AN EMOTIONAL Jeff Barnes was a surprise winner of the second round of the Kerrick Australian Sports Sedan Series at Mallala Motorsport Park in South Australia on April 20, making the right tactical calls while the fancied runners wallowed or had dramas in the wind and rain-plagued conditions.
Each of the races offered more twists and turns than a mystery novel as the Pontiac Trans Am driver also won the category’s hallmark Clem Smith Trophy. “Clem is a good friend of mine so this victory is very special,” Barnes said as he also dedicated the round win to another great mate, the late Des Wall. “I reckon I had a bit of help today . . . from up above!”
It was a stunning win in the feature race as only he and Daniel Tamasi (Holden Calibra/Chev) managed to go the whole distance while Bruce Banks was a lap down in third. Defending Clem Smith Cup holder Kerry Baily (Aston Martin/Chev) and Shane Bradford (Chev Camaro) started off the front row but spun off in unison at the southern hairpin. They would finish fourth and sixth respectively with Dameon Jameson’s Jaguar/Chev in between.
Second for the round went to the defending series winner Baily. “I think I should have driven harder, but we have taken the series lead and that is what we wanted,” he said.
Bradford ultimately was third overall and first of the Trans Am cars. “We were down on power as we had engine issues at round one and had to go back to the five litre one,” Bradford revealed.
Mallala’s bad luck that plagued both Tony Ricciardello and Darren Hossack last year, reared again this time around. The sudden change in weather from sunny and warm qualifying to cold wind and rain for race one left Ricciardello’s Alfa/Chev struggling to the point that the combination was lapped.
In the second race the series leader coming into the round, the Ricciardello Alfa Romeo/Chev, hit the lapped and struggling Damien Johnson Holden Torana whilst in front and had to retire. “It was just one of those things really. He had an issue right when I was about to overtake him, and we hit,” Ricciardello said. “Simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time!”
Meanwhile Hossack looked to be off to a great result after easily winning the opening race in the John Gourley-owned Audi A4/Chev. He made a late strategy call to switch to dry tyres as the field set off on the formation lap for race two, losing a couple of laps in the process and then retiring later with a blown head gasket.
Baily was a distant second in the first encounter with Bradford close behind while Barnes finished fourth ahead of Jameson, his car rebuilt after a Friday practice fire caused when the exhaust spit and insulation immediately went up and the cabin filled with smoke. “It was scary as I couldn’t breathe,” Jameson said.
After Baily and Bradford spun at turn three on the first lap of race two, Barnes took the lead and withstood the early challenge from Tamasi. Ricciardello was back for the last and wasted little time getting to the lead and he took the win over Barnes, Bradford, Baily, Banks and Jameson.
There was no result for either Phil Crompton or Colin Smith. Crompton had put his Ford Mustang third on the grid in qualifying but had an axle break in the process. Unfortunately no amount of working into the night could remove it for replacement. Meanwhile Smith detected an engine issue with his Chev-powered Holden Monaro and without sufficient spares so far from his Queensland home, elected not to race.
Charlie Senese and his Chev Corvette missed the first race and struggled thereafter while Bob McLoughlin and his Commodore/Chev, the car Ricciardello drove at Mallala last year, appeared to have grip issues throughout all three races.
Round two of the Kerrick Australian Sports Sedan Series from Mallala can be seen on SBS Speedweek next Sunday, April 28 between 2-3pm and several times later in the week on Speed. The next round of the series will be at Queensland Raceway on August 3-4.
SPORTS SEDANS RACE ONE RESULT
1 Darren Hossack (Vic) Audi A4/Chev 16:42.3955
2 Kerry Baily (Qld) Aston Martin DBR9/Chev 17:02.1266
3 Shane Bradford (Qld) Chev Camaro 17:04.7653
4 Jeff Barnes (Qld) Pontiac Trans Am/Chev 17:15.1596
5 Dameon Jameson (NSW) Jaguar XKR/Chev 17:16.7031
6 Bruce Banks (Tas) Chev Camaro 17:17.6687
7 Tony Ricciardello (WA) Alfa Romeo GTV/Chev 11 laps
8 Bob McLoughlin (NZ) Holden Commodore/Chev 11 laps
9 Daniel Tamasi (Vic) Holden Calibra/Chev 11 laps
DNF Damien Johnson (Vic) Holden Torana Six 2 laps
Fastest Lap: Hossack 1:21.5388
SPORTS SEDANS RACE TWO RESULT
1 Jeff Barnes (Qld) Pontiac Trans Am/Chev 18:39.8726
2 Daniel Tamasi (Vic) Holden Calibra/Chev 18:45.7850
3 Bruce Banks (Tas) Chev Camaro 14 laps
4 Kerry Baily (Qld) Aston Martin DBR9/Chev 14 laps
5 Dameon Jameson (NSW) Jaguar XKR/Chev 14 laps
6 Shane Bradford (Qld) Chev Camaro 14 laps
7 Charlie Senese (Qld) Chev Corvette 14 laps
8 Bob McLoughlin (NZ) Holden Commodore/Chev 13 laps
DNF Darren Hossack (Vic) Audi A4/Chev 10 laps
DNF Damien Johnson (Vic) Holden Torana Six 3 laps
DNF Tony Ricciardello (WA) Alfa Romeo GTV/Chev 2 laps
Fastest Lap: Hossack 1:09.7677
SPORTS SEDANS RESULT THREE RESULT
1 Tony Ricciardello (WA) Alfa Romeo GTV/Chev 16:06.1981
2 Jeff Barnes (Qld) Pontiac Trans Am/Chev 16:30.3082
3 Shane Bradford (Qld) Chev Camaro 16:37.7115
4 Kerry Baily (Qld) Aston Martin DBR9/Chev 16:46.5806
5 Bruce Banks (Tas) Chev Camaro 16:49.5069
6 Dameon Jameson (NSW) Jaguar XKR/Chev 17:11.9429
7 Daniel Tamasi (Vic) Holden Calibra/Chev 11 laps
8 Bob McLoughlin (NZ) Holden Commodore/Chev 11 laps
Fastest Lap: Ricciardello 1:17.6350
|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|