Posts Tagged ‘phillip island’
The Australian Sidecar Championship headed to Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on the weekend of October 6 and 7 for round three. Eighteen sidecars were entered, but only 17 were able to run due to one entrant having some engine issues. The round was also the final round of the Victorian Road Race Championship which included solo classes. Qualifying was over two sessions with the first time on track also the first outing for vehicles on Saturday. Despite being dry, it was very cold and began spitting with rain as the session started. Although the riders were pondering if the rain would fall harder, it never did and the track stayed dry for the session. The quickest time went to Shane Soutar/Jeff Rowe on intermediate tyres. The second fastest was Championship leaders Chris Pym/Matty Johnston. Matty was returning to the series after missing round two due to him competing at the Isle of Man TT. The second qualifying session was wet and all teams went out on full wet tyres except Pym/ Johnston who sat the session out, knowing they would not better their dry time. Race one took place on Saturday afternoon in dry warm conditions with all crews getting off the line cleanly. After the start of the third lap, two F2 sidecars came together in turn one at high speed resulting in both crews cart-wheeling through the air with riders and swingers making heavy contact with the ground. The race was red flagged and the medical teams were quickly in attendance. With the clean up taking some time the racing was declared for the day and to restart on Sunday morning. The restart of race one was the first event on the program with a mixed wet/dry track. Teams were choosing all variations of tyre combinations and some bad news came for the pole sitters Soutar/Rowe who could not make the start due to starter motor issues. The race was all Pym/Johnston as they lead from start to finish, with Jeff Brown/Steve Bonney coming from 17th on the grid through the field to finish second, also setting fastest lap of the race. Third outright was the F2 of Ron Marten/Gavin Smith, but third in the F1 class was Duncan Rogers/Warren Grubb. Race two was warmer again and dry but still overcast as the sidecars set off and this time Shane Soutar made the grid thanks to a borrowed starter motor, but it was Pym/Johnston who led early before being reeled in and passed by the fast moving Soutar. Neville Hazelman/Glen Hazelman worked their way forward to take second place on the last lap. Third was Rogers/Grubb, getting quicker each time they went out on their new LCR/ Suzuki, stalked Pym/Johnston and followed the Hazelmans through, bumping Pym back to fourth. Race three saw the best track conditions of the meeting and Shane Soutar made the most of it taking not only the race win, but the fastest lap of the weekend. Duncan Rogers took his time to work his way up to second. Des Harvey/Gary Cushnahan blew their engine on the fourth lap in turn one and parked their sidecar on the outside, bringing out yellow flags for the last two laps allowing Pym/Johnston to keep third place despite a challenge from Brown/Bonney on the last lap. The championship now moves to Perth for the Kings of Wanneroo meeting at Barbagallo Raceway, with double points on offer as a sweetener for teams to travel across the Nullabor for the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of November. Written by Jeff Brown
The Audi Race Experience is the pinnacle of the Audi Driving Experience program that was launched in Australia in May this year. It allows committed, sporty drivers the chance to join a very exclusive group of people that have piloted the formidable Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car. The car that is used for the Audi Race Experience is the very same vehicle that successfully defended Audi’s 2011 Bathurst 12 Hour victory – the mighty ‘Kangaroo’ car – although it now wears a new livery. Last week, three Audi Race Experience customers joined an elite group in driving the 2012 Bathurst 12 Hour-winning Audi R8 LMS around the picturesque Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. It is the first time that any Audi customer has been offered the top-tier Race Experience program outside of Germany. Audi’s Chief Driving Instructor, Steve Pizzati, said it was an incredible experience to be able to offer the three drivers, all without previous racing experience, the chance to get behind the wheel of such an incredible race car and teach them how to drive as though they were preparing for a race. “It was great to see these guys, successful businessmen in their own right, so genuinely excited! They were like school kids and their enthusiasm was infectious, even for me,” said Pizzati. “The idea of driving a race car like the R8 LMS sounds great, but when you’re finally getting buckled into it, the reality of the situation can be terrifying! It’s a serious car and Phillip Island is one of the fastest racetracks in Australia; even in a road car you can reach speeds of 270km/h. “But the success of the first day was testament to our first group: they slowly worked through their trepidation because they had instructors sitting right beside them. And in that kind of environment, it’s essential to have that instant feedback, because there’s just so much going on and it’s all new. “By the end of the day, our drivers showed huge improvement as they extracted more and more of the race car’s potential. With the help of our data analysis program, they gained as much as ten seconds per lap.” All three drivers followed the succession plan that forms the basis of the Audi Drive Experience, progressing through three levels of tuition in specially-selected vehicles from the Audi performance S and RS range. In the final tier, a unforgettable drive around Phillip Island in the Audi R8 V10 road car goes some way to preparing them for the scintillating performance of the R8 LMS racecar.
