Posts Tagged ‘queensland raceway’
A freak whirlwind and a lengthy delay to clean up an oil spill characterised today’s QBE Australian Superbike Championship Practice sessions, headed by perennial Queensland Raceway pacesetter Jamie Stauffer. The Team Honda rider has been the man to beat at the 3.12km circuit in the past and got quickly up to speed despite the on-track distractions. Stauffer was fourth-fastest in the opening Practice, 0.932s off fast man Glenn Allerton who was leading when the red flag was shown. A strong gust of wind whipped dirt and debris onto the track at turn 6, forcing officials to declare the session with 5 minutes left on the clock. Just minutes into the afternoon session an oil spill in the fast-braking area at turn 3 brought down three bikes, though riders were able to walk away safely. Stauffer and Allerton were quick again when proceedings resumed, with the Honda rider able to improve 1.6s on his morning time to finish the day on top. Already a two-time Champion, Stauffer remains a distant title chance should the frontrunners falter. “We’ve been trying to get a few things done with the bike today and didn’t really get a chance until the second session,” said Stauffer. “I reckon there will be a few people in the 1:08’s tomorrow, the times really started to come down there at the end. “I always seem to go well here and it would be good to finish out with a few more wins – I can’t really change what happens in front of me in the Championship so I’ll just be focusing on the best results I can.” Defending ASBK Champion Glenn Allerton is fired up to round out his season with victory. Like Stauffer, he’s still in with a theoretical chance, and feels his BMW will be strong in race trim on Sunday. “I feel like this can be my weekend,” said Allerton. “I’ve got a really good feeling with the bike at the moment, we’ve done a couple of tests after Phillip Island and are coming on strong at the right time. “The power delivery is getting better on the bike and we’ve got a good feeling for what this track needs. “You never know what will happen on race day. I just need to put myself in the best possible position and go for those wins.” Points leader Josh Waters and his closest opposition Wayne Maxwell were third and fourth fastest today, lapping within two-tenths of each other at the end of both sessions. Waters was one of the first riders to come across the debris on track following this morning’s whirlwind and was relieved to stay upright on the slippery surface. “It was pretty crazy, a windstorm picked up one of the safety bails and brought it out onto the track with all the dirt,” said Waters. “I was first through it and waved like crazy for the officials to red flag it which they did. “It was a scary moment, that’s for sure!” Brodie Waters kept his nose in front in the race for Motul Supersport honours today. The Suzuki rider rounded out the day with a 1m12.084s lap to head off points leader Mitchell Carr and Championship contender Josh Hook. Local rider Brendan Clarke bought into their battle, using his extensive experience at his home track to set the fourth fastest time. Riders will take to the track for qualifying today, with the top four in the Superbike and Supersport classes advancing to the Superpole sessions.
Race one of the AMC Hydraulink 400 presented by the Shannons Nationals was always going to be a rough ride for the Bendigo based team, with a blown head gasket discovered after first practice on Friday, the team was forced to drive over an hour away to find a replacement gasket only to have it fail during qualifying. With the knowledge and support of other teams within the category, including Team Mitsubishi Ralliart, the problem was soon found and the race was on to find the appropriate parts and have repairs made. The team saw two cars hit the roads of South-East Queensland in an effort to chase down the necessary parts and try and make the grid. Having clocked up hundreds of kilometres and many phone calls to people everywhere, the required parts and a machined head for the Proton arrived on track at 4pm, with the hard work to put the engine back together being a race against the clock. The “Fight in the Night” began in darkness and was an amazing spectacle for more than 1000 spectators who braved the coolness of the night to watch some fantastic racing at Queensland’s premier race circuit. After a top end engine rebuild, the Pedders Racing Team took to the race with an unknown quantity and were in contention for second place at the end of leg one of the AMC Hydraulink “Fight in the Night” before a surprising issue with fuel consumption forced the Valvoline sponsored car to return to the pits for a splash and dash. This meant that the team lost position to Maddison and Lauren Gray in their Toyota Echo. Regrouping, the team made further alterations to the car for leg two of the “Fight in the Night” which commenced at 4.30pm on Sunday. With everything on the line the team took the never give up approach and went out with all guns blazing in an effort to win this inaugural night event. Four laps in and Andrew Turpie took the lead from Maddison Gray which put the Bosch sponsored Proton Satria into first place with The Alan Jarvis Suzuki Swift back in the pits with a blown engine, the team remained in front for the entirety of the race and bringing home first place in class E at this Shannons Nationals event. Having almost missed the start of the race on Saturday, the team was excited about taking home not only the victory for this round but also ensuring that they are now mathematically unbeatable for the Championship in class. ”If it were not for the amazing support from our incredible team we certainly wouldn’t be making the trip back to Bendigo with another victory under our belts,” said team owner and number one driver Grant Phillips. “I just can’t thank them enough for their efforts and also the people in this AMC family, we are certainly blessed to be able to race along side of so many fantastic teams who are ready to offer their help”. The Pedders Racing Team are now planning their assault on the final round of the series at Sandown Raceway on November the 24th to 25th which will also be the Proton Satria’s swan song for this category of racing. Written by Daryl Martin Photos by Phil Melvin
