IN A REMARKABLE turn of events, the race named in honour of Mallala’s circuit owner has been won by his good friend.
Kerrick Sports Sedan series stalwart Jeff Barnes won today’s feature race – named after his good mate Clem Smith, the Mallala promoter and a long time fan and competitor in Sports Sedan racing – after a series of events ruled out the three major contenders for the series' biggest race of the year.
Barnes also won the round and dedicated his victory to another mate of his – Sports Sedan champion Des Wall – who passed away late last year. Barnes is running Wall’s racing number (#38) this season as a tribute to his mate.
The race was the highlight of round two of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals, held in windy and often torrentially-wet conditions at the South Australian circuit, North of Adelaide.
Local knowledge would prove to be key this weekend, South Aussie-based drivers winning in three of the five national categories competing this weekend – and having a hand in the result of the Clem Smith Cup Sports Sedan race, too.
Barnes was handed the race lead when seven-time series champion Tony Ricciardello was crashed out of the race after contact with a lapped vehicle.
Key contenders Kerry Baily (sent to the rear of the field due to a lap one spin) and Darren Hossack (mechanical issues) were also relegated out of the running – leaving the Pontiac Firebird racer in the box seat to win the race named after his mate.
Though based in Queensland, Barnes is a regular at Mallala helping Clem put on several of the circuit’s major events.
Darren Hossack won the morning race and Ricciardello rebounded to win the afternoon’s finale’ to make it three winners from three races – though both were overshadowed by the stunning turn of events in the feature race of the day.
|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|