Polesitter Wayne Maxwell clean swept Sundays QBE Australian Superbike Championship races at Phillip Island, taking valuable points from title rival Josh Waters who was forced to settle for a pair of second places. The Team Honda rider made up 11 points on Waters, collecting the maximum haul available from round 6 and increasing the intensity in his race for a maiden ASBK championship. Despite starting from pole Maxwell didn’t have it all his own way, and it was Team Suzuki’s Ben Attard who blasted off the line to lead both of today’s races. Attard relinquished the lead to teammate Waters on both occasions, and faced further setback as he was penalised for a jump start in race 2. Behind them, Maxwell was chipping away at the riders in front and proved too quick and consistent for their defence in the latter stages. He made his move on race 1 leader Josh Waters in the closing laps, taking the win by 1.7 seconds. He crossed the line with a similar advantage in the second race which had previously been reduced by 2 laps due to a red flag incident. Maxwell has notched up 6 wins to date in 2012, with 5 of them coming at Phillip Island, including two clean sweeps. “The weekend couldn’t have gone any better, not only to get the clean sweep and 51 points, but to be able to set the fastest lap on the last lap of race 1 is a credit to the team and the way they have setup the Honda to use its tyres,” said Maxwell. “The team have been putting in so much work to pull back these points and now we’ll head to the final round to make one last push for the title. “It’s going to be a very tough ask but we’ll give it our best shot.” Waters was strong today but decided discretion was the better part of valour as Maxwell applied the blowtorch. “Once I got a gap over third I just did what I needed to do, Wayne was too strong in those last few laps and to come away with two second places isn’t too bad,” said Waters. “I knew I’d have to be riding at 110% to beat him and now I have to go back to Queensland Raceway and just try to bring it home. “It’s been wet there in races and we’ve had two rained out tests so who knows what we’ll be up against – hopefully it’s a dry weekend and we can get a lot of fans out there to watch the title get decided.” He will head to the final round needing to protect an advantage of 19.5 points to secure his second Australian Superbike Championship title. Team Honda’s Jamie Stauffer completed a carbon copy of race 1 and 2 podium results with a pair of third places. The two-time Champion admitted he didn’t have the pace displayed by the leaders today and was content to come away with two consistent finishes. “Wayne and Josh always do well here and they pretty much broke away in the last few laps to leave me with two third places,” said Stauffer. “I had a good battle with Glenn this afternoon and managed to get back by him which was important for our points. “Queensland Raceway seems to be the track I do the best at so hopefully we can go there and get back on the top step of the podium.” While he remains a theoretical title chance, Stauffer’s focus will be on holding off Procon Maxima BMW’s Glenn Allerton who he heads by just 2.5 points. Allerton finished fourth in both of today’s races to record fourth overall for the round. He also holds down fourth on the standings and will be looking to finish a challenging season on a high next month. Nicholas Waters and Linden Magee shared today’s Prostock wins, with both riders again factoring in the top 10 of the combined Superbike/Prostock field. Chas Hern delivered two podium finishes to maintain his lead of the class and will settle a season-long battle with Magee at Queensland Raceway. Team Suzuki’s Brodie Waters won both of today’s Motul Australian Supersport Championship races to close within half-a-point of Triumph’s Mitchell Carr on the leaderboard. Three riders waged war in a close battle for the win in both races. 0.131s was the greatest margin separating the top 3 riders at race end, with Team Honda’s Josh Hook taking third and second and Carr second and third. Hook took second overall for the round by virtue of a higher place in the second race, and is only 4.5 points shy of the lead with a round still to run. AUSTRALIAN SUPERBIKE C’SHIP at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Rd 6: Races/Round/Championship Points Race 1 Superbike: W Maxwell (Honda) 19m02.049s 1, J Waters (Suzuki) 19m03.759s 2, J Stauffer (Honda) 19m10.326s 3, G Allerton (BMW) 19m13.323s 4, S Charlton (Suzuki) 19m13.457s 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 19m13.629s 6, R Bugden (Suzuki) 19m13.912s 7, B Henry (Suzuki) 19m34.776s 8, N Waters (Honda) 19m35.723s 9, L Magee (BMW) 19m37.234s 10. Race 2 Superbike: W Maxwell (Honda) 15m48.556s 1, J Waters (Suzuki) 15m50.721s 2, J Stauffer (Honda) 15m52.898s 3, G Allerton (BMW) 15m52.954s 4, R Bugden (Suzuki) 15m53.238s 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 16m04.209s 6, S Charlton (Suzuki) 16m04.926s 7, L Magee (BMW) 16m16.996s 8, C Hern (Suzuki) 16m17.335s 9, B Beaton (Suzuki) 16m26.020s 10. Round Points: W Maxwell (Honda) 51pts 1, J Waters (Suzuki) 40pts 2, J Stauffer (Honda) 36pts 3, G Allerton (BMW) 34pts 4, R Bugden (Suzuki) 30pts 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 30pts 6, S Charlton (Suzuki) 30 pts 7, J Phelan (Kawasaki) 24pts 8, B Hooke (Honda) 21pts 9, B Beaton (Suzuki) 13pts 10. Championship Points: J Waters (Suzuki) 247.5pts 1, W Maxwell (Honda) 228pts 2, J Stauffer (Honda) 200.5pts 3, G Allerton (BMW) 198pts 4, R Bugden (Suzuki) 180pts 5, B Attard (Suzuki) 178.5pts 6, S Charlton (Suzuki) 159pts 7, B Henry (Suzuki) 147.5pts 8, B Waters (Suzuki) 45pts 9, C Trounson (BMW) 26pts 10.
