Jack Perkins has clean-swept round three of the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series, held at Queensland Raceway this weekend, in the #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4.
Perkins took both race wins today, after clinching pole positon and race one yesterday. Along the way, he reset the lap record for the category to 1m 07.5097s in race two, after laying down the quickest ever non-open-wheel lap at the venue during Saturday’s qualifying (1m 07.1318s).
Second for the round was Steven Tamasi (#9 Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra), ahead of Shane Bradford (#68 Aston Air Conditioning Chev Camaro), while Kerry Baily was awarded the Kerrick award in the #58 Rent Depot Aston Martin. Courtesy of his consistency and with dramas for eight-time and reigning champion Tony Ricciardello today, Tamasi has taken the championship points lead by a solo point ahead of Ricciardello.
Today’s first race got off to a difficult start, with Shane Hart failed to leave the grid for the warm up lap in the #18 Smart Jump Start Mazda RX7, with officials having to push the car into the infield. With officials and Hart stranded on the infield between the straight and the exit of turn four, the start was waved through for a lap so they could be brought in safely.
Unfortunately some confusion reigned on the start, with some of the field attempting a single file start while others attempted to approach the starter in grid positions.
Perkins led off the start and maintained a solid and comfortable lead for the race duration ahead of eight-time and reigning champion Ricciardello in the #5 B & M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV, while Tamasi was third. Tom Randle had a busy race, battling through the field from the rear of the grid to be fourth. Meanwhile, Phil Crompton, Michael Robinson, Bruce Banks and Colin Smith provided plenty of entertainment, with Crompton even passing both Robbo and Banks in one move on the approach to turn four at one stage. Banks would suffer a spin on lap six while battling for position with Smith, and would recover for 14th.
The third and final race of the weekend saw disaster strike for Ricciardello while chasing Perkins, with a blown header pipe on his engine leading to a small fire to see him spend the majority of the race idling around the circuit to bank championship points.
Second on the road was Randle, who had been looking at chasing Perkins after overtaking Ricciardello when his issues first struck, however he would out-brake himself into turn four on lap eight - running off track and creating an insurmountable gap for himself to the leader
Third was Steven Tamasi, who was half of a thrilling side by side sliding battle with Kerry Baily – who had charged through from the rear of the grid after failing to start either of the previous two races after an engine change was necessitated post qualifying and an unexpected oil issue thwarted this morning’s attempt - over the dying laps.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series will next be on-track at Wakefield Park across October 16-18. For full event information, please visit sportssedans.com.au
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
Jack Perkins - #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4
“It was a great weekend, we had no real expectations other than trying to improve on Winton which was a bit of a disaster, but John and the whole team did a great job to turn that around with a fresh engine and a fresh gearbox and some other things. The car ran faultlessly all weekend and it was a great credit to everyone and no one made any mistakes. A pole, three race wins and a couple of lap records is pretty cool. I think the category is really good, the cars are a lot faster than the V8 Supercars we see every second week, it is exciting. A lot of engineering goes into these cars and it is very cool to see the front running cars are really quite completive.”
Tony Ricciardello - #5 B & M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV
“We had good pace and then we started losing a bit of power in the last race. And then all of a sudden there was a big pop - it blew one of the header pipes off the manifold and then we had a little bit of a fire. We’ve had a bad fire, and this was nothing. So we’re just going to obviously reassess what we’ve been doing and make some changes. And probably develop it a bit more, because it hasn’t been back (home) to Perth since the start of the year. So we’ve got some ideas, and we might bring them in early, and finish the season off strong The car was good yesterday. We tuned it up and probably didn’t take into account the time of day, so our tyres didn’t really work in the hotter temperatures this morning. There is no excuses though, credit goes to Jack and his team. They did a really good job and the car was quick. I don’t think we had the speed of them anyway so, but that’s probably not any excuse for us. In that last race, the car was looking strong pretty early but then we started losing power. Is a case of what could have been but we’ll come back stronger, and we still got some points from the last race. Now we look forward to Wakefield Park - that track’s pretty tight, it definitely suits our car, it’s probably going to be a strong track for us. We just have to make sure we don’t over-engineer the new ideas into the car and it affects the way car uses its advantages. We just have to progress and get all the fire extinguisher powder out of the car and start again.”
Steven Tamasi - #9 Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra
“I came to this meeting with an engine drama. It was more than one drama, we found out it was two. We had a cracked extractor and an issue inside the engine after qualifying. So that explains my qualifying time. But race one was good, we got on top of it, and gradually made a few steps forward. In race two Tom and Kerry went out with fairly fresh tyres. I think Tom came out on green tyres and Kerry had only used them in qualifying. I’ve had pretty flogged out tyres and it was hard for me to keep it straight. I was pressured but at the end of the today I kept him off. It was good racing.”
Shane Bradford - #68 Aston Air Condiitoning Chev Camaro
“The weekend for us was strange. We have never had any data on the car. We reckon we have the fastest non-data car in Australia of any category. Over the last four or five years, the team have been listening to the driver who’s a competent amateur at best,” laughed Bradford. “Now we’ve finally got some data on the car, so we spent Friday with Phil Laird who does all that stuff for us. He does the engine and everything, so we spent Friday getting that sorted out. We have been trying to get our head around the car. We’ve changed a few little things since last time. We weren’t happy with the pace on Friday, were a bit happier with the pace on Saturday until I saw the time Crompo did. He stepped it up a bit. And then we broke the gearbox in the first qualifying session. We thought it was an engine problem as the car sounded a little bit strange right at the end of the last lap. We came in and said ‘I think it’s an engine, can we just check the rockers’. We checked that and that was all good, but then we popped into fourth gear going down the back straight and broke fourth gear. So we didn’t get to do qualifying two so that was a shame. We went out in race one, ran an older set of tyres and wasn’t quite there. Then this morning we were happy with how it went I suppose. If you keep finishing races you’ll end up somewhere with these guys. In the afternoon race I drove it a bit harder. The whole plan this weekend was to just come along and circulate and we’re certainly not running for the championship, ‘cause we haven’t been in it. I just wanted to end the weekend without any dramas and without hurting the car. I drove it a bit harder this arvo, made a couple of little changes before this morning’s race. Which didn’t feel that good this morning but maybe the cooler conditions or something this arvo helped ‘cause it was a bit quicker this arvo. We have got some ideas moving forward. Certainly this race track, even though we keep ending up on the podium here, doesn’t really suit us.”
|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|