Tony Ricciardello has kept his clean-sweep of 2014 alive by taking out victory in all three of this weekend’s Kerrick Sports Sedan Series races at Winton Motor Raceway on his way to his second round victory of 2014.
Today’s results for the West Australian means he has claimed both Top Qualifier honours and all six race wins on offer so far this year, getting his championship chase off to a perfect start. Joining him on the podium was Steven Tamasi (second) and Bruce Banks (third), as well as Colin Smith who received the Kerrick Award.
It wasn’t all easy for the driver of the #5 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV however, with the opening race hosting an intense race-long battle for the lead between he and a hard-charging Darren Hossack (#4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4), who laid down a new lap record on lap three.
The action for race one wasn’t limited to the front two contenders either, with plenty of activity further back in the pack including confusion at turn seven when Peter Beninca (#11 Beninca Motors Alfa Romeo GTV) made contact with Smith (#44 MR Automotive Holden Monaro) on the first lap, with the State of Origin concept contester going on to retire after his second lap after he made contact with Michael Robinson (#32 Bell Real Estate Holden Monaro) which affected his front left steering arm.
Unfortunately, the rivalry of Ricciardello and Hossack would fail to play out any further for the weekend, with fuel pressure issues seeing Victoria’s Hossack forced to retire on the roll-out lap for both the second and third races of the day.
The race two dramas expanded past Hossack’s pit garage also, with Shane Ryding, Charlie Senese, Simon Pftizner and Michael Robinson all joining him on the ‘did not finish’ list, with Pfitzner, Robinson, Ryding and Senese involved in a lap one, turn one fracas that brought out a full course yellow. Also encountering issues was Peter Beninca with a spin on turn eight from which he was able to return to the track under his own power, while the safety car again ventured out later in the race when Senese stopped on the track on the run to turn 7 with a suspected broken axle from the earlier incident.
With Hossack out of contention, Tamasi stepped in to take Ricciardello to task, with the youngster jumping ahead at the start to lead for the opening laps, before the first restart gave Ricciardello the chance to take back his leading position and cross the line first ahead of Tamasi, Banks (#1 BJ Banks Electrical Mazda RX7 – third), Smith (fourth) and Shane Bradford (#68 Aston Air Conditioning Chev Camaro).
In race three, Ricciardello ran away for the lead from Tamasi, with defending champion Banks in third ahead of Queensland pair Smith (fourth) and Bradford (fifth) – with Bradford fighting back from a lap one spin from third on the grid. Crossing the line in sixth behind Bradford was Bruce Henley and his #67 Stawell Cartage Mazda RX8, who had earlier survived a battle with Peter Beninca in the naturally-aspirated Alfa Romeo GTV.
Today’s round of the Series is scheduled to be part of the Shannons Nationals Speedweek program on SBS2 at 2.00pm on Sunday 29 July. Round three for the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series will be held at Queensland Raceway across August 8-10 - for more information, go to www.sportssedans.com.au
QUOTEBOARD: ROUND TWO – WINTON MOTOR RACEWAY – SUNDAY 15 JUNE, 2014
Round winner – Tony Ricciardello – first, first and first, top qualifier
“Reliability has been a major issue the last couple of years, but it is good to bounce back and have a good weekend. We have got a bit of a gap on Darren (Hossack) now, but one DNF can affect your whole series so we have to just keep pegging those races away. The Tamasi team seem to have a good car and its reliable, so we just have to keep going – there are still three rounds to go and anything can happen in the next couple of rounds!” said Ricciardello.
Round runner-up – Steven Tamasi – third, second and second
“I am pretty happy about second on the podium, it was a bit unfortunate about Darren (Hossack), even though we were able to capitalise on that. Every time I jump into the car I am feeling more confident and I am having a good time. I am definitely looking forward to heading to Queensland for round three, it will all be about having the same mindset – being consistent and focusing on winning races, it is all about those points. The car is going fine, it has a few issues that we are trying to iron out, but at the end of the day things are going better than expected and it is all about getting the track time and getting our head stuck into it. We are definitely happy with the progress, the goal is to get a podium at every race – it is all about consistency and the points!” said Tamasi.
Round third place – Bruce Banks – fifth, fourth and third
“We are very happy with the third position – especially as we only flew back from Paris on Friday night! We drove here after three weeks of holidays, and I thought ‘whoa, how am I going to go here’, but it all worked out pretty good. Yesterday (Saturday) I was pretty slow I thought but I made up for it today – everything just fell into place even though it had been pretty hard transitioning from holiday mode to racing mode! I just couldn’t get to grips with it at first but it was a very different situation today and thankfully it all came together. We were a bit lucky in the last race there with Shane (Bradford) falling off but you have got to take it – we were there and we finished in front of him and that was really good – with double points for that last race, you have got to be happy!”’
RESULTS: ROUND TWO – WINTON MOTOR RACEWAY – SUNDAY 15 JUNE, 2014
DNF. Peter Beninca - #11 Beninca Motors Alfa Romeo GTV
DNF. Shane Ryding - #15 Liquid Clothing Company Mazda RX7
DNF. Charlie Senese - #81 The Car Mine Chev Corvette
DNF. Darren Hossack - #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4
DNF Simon Pfitzner - #8 Pfitzner Performance Gearbox Ford Falcon
DNF. Michael Robinson - #32 Bell Real Estate Holden Monaro
DNF. Darrren Hossack - #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4
DNS. Shane Ryding - - #15 Liquid Clothing Company Mazda RX7
For further results, please go to www.natsoft.com.au and follow the links to the 2014 Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals Round Four results
|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|