Exceptionally wet circumstances greeted the 30 Australian Production Cars brought to you by LIQUI MOLY competitors at Sandown Raceway earlier today for the category’s opening race, before race two was cancelled by event organisers due to the impacts of the weather on the day’s schedule.

The field will return to the track Sunday for a one-hour enduro, kicking off at 9.15am.

In race one, Cameron Crick excelled in the slippery conditions to take the outright and class A1 victory after taking the lead off the start from P2 in the #118 DA Campbell Transport Mitsubishi Evo X he shares with Dean Campbell.

Crick didn’t have it all his way however, with fellow A1 racer Jimmy Vernon challenging him early, and Drew Russell in the #58 Go Karts Go BMW M3 putting him under serious pressure in the final stages of the race before being forced to settle for second outright and first in class X.

Vernon had pulled off an exciting move in the #50 Hunter Pacific Ceiling Fans Mitsubishi Evo X to jump from P5 to P2 off the line, a position he would hold until the final laps when he fell victim to a challenge from Matthew Holt in the A2-winning #65 Cavanagh Electrics Holden HSV Clubsport.

With Holt taking third outright and first in class A2, that left Vernon to cross the line fourth and second in class A1 ahead of Chris Lillis in the A2 #64 Cachet Homes Holden HSV Clubsport.

Jake Camilleri was next across the line in the Class C-winning #36 Grand Prix Mazda Caboolture Mazda 3 MPS in an impressive sixth outright, ahead of Ben Gersekowski who put in an impressive effort to climb from 14th to 7th outright and third in class A2 in the #38 KCK Lubricants/Vic’s Timber BMW M3.

Similarly rising through the ranks were Duane West and Brian Callaghan, who started the race from P17 and P16, respectively. West would go on to finish second in Class X and eighth outright in the #90 Kelair Holden VE GTS, while Callaghan would follow him across the line in ninth outright/fourth in A2 in the #37 Callaghan Concrete Pumps Holden VY GTS). Shane Smollen (#56 Prestsige Connex BMW M4) rounded out the top ten outright while claiming third in class X.

Taking out the other class victories were Daniel D’Aquino (Class B, #999 DKD Projects/Metcalfe Automotive Holden VF Commodore, 12th outright), Daniel Natoli (Class D, #39 LME Care/Gtechniq Ford Fiesta, 16th outright) and Allan Jarvis (Class E, #70 Suzuki Swift, 20th outright).

As much as there was plenty of successes across the classes to talk about, there were also struggles for much of the field in the challenging conditions, with six entrants failing to finish and one failing to start.

Martin Lyall (#61 Smart Boating Racing Mazda RX8) spun on turn three 12 minutes into the 30-minute race, becoming bogged attempting to rejoin to bring out the safety car. Under that same safety car, Grant Sherrin (#27 Sherrin Rentals BMW M4) encountered electrical issues, coming to a stop on the main straight.

Zoe Woods (#210 TekworkX Motorsport Hyundai i30N) experienced ECU issues off the start and then pulled into the pit lane at the safety car restart and was unable to resume the race; Sean Evans (#25 Prime Motorsport Holden VZ) did a diff; Travis Lindorff (pictured – #151 Casey Accident Repairs Holden VE GTS) fell afoul of a blown engine, and Karl Begg (#40 Btuned Euro Specialist BMW M4) had a spin for contact with the kerb which caused damage and leaking fluid late in the race.

Darren Forrest (#41 Penrite/Boronia Towbars Holden VF R8) also stopped off-track for a moment for an electrical fault reset, but was able to resume.

Narrowly avoiding disaster on the start was James Keene in the #51 MWM Racing Mini R56 JCW he shares with Richard Luff. As it travelled down the main straight for the first time, the Mini spun from one side of the track to the other directly in the path of numerous hard-charging cars, before coming to a stop against the inside wall. Keene was able to resume running and Luff later took over driving duties, bringing the entry home in P17.

Failing to start the race was the Chris Begg/Ashley Hooper #115 MotorsportSales.com entry which has been grappling with ECU issues this weekend.

Lindorff has been forced to withdraw from any further running this weekend, however all other racers are expected to face the starter tomorrow.

The APC brought to you by LIQUI MOLY action will continue at Sandown Raceway tomorrow, Sunday 18 September, with an hour-long enduro at 9.15am. For more information on the Australian Production Cars, visit www.ausprodcars.com.au or contact Troy Williams on troy@ausprodcars.com.au