Race Tailem Bend: Friday wrap

The Shannons SpeedSeries fourth round of the season got underway on Friday with wet and wild weather providing plenty of drama at Shell V-Power Motorsport Park for Race Tailem Bend.

Following on from the first day, read up on how all the seven categories went during the first day, in what proved a tale of two halves.

Meguiar’s Australian Production Cars

The Meguiar’s Australian Production Cars was the first category to hold a race this weekend with Cameron Crick taking out the opening one-hour outing.

It was a chaotic start to the race, with a wet track causing a number of the front drivers to have a slow start.

Taking advantage of their slow start was Chris Sutton in his Mitsubishi Evo, who blasted his way to the front in the first 100 metres of the race.

Although Sutton enjoyed a lightning quick start, it didn’t long for the series contenders to settle into the race as Crick eventually took the lead.

Once he got into top spot, he didn’t lose it, leading the field past the chequered flag and ahead of Michael Caine in second place and Grant Sherrin in third, while Sutton settled for fourth.

Photos: Speed Shots Photography

Trico Trans Am Series

Outside of Production Cars, the Trico Trans Am Series was the only other category to complete official business today, with Qualifying.

Taking out pole position ahead of tomorrow’s first of four races was reigning champion James Moffat.

Moffat ended up claiming pole on his final lap in a dramatic conclusion to the session, as the Victorian edged out Todd Hazelwood by just two tenths of a second.

The top two were a cut above the rest as the third placed James Golding’s best time was seven tenths behind.

Earlier in the day, Moffat also went fastest in the first practice session, with Golding topping the timesheets in practice session two.

Fanatac GT World Challenge Powered by AWS

The Fanatac GT World Challenge Powered by AWS had two one-hour practice sessions on Friday, with the morning’s session in the dry and the afternoon in the wet, every driver produced their best times in session one.

Going fastest overall for the day was Jaxon Evans and Elliot Schutte, with the Arise Racing GT Ferrari 296 GT3 entry recording a 1:15.0190 on their eighth lap of the session.

Serving as a preview to this weekend’s gripping competition, the Mercedes AMG GT3 of Jayden Ojeda and Paul Lucchitti went second fastest and were just six hundredths off the pace.

Alex Peroni and Marl Rosser in their Audi R8 LMS EVO II went third fastest and made it three different manufacturers in the top three.

Evans and Schutte were fastest again in practice session two, however, with the wet conditions causing havoc, their best time was almost 10 seconds slower than their morning efforts.

Monochrome GT4 Australia

The gap between the two sessions for the Monochrome GT4 Australia was even bigger with Jarrod Hughes Mark Cotterell guiding their Ginetta G55 GT4 to the fastest time overall for the weekend.

Their best time of 1:22.3802 came on the sixth lap of the first session with a pair of McLaren Artura GT4s within three tenths of them – Nathan Morcom edging out Josh Buchan for second by nine hundredths.

In the day’s second session, it was the third McLaren Atura that topped the time sheets with Marcos Flack and Tom Hayman going fastest by one tenth of a second over Lachlan Mineeff and Shane Smollen.

With the rain once again proving a major factor for results – the second session was much slower than the first with 13 seconds the difference between Flack and Hayman’s time and the overall fastest time of Hughes and Cotterell.

Precision Sports Sedan Series

The Precisions National Sports Sedan Series had the most practice sessions today with three in total, however it was the first that mattered most where all but one of the 18 drivers posting their best times.

Overall, it was the returning Thomas Randle who went fastest for the day, as his penultimate lap in the first session was seconds faster than anyone else.

Registering a time of 1:16.8867 , Randle’s closest competitor was the series’ opening round winner in Peter Ingram, who was a couple of seconds off.

Category champion Jordan Caruso had a mixed opening session with the third fastest time, however his weekend looked to come to a premature end after his Audi R4 caught fire.

Very few drivers took part in the category’s two remaining sessions, with Geoff Taunton going fastest in the five-competitor second session and Steve Lacey doing the same in the six-car final session.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Most drivers in the category had just one proper session for the day after many chose to sit out of the second session due to the heavy rain.

However when they all did run, it was Dylan O’Keeffe who enjoyed the best start to the weekend, guiding the Ashley Seward Motorsport Lynk & Co CO 03 TCR to the fastest time in practice one.

Waiting until his 12th and final run of the session to snatch bragging rights for the session, O’Keefe’s time of 1:31.5503 was four tenths of a second faster than Jordan Cox.

Rounding out the top three was Ben Bargwanna, who was one and a half tenths ahead of Ryan Casha. Aaron Cameron’s fifth place highlighted a dominant day out for the Peugeot 308 TCR, which took out four of the top five places.

Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia

Continuing the trend of categories posting their fastest times in the morning as opposed to the wet afternoon, there was a 10 second difference between the two sessions.

Just two hundredths of a second separated the top two drivers in the one-make series’ first day, with Clay Osborne edging out Brock Gilchrist to top the category.

It was incredibly close competition between many of the top, only a further four hundredths were the difference between the next two drivers with Hamish Fitzsimmons going third fastest over Oscar Targett.

The best Am driver for the session was Ramu Farrel who was just over four tenths of a second slower than the leader in seventh overall, while Bradley Carr was the fastest in Class B.