JACK PERKINS thundered home to win the final round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan national series in Sydney at the weekend – but the tale of the 2016 season ends with 10-time champion Tony Ricciardello.
The West Australian driver and his famous family-run, Chevrolet Powered Alfa Romeo GTV officially sealed a record-smashing 10th national title at the weekend, finishing second behind Perkins’ Audi Spares A4.
Perkins qualified on pole position with a circuit record 1m27.77s lap and won each of the three races, to end his remarkable season with a tally of eleven victories, 3 round wins and 4 pole positions.
However after winning round one at the start of the year, low scores in the second and third rounds – when reliability issues struck – would ultimately cost the HRT Supercars driver a shot at the title.
Ricciardello’s consistency ensured he finished every race this year, finishing second behind Perkins in three rounds and being in the right position to win the two where the Audi stumbled.
“It is an amazing feeling (to take 10 titles), it is pretty big,” Ricciardello said of his record 10th championship.
“It has been a big journey for us and I think the car has made its mark in the history books.
“People always think you just go and win another championship, it is that easy. But you can go and ask John Gourlay and Darren Hossack and the Tasmasi boys, it is so hard to keep these things going around. They have so much power, so much mechanical load, and we all make our own things.”
The West Australian says the performance is more satisfying given the hard work required to win a Sports Sedan title.
“I don’t think any other category can turn around and say ‘we designed that all-out’, and get so much satisfaction as a team,” he explained.
“The other thing too is that the car was built in 1992, so it has done a pretty good job! She is getting tired but it has done a good job. It has probably lost its teeth and got dentures now but it is still going and we are still at the head of the pack.”
The pair capped off the season with a heady battle in the opening laps of the final round’s second race, Ricciardello pushing the Audi hard in the early laps before Perkins was able to pull away.
The weekend’s results also secured Perkins second in the championship, the Audi eventually pulling away from what ended as a tight tussle for the final spot on the Kerrick Series podium.
Steven Tamasi would ultimately secure the third-placed trophy, 59 points behind Perkins and just 25 in front of Holden Monaro driver, Michael Robinson.
Colin Smith put his Monaro fifth in the standings, jumping the unfortunate Daniel Tamasi in the standings after the Holden Calibra driver failed to score – engine issues putting him out of the weekend’s competition before qualifying on Saturday.
New South Wales frontrunners Birol Cetin and Steve Lacey proved competitive additions to the field on the weekend.
After failing to finish the first race, Cetin stormed through the field to finish third in race two, and then backed that performance up with an identical result in the third race.
Lacey qualified fourth, failed to finish race one and then also rebounded to grab fourth and fifth in the final two races, respectively.
Newcomer Paul Boschert impressed in his thundering Chevrolet Corvette, while mechical issues forced Stuart Inwood out after the first race.
Details about the 2017 Sports Sedan season will be released soon!
|1. April 1-3 Sandown Motor Raceway|
|2. June 10-12 Winton Motor Raceway|
|3. July 29-31 Queensland Raceway|
|4. Sep. 9-11 Phillip Island GP Circuit|
|5. Nov. 11-13 Sydney Motorsport Park|