Pedders Racing fought hard last weekend to take victory in class E of the Australian Manufacturers Championship at Phillip Island. With tough competition from Maddison Gray and Samantha Bennett in their Toyota Echo, Grant Phillips and Andrew Turpie were forced to push hard all race to keep ahead of the ladies. Race one was began Saturday afternoon in wet and difficult conditions which saw the Gray/Bennett team take full advantage of a poor tyre choice from the Pedders Team. Running a full set of medium compound tyres in what turned out to be a very wet track cost Phillips more than 30 seconds after his half an hour session before handing the car over to Turpie. “The rear of the car just wanted to overtake the front all of the time”, said Phillips as he climbed out of the Bosch/PBR Sponsored car. “Conditions were tough out there and I just don’t know what more I could have done to try and stay in touch with the Toyota”. The drivers change saw the team’s first tyre changes during a race and they performed extremely well, adding just seven seconds to the pit stop. With Gray/Bennett stopping at the same time the Pedders team were able to keep in touch with the ladies thanks to Phillips’ efforts coming into pit lane. “I was a long way behind Maddi coming into the pit lane entry but she slowed down well before the control line and I continued at full speed. I couldn’t believe my luck, all of the lost time was made up through the pit stop entry alone and it felt great to hand the car over in that position”, Phillips continued. Bennett went out and turned the Toyota into a target for the Pedders/Valvoline Team with Turpie having to allow for cold tyres on the rear of the car. The first lap saw the girls lead by more than half a minute. The change to soft compounds on the rear was a fantastic choice and after the second lap Turpie had taken six seconds out of their lead. Turpie drove like a man on a mission and with just three laps remaining in race one he was able to take the lead in class and took victory in race one. “It was tough work out there” said Turpie. “The rain made the track slippery, especially coming down Lukey Heights and Sam made me work for every second to catch her. Traffic and a great choice to change tyres all contributed, allowing the team to take out race one”. Race two on Sunday afternoon saw the team go to battle in cold, windy conditions with just light showers. The Bartercard Sponsored team stayed with the same setup as race one and gave Phillips some additional laps in the warm up session to build his confidence with the new tyre combination. Phillips took the start of race two and was immediately swamped by the competition when a much faster class C car bogged down in their start and closed out Phillips’ option to go around the outside when the car moved across. Taking evasive action Phillips went about getting in front of the Echo and building a lead. Samantha Bennett took the start and never looked like threatening the lead of the Whiteline Flat Out Proton although she was able to claw back some time on several of the laps before the pit window opened. The team took the opportunity to move where the drivers change was to take place, instead of out the front of their garage; they went further down pit lane thanks to one of the Touring Car Masters teams and performed their change away from the pandemonium that was unfolding in front of them. With limited space and too many cars coming in for their compulsory stop at the same time, one of the Pedders Extreme Class A cars was hit in the driver’s door causing significant damage, fortunately no-one was physically hurt. Turpie took the drive from Phillips and maintained the lead had over the Toyota Echo. Staying out of trouble and keeping the car on the track, Turpie was able to ensure victory in race two as well as taking the victory for the weekend in class E. With fantastic racing and a massive team effort Pedders Racing can now take just over two months to prepare for their next race at Queensland Raceway (QR) in Ipswich where the teams’ main competition will also be racing thanks to some negotiations between both the Pedders/Reliance Petroleum Team and the Gray/Bennett Toyota Echo team. “We have had a great weekend racing with Sam and Maddi so it made sense to talk to their management and offer some support by taking their car and equipment in our transporter and helping to reduce some of the financial burden on them”, said Phillips. The team is excited about the night race at QR; it is going to be an amazing spectacle for the spectators, the teams and the drivers. The Shannon’s Nationals Series will be at Queensland Raceway from August 10 to 12 with the highlight of the weekend being the AMC night race on Saturday the 11th commencing at 6.30pm. 2012 Australian Manufacturers Championship Calendar Round 1 March 9-11 Eastern Creek, NSW 2 x 1 hour races with 1 to 2 drivers Round 2 April 28-29 Phillip Island, Vic 1 x 6 hour race with 2 to 3 drivers Round 3 May 25-27 Phillip Island, Vic 2 x 1 hour races with 1 to 2 drivers Round 4 August 10-12 Ipswich, Qld 2 x 200 km races with 1 to 2 drivers Round 5 November 24-25 Sandown, Vic 2 x 1 hour races with 1 to 2 drivers . Words by Daryl Martin Photos by Craig O’brien and Promo girls
