Kennedy takes the 2017 Championship
With the Championship drawing to an end, drivers sought to make the most of their last race weekend at QR throughout four physically draining races. The grid had a field of over 30 cars.
After attaining top spot in qualifying, Kennedy followed by Brown led the charge toward turn one to initiate the races to come. After a toe to toe brawl, Brown was searching for the gap on Kennedy, it was Brown whom managed to scrape through to the top eventually, passing under brakes at turn six and ultimately opening a gap of few car lengths per lap. Further through the field, Cuda and Streat chased each other’s tails round the track, Cuda pulling off a sharp pass on the inside Streat on the final corner to eventually out drag Streat to the flag. Sharples meanwhile also with great speed, attempting to catch the barreling Torana of Woodcroft. After a display of formidable speed and guts, however, it was Chris Brown’s WSM sponsored Commodore that seized the Race 1 chequered flag.
Race two saw a claw back by Kent, numerous DNF’s throughout the field, several spins and some nail biting brawls in which it was Kennedy to finally claim triumph. Despite a faultless start from Streat, his enthusiasm sent him scooting through the dipper sideways in a smoke haze. The half mark saw Harrex’s desperate efforts in joining the front pack caused an overshoot at the apex into turn four triggering yellow flags. Meanwhile Sharples gained his revenge on Woody under brakes at turn six, granting him a 3rd place. In close contention, Group B of Andrew Knight, Mark Giorgio and Malcolm Douglas, stuck together like lemmings, each driver making passes on one another. Not all things were sweet however, in which Chris Brown’s podium potential failed due to malfunction during the sprint till the end, claiming the lap record the lap before. With Brown’s laps slowing, it was a hard slog between Kennedy and Kent to see who’d be the victor of race two. Despite Kent’s best efforts to make a pass, Kennedy held of the raging bull until the finish.
With a change of circuit to the Sprint for Race 3, drivers would be stretched to their limits while having to cope with the extreme heat. Woody’s Torana unfortunately also spilled its beans during Race 2 dropping a valve, Cuda found himself in 4th, with the potential to secure the final position on the podium if Sharples made the slightest error of judgment. Sharples did not flinch, gapping Cuda then challenging the car ahead, of Murray’s. But it was Murray whom passed Kennedy, leaving an eager Chris Sharples bearing down his neck. Group B had Gary Anger, Chris Begg and Lance Jurgeleit jockeyed for position on track, the battle intensifying lap by lap, each driver attempting further daring tactics. After a couple of traffic bruises for Pye and with Anger in mid field, it was Kent who secured the win with a climatic finish from both Kennedy and Sharples – Cuda and Streat again metres from one another at the finish line.
Shifting to the final race of the season, the drivers headed out one last time to challenge each other side by side in a ten lap sprint around the National circuit. A blisteringly quick bolt off the line by Brett Kennedy was all he needed to start the race and claim the championship for 2017. A sad way to end the years saw a self-destructing car of Adam Pye’s Commodore, suffering an extreme flywheel failure. A tight close quarter combat situation to watch, occurred between Mark Giorgio and Hano, both drivers squabbling hard, where Hano retained superior straight line speed, Mark utilized superior handling to balance out distance lost. Yet another epic marathon bumper to bumper balancing act was thanks to Streat, Walker and Begg, the drivers weaving in and around of apex’s, wide lines and under brakes. An honorable mention must also go to Oberhofer, whom navigated his machine from last to ninth. The 2017 season came to an outstanding finish with Kennedy’s ear-splitting Commodore crossing the finishing line followed by both Kent’s and Sharples Monaro completing the podium.
Many Thanks for attending the final QTCC race weekend of 2017. Rest assured, adequate amounts of adrenaline pumping racing will return in 2018. We wish all everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
For now, recuperate during the holidays and cherish the time with family. From all at QTCC, goodbye, see you next year!