Tony Ricciardello clings to a tenuous 15-point lead in the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series after finishing third in the opening race today at Sydney Motorsport Park in his B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV.
Jack Perkins won the opening race in the Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4, beating home Polesitter Tom Randle (Kerrick/CKAS SAAB) in a tense 10-lap affair fought out on a drying track after a rain shower forced the fields to wets moments before the scheduled start.
Perkins led comfortably for the first nine laps but lost time on the final tour, allowing Randle to close to within one second of the recent Gold Coast V8 Supercars winner.
Randle, for his part, closed on second-placed Steven Tamasi (Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra) in the championship fight with two races remaining tomorrow.
Ricciardello’s quest for a record ninth title has him on 490 points, 15 in front of Tamasi (475) and 32 in front of Randle (458).
Ricciardello only moved to third in the closing laps thanks to a storming opening laps from New South Wales racer Birol Cetin that saw him fly to third place on the opening lap.
The Alfa closed on the Chevrolet Camaro as the laps wound down and the track dried, only working his way past to third late in the race.
Tamasi finished seventh, behind Phil Crompton’s Ford Mustang, Cetin and Stuart Inwood’s ex Stone Brothers Racing Falcon.
Perkins run of seven-straight race victories in the championship has elevated him to fifth in the standings, just 21 behind fourth placed Colin Smith.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series championship chase continues tomorrow – Sunday 15 November – with two more races. For full event information, please visit http://www.sportssedans.com.au/index.php?page=sydney-motorsport
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY – SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2015
Jack Perkins – Race One Winner - #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4
“I had lost a bit of momentum passing a couple of lapped cars and the last lap I was just cruising and lost a bit of concentration and just dropped four wheels off the track. I looked in the rear view mirror and Thomas was a lot closer than I was expecting, but other than that we had it pretty much under control. We were sort of at a disadvantage in the proper wet conditions as our wet tyres are about three years old, so they are sort of a little bit past their use by date and our competitors seem to have new current Dunlop tyres. In the wet qualifying it sort of showed up but in those conditions where the track is damp and then dry it is probably the right tyre to have. Because it’s a little bit older and a little bit harder and we had the tyre pressures set accordingly and it was just a good effort to get those tyres on the car in the time frame that we had. Thanks has to go to John Gourlay and the crew for putting those tyres on so quickly with no rattle guns. I am disappointed we didn’t get a proper run with the new tyres, as I feel like the car is a lot quicker than the times that we did - we did the pole time yesterday on tyres that have run 160 kilometres. Basically all day there has been moisture on the track and today’s qualifying was about who wanted to go hardest on a wet track with cold, brand new slicks, but we can’t be too disappointed. We are still right at the competitive end and now we are at seven wins in a row. I hope that it is clear cut wet or dry tomorrow, this half and half thing is hard on the crews and the drivers and you end up destroying tyres. I hope if it is going to rain it absolutely pees down and we can all comfortably use wet tyres, but if it’s not going to be dry I hope it is proper dry and we can have a crack at some lap records.”
Tom Randle – Race Two Runner-Up - #93 Kerrick/CKAS SAAB
“It was very tentative stuff out there, the only time I used full throttle was down the main straight – just! The tyre choice that we went with wasn’t the best, we went with a different compound to this morning’s wet qualifying which gave a drastic difference, but to keep it on the track and finish only 1.5 seconds behind Jack was good and puts us in a good position for tomorrow. Depending on the conditions tomorrow we have good dry tyres and good wet tyres, so whatever the conditions we will try and choose well, but if it decides to rain hard before we go out we will all have that mad rush, which is exciting in one way, but on the other hand is all panic.”
Tony Ricciardello – Championship Leader - #1 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV
“I ran on slicks, as the rain it came down pretty quickly and it was declared a wet race but by the time we got back to the pits it was sort of clearing up so we thought it was going to change. We needed to worry about what Tamasi and Randle are doing, we took a gamble and went for slicks, and the track came to us and we were getting quicker, but there was one part of the track around turns four, five and six where it was just so wet with the wind stopped. We still came third and it was a good result. It was a bit of fun, sliding around with the guys on wet weather tyres!
There are two more races left, and the point system doesn’t really give a big advantage for first or second so we just have to make sure that we finish, but the weather could throw different things at us tomorrow, we just have to take educated risks and make sure the car keeps going around.”
|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|