FOG CUTS RACING SHORT AS PYM TAKES FIRST PODIUM
Round three of the motorsport Australia Motor Race Championship was held at Wakefield Park over the weekend with the start of racing delayed on both Saturday and Sunday due to thick fog. Sunday’s proceedings did not get under way until 11.30am resulting in Race 3 for Formula Vee being cancelled due to the 5pm noise curfew.
Saturday saw the field take to the track for qualifying where Aaron Lee came up with the goods yet again to place the Evolution Racing Logitech G & Bass Hill Electrical Jacer on pole position with a 1.07.99. Meanwhile, in what was a first, Angus McDonald out qualified his father John by putting his #46 machine on the front row of the grid.
Round three also saw the return of some familiar faces in Simon Duffy and Geoff Bennett who both performed well in qualifying securing P5 and P8 respectively. Michael Sherwell put the #68 Nova Air & Electrical Stinger in P6 on his first outing in a Formula Vee, while Paul Lister had challenges with understeer putting him at the back of the 1600 grid in P12.
In the 1200 class Steve Butcher out paced the field by almost 3 seconds with a solid 1.13.75 with Bernie Cannon and Grant Cassell qualifying second and third on the 1200 grid and Greg Johnston rounding out the field.
Race one saw several cars retire due to mechanical problems, including Angus McDonald (there were rumours that his father may have had something to do with his problems), which resulted in a 1 lap Safety Car. Highlights of the race included William Pym securing his first ever podium finish with a third, Geoff Bennett made up ground finishing P5 after starting P8 and 2/10th’s covered P7 to P9 with Paul Charlton, Matthew Harriott and Paul Lister finishing in a three car train after Lister fought back following a spin earlier in the race.
Stephen Butcher put in a solid effort, but was blessed with a safety car after starting from pit lane with fuel issues, to finish 13th overall and first in the 1200 category ahead of Grant Cassell in the #90 Cannon Accounting Nimbus with Greg Johnston completing the 1200 podium with a third place finish.
Race two saw first time Vee driver Michael Sherwell, who normally runs a Toyota 86, start from the back of the grid along with Angus McDonald after DNF’s in race one. The two drivers worked their way through the pack, but for Sherwell this included an off track excursion meaning he had to fight extra hard to finish in P7 while Angus McDonald finished 4th behind race winner Aaron Lee, John McDonald and William Pym in third.
Simon Duffy was making good ground running as high as P4 after starting from P6 before dropped a cylinder resulting in a retirement on lap 8, while Lee Porter in the #54 Porter Data Management Jacer put in a consistent effort over the two days with a P4 and a P6 in each of the races.
The next round will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday 26 June as a day/night race meeting with the event also making up an Australian Series round with strong entries expected.