Young gun Tom Randle has claimed victory in the first race of the 2015 Kerrick Sports Sedan Series following a surprising last lap twist this afternoon.
Two-time champion Darren Hossack had led from the first corner, streaking away to a three second lead in the Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4, when a safety car was called on lap seven of the 12 lap stanza to retrieve the crashed Peter Beninca Alfa from turn four.
On the previous green-running lap, Randle and the Kerrick SAAB had challenged for and won second position from reigning and eight-time champ Tony Ricciardello (B&M Ricciardello Racing Alfa Romeo GTV), and so lined up behind the hard-charging Audi under the control of the Shannons Nationals Lancer safety car.
Four laps under the safety car ensued, and when it became clear the race would be finished under yellow flag conditions it appeared that Hossack’s early race efforts would be rewarded with a race win.
However it was not to be for the former champion, with a small fire forcing the Victorian to pull up on turn one of the final lap to hand the victory to Randle. Due to the way his race finished, Hossack will start tomorrow’s second race for the weekend from the rear of the grid, along with the not-classified Slick 50 RX7 of Peter McLeod and the Beninca Alfa.
Two further races will be held this weekend, with race two at 11.25am and race three – the coveted Des Wall Trophy – to be held at 2.15pm. Both races will consist of 12 laps each and be streamed online live and free at thenationals.com.au.
QUOTEBOARD: KERRICK SPORTS SEDAN SERIES – RACE ONE, ROUND ONE AT SANDOWN RACEWAY
Tom Randle – Kerrick SAAB – Race one winner
“It was quite a surprise really, gaining a position - especially into the lead – under the safety car is not something that normally happens unfortunately for Darren. I think his car caught fire so hopefully it is not too bad as I would love to see him out there tomorrow.
“We were third at the start, I was a bit conservative because everyone had fresh boots (tyres) on as qualifying was wet this morning and so no one went out, so I was a bit conservative again as I haven’t had that much time in the car.
“I’ve only had only the two sessions yesterday where I was trying to familiarise myself with all the new features of the car but I think we had pace, I think we were the quickest car out there, and to be able to get in front of Tony (Ricciardello) also was cool, but to walk away from the first race leading the championship is great.
“(Tomorrow) we will be starting off first, Ricciardello is going to be right next to us and I am not sure where Darren will be, but again it (will be about) risk versus reward.
“We have done a lot of upgrades on the car over the summer break leading in to this round, so we just want to walk away with as many points as we can. If we have a chance to fight for first but it’s a major risk we won’t take it until later on in the series.”
Darren Hossack – Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 – lead until the last lap
“We were leading the race comfortably and then came the safety car and because of the slow speeds things get hot and things burn and we ended up with a small fire. Once it got to the point that I could see flames inside the car I had to think about saving the car, so I had to pull it over on turn one. There isn’t much that can be done about it, we will just have to make our way through the field carefully tomorrow and try and salvage as many points for the championship tally as we can.”
|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|