved up the field and showed they can race hard, Brendan’s performance being especially memorable for his dedication after a partial engine rebuild
that took place early that morning.
Dean and Leigh showed brilliant instant judgement in avoiding an incident that took place on lap four in Turn 4 that involved Michael Cluderay, David Schulz, Leigh, Dean, and Ben Oldfield, with Ben and Michael unfortunately losing places. Brendan Woods was followed by Morgan Freemantle and Leigh Hemmings, then the recovering Oldfield and Cluderay only a few seconds behind.
The first of the 1200’s this time was Stephen Cannon, forging his first Championship win ever in his first year of racing, beating out his team mate, Bernie, by 0.1 of a second, who was only half a second ahead of the closing Richard Nairn.
The third placed 1200 of Michael Gale was only another second further behind, with the ailing Stephen Butcher still struggling with engine dramas following Michael over the line. Anthony Mitchell successfully completed his second race, it being plainer than ever that his Sabre has plenty of potential to go faster and match Anthony’s abilities.
Unfortunately, David Schultz couldn’t recover from the Turn 4 incident, and DNF’d the race in his CXC Stinger, while Garry Hook’s short lived stardom in Race the day before was as fleeting as his Saturday race 1 lap times, with more engine problems seeing him complete only two laps.
Leigh Porter used his wisdom to avoid danger, while Lachlan and Brendan raced hard and fast The great Race 2 action, with new camera angles, the usual excellent and professional commentary, and some great vision, including the Turn 4 incident, can be seen on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPwW8Os7geY,
Unfortunately, Race 3 was cancelled due to an incident that occurred in the Improved Production Over 2 Litre race early on Sunday afternoon, with all racing then ceasing for the remainder of the race meeting.
This Race Report sponsored by RALLYX Mud Flaps – VISIT RALLYX.