Race Winton: Friday wrap

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

Carl Cox Motorsport’s Michael Clemente and Team Valvoline GRM’s Aaron Cameron have set the fastest times in the two Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series practice sessions.

HMO Customer Racing duo Josh Buchan and Bailey Sweeny were behind Clemente in the opening session, with Hyundai looking to repeat eventual champion Will Brown’s clean sweep of the last TCR Australia round in 2019.

Cameron had just set the fastest time of the day in the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship in the previous track session, and was so confident with his Peugeot 308 TCR that he returned to the pits a minute before the chequered flag waved.

D’Alberto was next, only seven hundredths away from Cameron, with Sweeny, Ben Bargwanna, and Clemente rounding out the top five – all covered by two and a half tenths of a second.

TCR Australia debutant Clay Richards, son of five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Steve and grandson of seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Jim, missed the entirety of the morning session after discovering a power steering issue on his install lap.

The Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series next hit the track for Qualifying 1 at 11:50am tomorrow, immediately followed by Qualifying 2 at 12:05pm before TCR Australia’s first race at Winton since 2019 commences at 4:10pm.

2023 SpeedSeries, Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, Australia.
June 9th-11th 2023.
World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz Photographer


National Trans Am Series

All American Driveline’s Ben Grice and series leader James Moffat shared the spoils across the two National Trans Am Series practice sessions.

The Team Valvoline GRM driver was fast out of the gates in the opening practice session but ultimately fell second to Grice as a 1:24.85 was enough to put the Victorian on top of the timesheets.

Moffat responded in the second session to post a weekend best 1:24.650 to finish a mere tenth of a second ahead of TPS Group / Breeze Holiday Parks’ Brett Holdsworth.

A trio of Garry Rogers Motorsport drivers then followed the leading pair, with AWC’s Lochie Dalton continuing his good run of form after a fourth-place finish in practice one, less than two-tenths away from his teammate in Moffat by the day’s end in third.

Owen Kelly and Edan Thornburrow finished in fourth and fifth respectively in practice two and are showing true pace after an incident between the two at Phillip Island.

After leading the opening session, Grice was unable to better the time – falling back down into eighth place in the process.

The National Trans Am Series will take the track for qualifying at 10:50am AEST on Saturday to decide the grid for the opening race of the weekend in the afternoon.

Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters

The experienced John Bowe topped the only practice session of the weekend on Friday morning ahead of Western general Body Works driver Danny Buzadzic and Multispares Racing’s Ryan Hansford.

But it will be the series leader, Steve Johnson who will have the ultimate advantage come Saturday morning’s opening race after claiming an emphatic pole position.

The Hancock Racing driver left it until late on in the session to break the one-minute 27 second barrier, claiming top spot ahead of series legend Bowe after the latter sat comfortably atop of the timesheets throughout most of the session.

Hansford was the only other driver to come close to the leading pair, finishing within five-hundredths of a second of Bowe and ensuring a second row start alongside Adam Garwood.

The Gulf Western Oil V8 Touring Car Series will take the track for its opening race on Saturday at 11:20am AEST.

S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship

Team Valvoline GRM driver Aaron Cameron topped both practice sessions for the S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship.

The 2021 Tasman Series champion set the fastest time of the day in this afternoon’s second practice session, besting Garry Rogers Motorsport stablemate James Golding by three and a half tenths of a second.

Series leader Joey Mawson finished the first practice session in second place behind Cameron, before falling to third in the following session but was still within five-tenths of a second of the lead.

Elsewhere in the field, The Crown Windows / Hobart Powersports entry of Nic Carroll came together with The Fuzzies Game Team BRM entry of Mark Rosser early in the first session, with Carroll since being taken to hospital with a hand injury.

Phillip Island round winner Cooper Webster was uncharacteristically off the pace in the Versa Motorsport car, claiming fifth in both sessions over eight tenths behind the frontrunners.

The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship returns to the track for qualifying at 10:20am tomorrow morning, before S5000’s first ever race at Winton at 1:30pm.

2023 SpeedSeries, Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, Australia.
June 9th-11th 2023.
World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz Photographer


Kumho V8 Touring Car Series

Jude Bargwanna has continued his winning ways from Phillip Island, setting the fastest time in both Kumho V8 Touring Car Series practice sessions at the Winton Raceway in challenging conditions.

Undertaking the tight and twisty rural circuit for the first time this season in his Ford Falcon FG, the third-generation racing Bargwanna finished three-tenths of a second ahead of Notlaw Racing’s Jamie Tilley in practice one, while Jim Pollicina rounded out the top three.

Due to heavy rainfall in the lead up to the week, the track continued to be wet and slippery throughout the opening session – forcing small mistakes from each driver.

As the track started to dry in the afternoon sun, the 18-year-old was able to muster the fastest time of the day to come within a second of a second of the category’s 2016 Winton lap record.

Finishing the second session in second place was Tilley, while ANT Racing’s Tony Evangelou found his way into the top three.

The Kumho V8 Touring Car Series will take the track at 9:55am AEST Saturday morning for Qualifying, before taking on their first of two races later on in the afternoon.

Australian Formula Ford Series

This week’s weather at the Winton Motor Raceway set the scene for a wet and slippery opening session as the category kicked off the on-track action bright and early.

Team Sonic locked out the top three in qualifying with Matt Hillyer claiming pole position by less than a tenth of a second after a dominant day out on track.

The Victorian finished ahead of Tasmania round winner Jake Santalucia and other teammate Conor Somers in a dominant team performance.

Queenslander Jake Bussey proved dominant in the opening practice session of the weekend, but wasn’t able to replicate the efforts in qualifying finishing 12th.

The second practice session of the day saw Hillyer work his way to the top of the timesheets, finishing ahead of current series leader Zak Lobko who will start in sixth for the opening race.

The Australian Formula Ford Series will take the track for its opening race of the weekend on Saturday at 9:25am AEST.

Precision National Sports Sedan Series

Newcomer Tony Ricciardello and 2022 champion Jordan Caruso shared the spoils across the two Precision National Sports Sedan Series practice sessions held on Friday.

Joining the series this season in his Alfa Romeo GTV, Ricciardello topped the reigning champion in the opening session with a 1:36.13, while another newcomer in Josh Haynes found himself sitting in third at session’s end.

The tables turned in the second outing, with Caruso gaining the upper edge ahead of Saturday’s qualifying session after posting a 1:20.34 in dryer track conditions.

Ricciardello still came home in second place – only four tenths of a second back from the leader despite the change in conditions.

Haynes once again powered his Performance Tower Hire Ford Mustang into third place and will be one to keep a close eye on come qualifying.

The Precision National Sports Sedan Series will have qualifying first thing Saturday morning at 9:00am AEST.