The Australian Manufacturers Championship is set for an exciting Shannon’s Nationals event at Queensland Raceway in Ipswich this weekend with a line-up that reads like a car yard sales brochure. Dubbed the “Fight in the Night”, the AMC Hydraulink 400 has a line-up of some 27 cars from various manufacturers over six classes and will take on the Paper Clip in 2, 200km races. The first 200km race will start at 5.45pm on Saturday the 11th of August, under lights thanks to Kennard’s Traffic Control in an Australian first for the AMC and Shannon’s Nationals. “This is one of the most exciting events I have been involved with, bringing night racing to a hungry audience of spectators for real cars racing in real events,” said Category Manager and V8 Dunlop Series stalwart Aaron McGill. “We have not only secured this fantastic event presented by Hydraulink, but we will be seeing some of the most amazing cars racing on a genuine spectator friendly track where you will get to see drivers negotiating slower traffic with lots of overtaking moves on Queensland’s premier race circuit.” “This event is also the launching point for the debut of Queenslander Beric Lynton’s BMW 1-series M Coupe, one of the finest sports cars produced by BMW and the only race prepared version in the world” McGill continued.” “Queensland is well represented in this event with the likes of VIP Pet foods entry Tony and Klark Quinn in their new Mitsubishi Evo 10, one of 4 Evo 10’s set to help light up the night. Gold Coast Go Karting’s Cam Wilson and David Woods will be taking it up to the Evo’s with their Subaru WRX entry. These cars are going to be marginal on their fuel consumption, with many being forced to refuel mid race making this event is anyone’s to win.” The Grand Prix Mazda entry of Jake Camilleri is definitely one to watch, his “Giant Killer” Mazda 3 MPS is one of the dark horses at this event and shouldn’t be discounted. “We just don’t know how he will go on fuel” said McGill. Definite surprise package will be the lone V8 entry of Mark Bell in his Ford Falcon. This race will come down to fuel strategy and skill as entries like the Evo 9 and 10’s will be at least 8 litres short while the WRX will be borderline. In the baby class, compact touring class E, the Pedders Suspension Proton Satria entry of Grant Phillips and Andrew Turpie will take on the farther and daughter entry of Michael and MaddisonGray in their Toyota Echo along with up to three Suzuki Swifts. Six classes are being contested in the one race with the Australian Manufacturers Championship is one of the best categories racing today that requires skill and calculation that is not seen in any other Australian series. Race 2 begins at 4.30pm on Sunday the 12th where the AMC will once again be racing in the twilight. Championships are on the line and teams are set to put on a fantastic show of motor racing for the Queensland public. Entry is $20 on Saturday, $30 on Sunday or a weekend pass costs $40. With promo girls and teams that encourage the spectators to come and say g’day, this is the best value for money National Motor Racing event Queenslanders will see all year. Written by Daryl Martin
Queensland Raceway (QR), at Willowbank played host to round three of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship over the weekend with an interesting array of race cars. Also running on the weekend was the first round of the Australian Super Truck sprint series. Truck racing is not new to QR but this year’s field was smaller than others, although this did not affect the racing on track. From a rolling start the air filled with plumes of diesel smoke as the pedals hit the metal. Running on the sprint circuit due to being speed limited, the six lap races excited the crowds over the two days of competition. The trucks of different makes and engine manufactures made for some exciting action as drivers were stronger on different sections of track. Rob Waters and Steven Zammit enjoyed lead swapping with both drivers walking away with victories. After each race the trucks required a number of cool down laps but as time went on the drivers began showing off to the crowd and drifted around the dry corners. The spectators were impressed despite being covered in smoke. Also hitting the tarmac over the weekend was the classic HQ Holden’s who always put on a good show. This one make classic series sees driver’s door handle to door handle from the second the flag drops. A healthy field of 17 drivers started the race weekend with all with their sights set on being the first across the line. 2011 champion Gary Bonwick proved he still had what it takes to run at the front despite being pushed by Ramon Connell and other talented racers. An impressive field and class of drivers turned it on in round five of the Queensland Formula Vee series. Despite one driver having an off on Saturday, the racing was tail pipe to nose cone in every race. On almost every lap the lead changed between reigning champion Paul Manteit and the young hard charger Jordan Deckert. Other drivers were able to get in on this action and cause up to a six way fight for the lead. The Improved Production class saw a lower number of entries then normal but this did not stop the racing from being full of excitement. David Skillender in the mighty powerful Holden Commodore was hard to catch in a straight line and built up a good lead in each race. A not so new but yet exciting racing class to feature over the weekend was the Time Attack Excel Cup. The field was strong and consisted of two eight lap races with for each driver of the car in preparation of the one hour race on Sunday afternoon. As the drivers were to use the same cars in the one hour as they did in the sprint races, you would have thought they would look after them a little. This was not the case as each driver pushed as hard as they could and some a little too hard. Watching one hour of Hyundai Excels racing around QR was one of the most exciting races this year. Drivers were pushing from the start and all through the hour to prove they had the goods to be the one hour race winner. As pit stops were mandatory, even if the drivers did not swap with another driver, they had to come in and remove a sticker from the left side of the car. This worked out to be an equal time for single competitors as it was for a real driver change. Paul Butler held off the field to take out the honours and be crowned the weekend’s one hour race winner. Some Excels did not fare so well after the hard slog race but this category is only getting stronger as events go on.
For more information on Queensland Raceway and the events run there visit http://www.qldraceways.com.au/home.php . Photos by Phil Melvin and Chris Nissen
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