An intense day at Winton Motor Raceway has seen the first race of the second round of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series go to young gun Thomas Randle this afternoon in the #93 Kerrick/CKAS SAAB.
After an action-packed opening few corners that saw Randle, Tony Ricciardello and Jack Perkins three-wide in turn three, Randle took the victory ahead of Steven Tamasi’s #9 Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra and eight-time champion Ricciardello in the #5 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV.
Randle had started the race alongside pole-sitter Ricciardello on the front row by virtue of their performances in this morning’s qualifying session, while Perkins in the #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 was third on the grid alongside Tamasi.
By turn three, the trio would be three-wide with contact made between Perkins and Ricciardello after Randle had made his way to the front.
While Ricciardello would continue on, Perkins would peel off into the pits with a broken gear box that has seen the team set to take no further part in the weekend. After the race, car owner John Gourlay reported that the gearbox damage was incurred during qualifying (Perkins had sat out the last eight minutes of the 20 minute session after reporting hearing a noise) but was not identified at that time.
While the first lap was over and one of the expected front-runners was out, the action was still coming with Ricciardello pushing hard to try and reel Randle back in while a four-car battle pack keeping everyone on their toes with Shane Woodman, Michael Robinson, Peter McLeod and Peter Beninca swapping positions all race long.
Ricciardello drew gasps from the crowd on lap six, with a front brake issue causing him to lose the rear of his Alfa on the approach to turn three, spinning dramatically into the gravel trap from where he was luckily able to recover and finish the race, although he would lose second place to Tamasi in the process.
Further back in the pack, the final laps would see McLeod spin at turn eight, with Beninca following closely behind and having to spin himself to avoid contact - becoming stranded under a local yellow flag for the remainder of the race. Robinson and Woodman would continue their battle, with that fight not decided until the final lap with Robinson eventually coming home ahead of the BMW driver in his Holden Monaro.
Earlier in the race, Bruce Banks and Chris Muscat had also put on a show for the fans, with a fierce battle that came to an end on lap 5 when contact was made while Banks was leading, seeing the 2013 champion spin off the track.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series will be back on track at Winton Motor Raceway tomorrow for two final races – the first at 8.30am and the second at 4.00pm. For full event information, please visit www.sportssedans.com.au
QUOTEBOARD – KERRICK SPORTS SEDAN SERIES – ROUND TWO – WINTON MOTOR RACEWAY – SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015
Tom Randle - #93 Kerrick/CKAS SAAB –Race One Winner
“The beginning of the race was pretty epic from my perspective. I was side by side with Ricciardello because in qualifying we just didn’t quite get the set-up together and we were a tenth off Tony, so we knew it was going to be a close race. Going into turn one I just held it round the outside, putting a bit of faith into Tony that he wouldn’t slide off and hit me. We went side by side through one which was pretty cool, and then as we went through turn 2 he got a bit of a run but then dropped a wheel on the exit and I was able to power out, then turn three was pretty similar, and Jack got involved as well so it was three wide, I was able to hold my ground and we grabbed the lead from there and managed to get the win. I kept getting told the gap each lap between me and tony as it is hard to know, and I had a gear shift issue where I just couldn’t quite get it into second properly through most of the race so I was struggling a bit there, but then when Tony came off the boys told me so I conserved the car so then we could finish with the win and get it back out there for tomorrow’s two races. I am pretty positive for tomorrow, Ricciardello was a bit quicker than us during the race so we have a few things to look at but I think it is going to be a close race tomorrow because Ricciardello is right behind us, Tamasi is next to us and he has some good legs for turn one, so I think again the battle is going to be on into turn one.”
Steven Tamasi - #9 Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra – Race One Second Place
“We came here on Friday for testing, and we broke a cam shaft but we couldn’t work out what the problem was. Did all the stuff you normally do and then it turned out the the cam which you never break. Looked like we wouldn’t make it but we took some days off work and some of our crew did as well and we did more than we have ever done in between rounds in one week, in 17 years of racing with this car, I am just wrapped that we took it out and nothing fell off, we completely rebuilt the car. So yeah I was happy with that. Pretty happy to finish. I am feeling pretty good for tomorrow, I am just hoping that we can keep everyone honest and be consistent and finish, those are our aims.”
Tony Ricciardello - #5 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV – Race One Third Place
“Both Thomas and I were side by side through turns one and two and into three, we sort of gave each other plenty of room and (Thomas) had the inside line so obviously he got that. Then coming out of three I got squeezed and clipped by Jack (Perkins) which was pretty disappointing. The car is definitely fast, we did the quickest lap of the race and I was chasing Thomas when obviously the front brakes let go into turn three and I was pretty lucky to get out of it, I clutched it up and drove out of the sand trap which you can’t often do. I think we have a master cylinder issue but we’ll get that sorted and get ready for tomorrow, we have a bit of panel damage to address too, but we should be right - we will regroup tonight and come back tomorrow."
Jack Perkins - #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 – did not finish
“That was my first sports sedan race, I got a pretty good start and had a run on both Thomas and Tony. I backed out of going for the lead just to keep it real, got alongside Tony and got into second place, and then the first time I grabbed fourth gear it just wasn’t there. There were two blokes fighting over the same piece of road, and from what I thought I gave him enough road, maybe I didn’t, but unfortunately the gearbox issue presented itself in qualifying and went on to quantify itself in the race – we should have had it fixed as it cut us short in qualifying, we had a car that was clearly capable of being on the front row, we had old tyres on from Sandown and just got cut short, and we didn’t identify it in time.”
|1. April 1-2 Wakefield Park|
|2. June 17-18 Winton Motor Raceway|
|3. July 1-2 Sydney Motorsport Park|
|4. Sep. 30- Oct 1 Phillip Island|
|5. Oct. 27-29 Sydney Motorsport Park|