Friday wrap – The Bend

The Shannons Nationals got underway at The Bend in wet conditions today.

Despite a slippery track, the majority of drivers kicked off their weekend campaigns without much drama. Here’s a wrap of today’s practice and qualifying:

Carsales TCR Australia Series

The slippery conditions at The Bend caught out championship leader Will Brown during the first practice session. Brown’s Hyundai i30N went aquaplaning into the rear of James Moffat’s Renault Megane causing significant damage to Moffat’s car. The session was red flagged while the two vehicles were retrieved off the track.

Newcomer Jordan Cox (Honda Civic Type R) stamped his arrival on the series by posting the fastest time of the first session with a 2:10 flat. Dylan O’Keefe (Alfa Romeo Giuletta) was the second quickest with a 2:10.61, and Nathan Morcom (Hyundai i30N) posted a 2:10.99 which claimed him third fastest of the session.

Cox’s time remained unbeaten at the end of Practice 2 as Tony D’Alberto (Honda Type R) came the closest with a 2:10.50. The day’s fastest lap was also just out of reach for Jason Bright (VW Golf GTi) who finished the second session with a 2:10.55.

The carsales TCR Australia Series is back on track tomorrow for qualifying at 10:35am EST. Race 1 starts at 1:45pm.

CAMS Australian Endurance Championship

The Mercedes AMG’s topped the timesheets in the Australian GT Endurance’s first outing. The fastest lap in Practice 1 was a 2:11.15 set by Peter Hackett. Hackett will be paired with Dominic Storey for Saturday’s 180 minute endurance race. Yasser Shahin was only half a second off Hackett’s pace. Shahin will share driving duties with Jamie Whincup.

The second outing saw teams find pace, with most making easy work of toppling the times set in the first session. Whincup set the fastest time of the day with a 2:01.62. Storey was just over a second behind with a 2:02.69.

Third fastest was Tony D’Alberto with a 2:03. D’Alberto will be sharing the Mercedes AMG with Max Twigg.

Qualifying begins tomorrow at 9:05am EST with the Endurance race kicking off at 2:50pm EST.

CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship

The conditions did nothing to slow Luis Leeds down in their first practice session. Leeds, who currently tops the Championship table by 25 points going into this weekend’s double round, came out ahead of Thomas Smith by 1.38 seconds.

Leeds’ Castrol Pole Position streak this season was broken during both of the back to back qualifying sessions.

In qualifying for Round 5, it was Lachlan Hughes who secured Pole, pipping Leeds time by less than half a second. For Round 6 it was Ryan Suhle who claimed Pole, leaving Leeds with a case of de ja vu, missing out again by less than half a second.

Leeds got a great start on Race 1 and kept the lead for the race. Despite missing out on the victory, Suhle setting a cracking pace that saw him reset the lap record for the category at The Bend and claim second on the podium, while Antonio Astuti rounded out the podium.

F4 Race 2 gets underway tomorrow at 10:05am EST.

National Sports Sedan Series

Tony Ricciardello (Alfa Romeo GTV) set the pace in the first practice lap with a 2:09.09. Jordan Caruso (Audi A4) was in touch of Ricciardello’s time, only half a second behind.

Practice 2 saw Caruso finding the pace to top the timesheets for that session, but saw him falling slightly short of setting the best time of the day, coming in just over a second behind Ricciardello with a 2.09.90. Third fastest time of the day was set in the first session by Thomas Randle in the Saab 93. Randle posted a 2:09.94.

The National Sports Sedan Series will be on track again tomorrow for Qualifying at 11:15am EST.