Kerry Baily's new Aston Martin looked fast and went fast too as it won a drama-filled opening round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series at Mallala's Shannons Nationals last Sunday and put its driver's name on the category's prestigious Clem Smith Cup.
It was the sixth running of the hallmark event. 'I see Darren (Hossack) and Tony (Ricciardello) have their names on this trophy a few times so it's about time I had a turn,' said the elated winner Baily.
Des Wall in his Trans Am Chev Corvette was best placed to take the challenge up to Baily, and did so, his second placing one of three for the weekend and that made him second overall. 'Before the tyres went off, I could stay with Kerry,' Wall said. 'His tyres didn't with the aerodynamics on his car really working well.'
While it was a dream debut for the much anticipated Aston Martin, it could not have gone worse for the round favourites, defending seven times champ Ricciardello (Alfa/Chev) and dual series victor Hossack (Audi/Chev) ' both having to revert to borrowed cars after their own had a fire and engine damage respectively. Final qualifying also saw the demise of Jeff Barnes with his Pontiac Trans Am suffering an engine seizure.
Ricciardello drove Bob McLoughlin's Commodore/Chev to third in the feature race, after a fourth in the opening race. However he was a retiree in race three when the car mysteriously ground to a halt after turn three ' yet it fired up okay after the race when it cooled down.
Proving that consistency has its positives, Michael Robinson drove his Monaro to third overall while Hossack had Simon Pfitzner's Ford Falcon after a mammoth rebuild up of a race car from the ground up ' it not being touched since crashing some time ago ' and finished fourth in the standings.
Shane Bradford (Chev Camaro) finished third in race one ahead of Ricciardello and Robinson. But the race put Dean Camm's Corvette and Dameon Jameson out when they crashed. Bradford retired from race two with what he thought was a broken rocker (but turned out to be a plug lead off) and was back with another third in the last.
Charlie Senese, who raced a Sports Sedan Falcon and Honda/Chev in past years, debuted a Trans Am Corvette and recorded a pair of sixths before the engine seized prior to the last race. Fellow Queenslander Colin Smith was eighth in the first race but failed to go the distance in the next two because of a leaky exhaust.
Meanwhile Bruce Banks's day was also plagued with problems, starting with a broken universal joint after the start of race one, and his Mazda failed to get through any races.
|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|