This weekend’s final round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series (31 Oct – 2 Nov) at Sydney Motorsport Park is lining up as a perfect end-of-season showdown between long-time rivals Tony Ricciardello and Darren Hossack.
At a track which arguably provides the most equal playing field of the season for the two fastest racers of the field, Ricciardello has his eighth title on the line while Hossack has nothing to lose after a difficult year saw potential success repeatedly marred by mechanical issues.
Add to that the fact that both the #5 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV and the #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 have undergone considerable repairs following a 235km/h last round incident with Steven Tamasi, and you have a situation in which anything can happen.
“The biggest issue I am worried about is the effects of the Phillip Island incident, we have gone over everything, done everything we can, but that is always in the back of your mind – especially as it was a pretty big hit,” said Ricciardello, a seven-time Sports Sedan series champion from Perth who earlier this season enjoyed a 15-straight race win streak.
“Right now, I would say we are going to approach the weekend as focusing on the title (over race wins) as that is what is most important, but having said that, once you get into a tussle with another competitor the approach always changes to going for the win, it’s just how it is.
“He may have nothing to lose, but I think whether that is the case or not Darren is always a hard racer and is going to go for the win no matter what – we both just need to race fair like we do and race hard, the best car and team will win on the day.
“As a track, Sydney will probably suit Darren’s car a bit better with the long sweeping corners, but our car has been pretty strong there over the last few years and the tight sections are good for us.
“When the cars are close and the drivers are racing hard, there is always a chance things can happen pretty quickly but with the two of us I don’t think it is really an issue, we will look at the big picture and just have a good finish to the year, and put on a good show for Kerrick and the Sports Sedan supporters.”
For two-time Sports Sedan champion Hossack – one of only three drivers to win two CAMS titles in the one year alongside Mark Skaife and Marcus Zukanovic – racing on the ragged edge is a real appeal for this weekend.
“As much as I want to win this weekend, I more so want to go out there and have three really good and competitive races where we are just pushing each other the whole way – that will be a fun weekend for us,” said Hossack, who after a season of reliability issues seemed destined for strong result at Phillip Island before the race two incident with Tamasi saw his campaign come to a premature end.
“There is nothing really to lose or gain this weekend as far as the championship. Usually I would say that second is the first of the losers, but given our issues this year if we can just have three great races and really give it everything then that will be mission accomplished for me, as being competitive and racing hard is what it is all about.
“The high speed corners suit us and the lower speed corners suit him; with our engine power and speed being similar it is probably going to come down to winning the start as it is never easy to get by.
“Every time Tony goes on the track he drives at ‘ten tenths’ and so do we, I expect nothing less and it is one of the things I like about him – that he is good to race against. He could go there and roll around in second and win the championship but that isn’t his style.
“There is obviously a lot of respect there, after racing each other for nearly 15 years pretty much door handle to door handle, you have to have respect, and I expect and I hope that he does race as hard as he can and I know that he will, neither of us want to go out there in these fast cars and just drive around at eight tenths, it is not what it is all about.”
Ricciardello and Hossack will be part of a 12-strong field of Kerrick Sports Sedan racers for its final round of 2014 at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend. For full event information including entry lists and schedules, please click here.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series is one of the most exciting on the annual Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals calendar, pitting a range of ‘wild and winged’ modified sports sedans and Trans-Ams against each other. Part of The Nationals since its inception in 2006, the Kerrick Sports Sedans represent the fastest tin-tops in Australia and in some cases, the fastest outright cars on a number of national circuits. In 2014, the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series will contest five national circuit racing events across four states:
• Round One – 25-27 April, Mallala Motorsport Park
• Round Two – 13-15 June, Winton Motor Raceway
• Round Three – 8-10 August, Queensland Raceway
• Round Four – 19-21 September, Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
• Round Five – 31 Oct-2 Nov, Sydney Motorsport Park
For more information on the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series, please visit www.sportssedans.com.au
|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|