The Valvoline sponsored Pedders Racing team took to the Phillip Island Australian Production Car Endurance round with excitement and high hopes for victory in their class E Proton Satria. The weekend began with the team trialling some new set ups and tyre combinations that appeared to work well. With practice sessions and qualifying taking place on Saturday, the drivers were able to provide good feedback to their pit crew paving the way for a great opportunity to perform well in the 6 hour race. Pedders Racing again made every effort to promote and enhance the profile of their sponsors which was made possible by the announcement that Pedders Suspension had become sponsors of the series for the remainder of the 2012. Taking full advantage of this opportunity the team were able to get out amongst the crowd and really show their professionalism in this national series. The team won accolades from the volunteers at the event by taking the time to walk over and thank them all for their efforts and support of this event and all of the others that they attend. Along with the Pedders Bull and their new grid girls, Grant Phillips and Daryl Martin were able to share with the volunteers their own history of doing their very same jobs and acknowledged that it was often done with little or no thanks at all. Phillips, Turpie and Martin are firm believers in showing their respect to those who freely give their time to allow teams and drivers to race. Sunday saw the team finish all of the finer points of presentation and final checks before the main event started at 11.00am. This year’s APC Phillip Island Endurance round took another step forward with the presentation of the Pedders Pole Position awarded on the grid with the Pedders Bull and Pedders Grid Girls as well as Pedders Suspension Victorian Regional Head Office owner, Grant Phillips. The award went to the likable father and son duo of Klark and Tony Quinn in their V.I.P. Pet Foods Class A Mitsubishi Evo 10. Martin took the start for the Pedders team and on cold tyres managed to slide the car sideways at turn 2 but was very quickly able to get back into the race. Finding a rhythm in the Proton was made difficult initially as the HSV Clubsport of Matt Holt blew an engine on the entry to Lukey Heights making the surface very slippery. Martin completed the first two hours of the six hour race with the car in P15 overall and in the winning position for class honours before a smooth driver change and refuel saw Turpie take to the track. After some thirty laps a small vibration in the car soon developed into a major vibration causing Turpie to make an unscheduled pit stop. The vibration was a hub that had separated and split and with no spare in the transporter the team were forced to withdraw from the event. Pedders Racing Team members were devastated after having worked so hard to put together a very competitive package only to have their first DNF (Did Not Finish) at this level of motor sport. Following a debrief post event, the team is looking forward to once again standing on the podium at Phillip Island when the next round of the AMC takes place on May 26th and 27th. They are upbeat and will take the lessons learned from this round and make positive improvements to give themselves the best chance of victory once again. The team would like to thank the valued assistance of all of their sponsors and supporters including: Pedders Suspension, Valvoline, Bosch, DBA, Mulchit ES, Bartercard, Fluidrive Bendigo, PBR, Australian Driver Magazine, Craig O’brien Photography, Whiteline Flat Out, J&A Freight, Moro & Dooly Accident Repair Centre, BP Reliance Petroleum, ARB Bendigo, Atomik Motorsports Bendigo, DNA Paint and the team would particularly like to thank Steven George for his hospitality and support. We were also fortunate enough to have the additional support of Jacquelyn Dupree, Megan Wheatley, Jade Matthews, Dylan Downward, Aaron and Phillip McIvor. Not only do all of these people help us to race at meetings like this but they also help to make these events successful for the team and the category. Words by drive Daryl Martin