QTCC Lakeside 300 Race Weekend Highlights
An abundance of beverages, charred crimson skin combined with high octane fuels, oils, burnt rubber slicks and side by side combat around Lakeside International Raceway generated a weekend you’d be hasty to forget. A consistent drive saw Steve Hay take out the win with close competition from Murray Kent, who suffering a stroke of bad luck throughout the weekend. While Group B saw Gary Anger whipping out astonishing lap times hauling the win, however, perhaps the most aggressive, relentless and fascinating drive was achieved by Michael Thompson’s rotary powered RX-7 shocking the Commodore V8 power houses producing bumper to bumper tussle’s, close shaves and a run for their money.
Meanwhile in Group A, Kent’s last rounds penalty forced his machine to the rear of the grid of Race 1, not ideal when gunning for the top spot! However, this issue didn’t halt his assault toward Hay’s rear bumper, passing two, and in some cases three cars per lap. Hay and Murray Kent’s berserk Torana jockeying for superior track position, which is a demanding task given the narrow width, unique curvature and elevation fluctuations of Lakeside. Despite the Torana clearly demonstrating superior speed, too little too late was the moral of this story. Hay securing the victory while an unparalleled drive by Pierce Harrex positioned him above Chris Brown’s stonking V8 Commodore. Unfortunately an unexpected front left puncture sent Stuart Walker back to home base. Toward the rear grid, Cuda’s VK brawled with Bishops Trans Am Mustang boasting a ludicrous number of ponies, however, Bishop’s vaporizing fuel issue enabled Cuda the upper hand.
Plenty of action was to hit race two of group A, with Kent’s luck once again embracing the worst as the broad shouldered Torana’s hydraulic systems incurred a clutch failure through ‘Bus Stop’. Hay’s dominating charge up front would yet again remain uncontested thanks to Brown and Kennedy’s fight like bulls on tethers. Chris Sharples and Pierce Harrex once again engaged in ferocious combat , however, it was Sharples whom eventually grasped the advantage.
Race three culminated both Group A and B in a fifteen-lap concoction of exhilarating and adrenaline-fueled action. Everlasting clashes between Hay and Kent – Kennedy and Brown – Sharples, Begg and Harrex – Cuda, Bishop and Streat – Thompson, Anger and Pye all failed to disappoint. The relentless assaults initiating perhaps the most intense driving throughout weekend. Dean Rice’s Commodore once again refusing to function, smoke wafting from the car’s belly sent him yet again toward the pit. Hay drove defensively with Kent forcing the issue, however, missing out on the win by point two of a second.
The second combined race concluded in cancelation after the ongoing clash between Kent and Hay was short lived, Kent coming off at the Bus-stop in the opening lap and Pierce Harrex losing control during a skirmish with Chris Sharples under the bridge sending his E30 into the unforgiving grey wall. Kennedy was lucky to withhold his position as Chris Brown had snatched the opportunity to dive up the inside of Karrussell in the opening lap.
With race Five underway, again a combined both Group A & B, Chris Brown blew Hay off the line and made short work of turn 1, securing 1st for the time being. Kennedy also joined the party, bypassing Steve Hay, with Sharples knocking at his back door. Further to the mid field a brawl between Graham Streat, Gary Anger, Chris Begg and Adam Pye heated up, the cars inches from one another, all eager to come out on top. Nevertheless, the one to watch was the epic duel between Brown and Kennedy resumed from the previous race. The relentless aggression from Brett Kennedy forced Brown to throw his Commodore around mercilessly and barrel his V8 Commodore down the front straight at blistering speeds before the alarming twist of Karrossell fills the windscreen. It came down to shoulder to shoulder racing with Brett Kennedy snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on the final lap.
After whacking out a 1:01 flat in a flawless qualification period, Adam Pye owned the privilege as the pole sitter. However, he had Begg, Anger and Thompson in his rearview mirrors eager to contest for the victory throughout race one. Dicing and weaving, blocking and drafting, the top 4 certainly threw on a show for the viewers, all within a second of each another. A couple bumps on track including Gresham & Coe, Rice’s car spewing smoke and a spin off by Linton bunched up the field. However, it was Pye who triumphed, managing to fend of four maniacal drivers in a scramble for victory.
Race number two for Group B saw an intense battle between longstanding favorite Gary Anger and severely underrated Michael Thompson who’d had many underwhelming performances during the season so far. In spite of this, he’d made a brash name for himself this weekend punching up the inside lines, poking around the outsides and pressuring the cars ahead of him like an undiluted driving god as flames sputtered from the exhaust during downshifts. Awesome! Pye also had his work cut out attempting to shake his pursuers, Begg and Coe squabbling over the ideal but challenging track positioning. Ricey’s luck wasn’t any better than Kent’s, his car billowing opaque white smoke mid race punching his ticket to a one-way trip to the pits. Anger, despite the relentless aggression survived the onslaught from Thompson, Pye and Begg clutching the win by only point two of a second over Chris Begg’s E46 BMW.
For more adrenaline pumping action from the QTCC touring cars be sure to join us on the 28th of October for the Ipswich Classic. See you there!