13 Apr 2016

2016 Round 2 – SMP

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CAMS 2016 NSW Motor Race Championship

SuperSports Round 2

Sydney Motorsport Park, April 9th 2016

R2_2016_start

The series moved to Sydney Motorsport Park for the second round of the Supersports NSW Championship and with a four week gap between the rounds the hope was for an increased field compared to the first round.  Unfortunately the Supersport usual runners were down to only seven entrants; however the PRB bolstered the field by eight making the numbers more respectable.  Nearing mid April the expectation was for Sydney weather to be heading towards winter (or at least autumn), but race day ended up being a balmy 29 degrees sunny day.

The cars came out to qualify in crystal clear skies and it did not take long for Darren Barlow  to set a time that would prove impossible to beat, Barlow clocked a time of 1:50.5612 and subsequently claimed pole. On the front row beside him was the Radical of Oliver Smith, The second row consisted of Chris Sutton in the Radical SR3 and Nick Kelly in the SR8. Kelly was a surprising four seconds off Barlow’s pace. The race for pole would be divided into two groups; the PRB’s being the second. Virtual pole for the PRB’s went to Ivan Srejber (official 8th on the grid); his time was an incredible 15 seconds behind Barlow.

The pole sitter did not capitalize on his starting position and by the time his Stohr arrived at turn two he was in third position, on the other hand Kelly made a brilliant start from fourth on the grid. The ever improving Sutton and Oliver Smith were also dicing at the pointy end. Stuart Shirvington was the best starting PRB.

 Kelly held the lead from Barlow in the following laps who in turn was being chased by Smith and Sutton.  Kelly’s car speed was much better than qualifying and he was comfortably holding his own at front. Third positioned Smith was using too much road at turn 5 and repeatedly overstepped his mark by putting all four wheels over the allowed track zone; race control did not take this kindly penalizing him 30 seconds at the end of the race.  At the front Kelly, Barlow and Sutton were now closer than ever, unfortunately for the chasers they ran out of laps and the result remained Kelly 1st, Barlow 2nd and Sutton 3rd. The unfortunate Peter Clare in the Radical retired and was joined by PRB driver Michael McCostker.  The first PRB home was Srejber in 7th.

R2_2016_db

Race two was held mid Saturday afternoon and the first four car had reversed the starting order, this time Barlow made a great start and was closely followed by Sutton, Smith and Kelly.  But the start line moment came from one of the midfielders. The Blue PRB of James Dick lost control of the vehicle at the fastest point of turn 1, he spun sideway in front of at least six cars and miraculously no one hit him.  He then speared off into to the grassy run off area at speed. By the time he rejoined the race; last car in the pack was already at turn three, a very scary moment.

As the cars finished the first lap Barlow had a gap from Sutton who in turn was closely followed by Smith and Kelly, the leading PRB was John Moyes.  Kelly seemed the most likely to challenge Barlow and he eventually dispatched Smith and Sutton out of their positions in the hope of running Barlow down.  By mid-race distance Barlow had a commanding lead from Kelly, at the same time Sutton was in third position slightly ahead of Smith’s ill sounding car, this issue did not seem to slow him down. With two laps to go Sutton and Smith made contact resulting in Smith retirement. The final standings were Barlow 1st, Kelly 2nd and Sutton 3rd. Smith misfortune elevated Peter Clare into 4th, the first PRB home was Chris Barry (7th).

Race 3 (Trophy race) was held late Saturday afternoon, of the original seven Supersports (non PRB) cars only six would commence the race; Oliver Smith would be a non starter. Kelly made another great start arriving at turn two in first position, Sutton and Barlow were dicing for second with the latter prevailing. As the cars crossed the line for the first lap, Kenny was being chased by Barlow and Sutton. Behind them Clare, Gregory Kenny and Simon Meade were having they own dice. Srejber and S Shirvington were the front runners for the PRB’s. 

 Kelly and Barlow were the class of the field lapping similar times, the Stohr driver was applying plenty of pressure on the leader and with 3 laps to go Kelly had a moment at turn 7 losing plenty of time; he eventually rejoined in third position. Barlow eventually ran out winner followed by Sutton and Kelly.  In the PRB it was Joshua Versluis that took the honors finishing in a strong 7th. This was a great weekend racing, unfortunately the numbers were down. Hopefully this will change at the next round.

R2_2016_grid

Race 1

1.    99        Nick Kelly (NSW) - Radical SR8         

2.    27        Darren Barlow (NSW) - Stohr WF1           

3.    35        Chris Sutton (NSW) – Radical SR3    

 

Race 2

1.    27         Darren Barlow (NSW)Stohr WF1           

2.   99         Nick Kelly (NSW) – Radical SR8         

3.     35       Chris Sutton (NSW)Radical SR3     

 

Race 3 ( Trophy)

1.    27       Darren Barlow (NSW)- Stohr WF1    

2.    35      Chris Sutton (NSW) - Radical

3.     99      Nick Kelly (NSW) – Radical SR8

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