Kent Wins Round 2 at QR
After an qualifying session,with Murray Kent’s Torana punching out blistering lap times, the following two races of the day were set to be an action-packed exhibition of no frills, grass roots racing.
With Group A Race 1 underway, the racing was bumper to bumper with Kent, Steve Hay, Steve Burridge and Hamish Goetz slogging it out for the upper hand. Kent, fending of the eager VK Commodore driven by Hay, held composure as both the Monaro piloted Burridge and CV8 Commodore driven by Goetz clipped Hay's heels under braking. However raw horses, on the straights, enabled Kent and Hay to consolidate 1st and 2nd position respectfully, with Burridge in 3rd. Starting from the second last row of the grid, after his front left rim decided it had better things to do than being part of the wheel during qualifying, Dan Cuda’s VK Commodore ploughed through the field in an attempt to discover what the car was capable of with 2-year-old 18’s on the rear rather than the standard 16’s it’s fitted with. Apparently quite a slideshow. Nevertheless, a valiant 10th proved rather impressive.
Group B Race 1 was every bit as hard fought up front with the fastest six cars split by less than a second a lap over the 10 laps. Dean Rice was amongst the front runners until his gear lever parted company with the selector and left him stranded. Tony Vaughan & John Phoenix had their usual tussle with only 3/100th separating their fastest lap times. Alwyn Bishop in his immaculate GTR XU-1, Darren Love in his E36 BMW and Craig Line in a Gemini were all debutants in QTCC racing, along with special guest Phil Brock. Chris Begg (BMW) held off a fast finishing Matthew Haak (VL Commodore), to take the win, with Adam Pye (Cmmodore) taking 3rd and his first QTCC podium finish.
After multiple delays, Race 2 was shifted to a night race with a combined Group A & B field. With poor visibility engulfing surroundings and only half of the track lit, tensions were so high they could be cut with a butter knife. A total of 30 cars trundled onto the circuit with anxious and cautious body language as a demanding task had been placed on every driver’s shoulders. Again, the front 2 rows drawing a convincing lead, with the raging battle of old vs new. Kent this time however, being outperformed by 3 commodores while Hay held his wits against Goetz, Brett Kennedy and Chris Brown. Richard Gresham in the 2002 cut his way through the field, from the rear of grid, to finish a 13th, while David Oberhofer’s Commodore wrestled its way from 28th to finish in 17th.
An incident involving Michael Thompson’s troubling RX-7 and Gary Anger’s VH Commodore did not affect the race results thanks to clean racing, while Peter Jolly was unlucky to be tapped after spinning and was out for the rest of the weekend. Meanwhile, the front runners continued to put on a spectacular show for the crowd, most notably Goetz closing on Hay’s VK under braking, his disks glowing furiously against the contrasting night sky. Quite a show!
The following morning racing would commence early on. Hay and Kent met yet again on the front row, whilst Goetz and Burridge awaited eagerly in their rearview mirrors. Lap 1 and 2 saw no position changes up font however, far back in 21st Cuda’s VK making mincemeat of 2-3 cars a lap with astonishing bravery under braking. Lap 3 consisted of a slight jostling in position between the front runners, Goetz and Burridge going aggressively on Hay, pressuring him to perform under braking, however he could not keep it up, slipping him down into 3rd. Meanwhile, Kent’s Torana was unstoppable in open track, pushing both Commodore’s to their limits, however Kent’s driving was sensational scoring him another 1st place finish.
The fourth and final race of the weekend being held on the national circuit (combined groups again) had been anticipated for the majority of the day. Turn 1 caused havoc with several cars leaving the track, however everyone scrimped through unscathed apart from Hay and Adrian Blackwell, whose VP Commodore spun, sending him a one-way ticket back into the pits, whereas Hay managed to recover in his VK and begin the long haul back to the top of the field. The top 5, Kent, Burridge, Goetz, Kennedy and Hay, once again squabbling for the lead all with 1:18 lap times, however no position changes occurred. Rice and Begg unloaded all their cars had, a great battle to watch for the race within a race for the Group B cars. The Group B battle, was more widespread however, with Pye holding off Phoenix and Anger.
With Hay leaping through the field, he’d managed to bring himself to 5th before the chequered flag was dropped. Kent, Burridge, Kennedy and Goetz finished in tight formation while Chris Sharples, Cuda and Graham Streat finished in quick succession. Rice finished of the top of Group B, hitting the finish line only a couple of tenths ahead of Begg and followed home by Pye in 3rd. The remaining cars on the field crossed the line all within 10 seconds rounding up the end of the weekend.
Overall results saw Murray Kent 1st, Steve Hay 2nd and Hamish Goetz 3rd, with Group B results showing Chris Begg 1st, Adam Pye in 2nd and John Phoenix in 3rd.
The QTCC cars will return June 17 & 18 at the Two Days Of Thunder, again at Queensland Raceway. Look forward to seeing you there!