22 Oct THE BEND DELIVERING PLENTY OF DRAMA FOR APC BROUGHT TO YOU BY LIQUI MOLY RACERS
Two one-hour races have been held at The Bend Motorsport Park for the Australian Production Cars brought to you by LIQUI MOLY racers today, with both races hosting early safety cars following on-track drama amidst the front-runners.
In race one, a safety car was called on the first lap when the front four racers – Grant Sherrin (#27), Wayne Russell (#58), Rob Rubis (#56) and Steve Jukes (#67) got into trouble, with Sherrin spinning and the rest taking evasive action as a result.
Thankfully all cars were able to resume running for a rapid restart, with no penalties issued. The rest of the race was relatively trouble free despite intermittent rain, except for Sherrin – who had recovered to P2 in the #27 Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 only for a tyre puncture to undo all his hard work at the half way mark – and Amar Sharma and Daniel Natoli, who suffered power issues in the #39 LME Care/Gtechniq Ford Fiesta.
In race two, Iain Sherrin (#27) was leading Shane Smollen (#56), Karl Begg (#67), Nathan Callaghan (#64) and Wayne Russell (#58) with five laps and 13 minutes elapsed when Begg came into heavy contact with the rear of Smollen’s #56 Prestige Connex BMW M4, following a brake pedal failure in his #67 Kirkworks BMW F80 M3.
The impact sent both entries into the kitty litter for a lengthy recovery. Due to the damage caused, the #67 is not expected to take any further part this weekend, but work is well underway in an attempt to see the #56 on-track for tomorrow’s racing.
When running resumed at the 26 minute mark, Sherrin was leading the race after having a great start prior to the safety car, with the M4 going on to lead the majority of the race before tyre issues again struck. This time, it was a front right tyre failure which saw his campaign for a win again scuppered with 18 minutes to go while fighting off Drew Russell, who had taken over from his father Wayne in the #58. Also running into trouble late in the race was the Chris Holdt entry (#25 La Rocca Marble Astra), which was forced to retire with 11 minutes to go when it went into limp mode.
Amidst the drama, the #58 Go-Karts-Go BMW M3 of Wayne, Drew and Aaren Russell secured a pair of outright and Class X victories, while the A1, A2, D and E class wins were also clean-swept by their respective victors.
The #50 Hunter Pacific Ceiling Fans Mitsubishi Evo of Jimmy Vernon and Dean Campbell took out both A1 wins along with a race two outright podium finish (P2), while the #64 Cachet Homes HSV Clubsport of Chris Lillis and Nathan Callaghan won twice in A2 while also claiming P2 outright in race one and P3 outright in race two.
The Jimmy Vernon/Dean Campbell pairing is a one-off for this weekend which has transpired in unusual circumstances. Campbell came to this weekend entered in his #118 DA Campbell Transport Mitsubishi Evo X, third in the A1 title standings behind a pair of drivers (equal 2nd) who are not entered this weekend, while Vernon was leading the standings in the #50.
When Campbell’s entry was retired in practice one due to a engine failure and subsequent fire, Vernon displayed exceptional sportsmanship to invite Campbell to be his co-driver to keep the championship fight alive, rather than taking the opportunity to lock down the A1 title with one round to go by leaving him on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Campbell’s original co-driver, Cameron Crick, has accepted a co-drive in the #25 of Chris Holdt.
The #39 Ford Fiesta of Sharma and Natoli, and the #70 TOA57D Motorsport Suzuki Swift of Allan Jarvis, clean-swept classes D and E respectively, with the #39’s success especially sweet given the team’s race trailer with the #39 inside was in an accident on-route to the track and ended up on its side.
The Class C wins were split between the #36 Grand Prix Mazda Caboolture Mazda 3 MPS of Jake Camilleri (race one, 8th outright) and the #210 Tekworkx Motorsport Hyundai i30N of Zoe Woods and Daniel Jilesen (P5 outright). The #36 had been earlier reclassified as the pole-sitter for Class C following yesterday’s qualifying session, when the #210 was disqualified due to overboost issues.
The APC brought to you by LIQUI MOLY field will return to The Bend Motorsport Park tomorrow (Sunday 23 October) for two further one-hour races. The first for the day and third for the weekend will commence at 8.15am local time, while the category’s fourth and final race will kick off at 12.55pm and will be streamed live on 7Plus.