Sydney Motorsport Park 2022: Saturday wrap

With Saturday’s Shannons action complete, find out how all the categories fared on a busy day at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series

HMO Customer Racing’s Josh Buchan has secured a dominant race win, with a lights to flag victory in the opening race of the weekend.

Buchan enjoyed a perfect start and never looked challenged, backing up his strong qualifying performance in his Hyundai i30N.

Honda Racing’s Tony D’Alberto, the Series leader heading in to the Sydney round of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships, finished the day in eighth.

Team Liqui Moly’s Will Brown fought hard all night, with several scraps throughout the field after qualifying third earlier in the day. Ultimately, the Audi star and inaugural TCR Series winner would end up with a puncture and was forced into a race retirement, cruelling any chance of a podium.

Team Valvoline’s Aaron Cameron claimed a strong second place finish after starting Saturday night’s race in fourth, Swyftx’s Jordan Cox rounded out the podium in his Peugeot 308.

Two races bookend the Stan Sport live coverage on Sunday, with an 11.20am morning race, before the final race of the event begins at 4.10pm.

Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge

Two races, two identical top threes for the drivers of the hugely popular Porsche junior development category.

Team Porsche New Zealand’s Ryan Wood converted his pole position into an opening race win, before again claiming the second race win of the day as the category enjoyed an epic final race in the setting sun at Sydney Motorsport Park.

In both races, Wood finished ahead of Tegra Australia’s Tom Sargent, while Local Legends’ Sonic Motor Racing’s Courtney Prince finished third.

The category’s final race for the weekend will begin at 12.40pm tomorrow – an 11 lap shootout around Sydney Motorsport Park.

Photos: Speed Shots Photography

S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship

The S5000 Australian Drivers’ Championship enjoyed both qualifying and the first race of the weekend today and it was reigning champion Joey Mawson who took out both sessions.

However it was extremely close between the New South Welshman and his closet title rival in Aaron Cameron in both.

Just one tenth separated the two in qualifying before they were going wheel-to-wheel during the 12-lap race under lights.

Although Mawson never lost his lead, he was still kept honest by Cameron as just half a second separated the duo at the chequered flag.

The battle for third was just as interesting with even less time the difference between Tim Macrow and young gun Nathan Herne.

Neither started in third with James Golding retiring after seven laps, elevating Herne and Macrow to third and fourth respectively – the latter eventually passing Herne to cross the line less than three tenths ahead.

The final two races of the weekend for competitors take place at 12.05pm and 2.15pm – both part of Stan Sport’s ongoing coverage of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.

Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters

After an exciting Qualifying session in Friday’s busy schedule, the Gulf Western Oil Touring Car Masters again put on a show for fans in two thrilling affairs.

Starting off with the reverse-grid Trophy Race, Daimler Trucks Adelaide’s George Miedecke ended up taking out top honours thanks to an inspired performance that saw him climb an impressive 15 places.

Behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro, Miedecke started from P16 and worked his way up the field throughout the 10-lap affair to cross the finish line four and half seconds faster than Anglomoil Superior Lubricants’s Cameron Tilley, while CM Auto Parts’ Cameron McConville rounded out the top three.

Yesterday’s polesitter John Bowe wasn’t too far behind in the race and was sitting pretty in fifth, before mechanical issues and a conservative strategy saw him just finish the race and bank points.

There was nothing conservative about his victory in race two, with Bowe steering the Rare Spares/Paynter Dixon backed Holden Torana to victory and beating Miedecke by just four tenths of a second.

Having led for the first two laps, Bowe lost his advantage to Miedecke and spent the rest of the race chasing him down – eventually getting his man on the last lap and charging home to o the win.

Finishing in third place less than a second behind was Multispares Racing’s Ryan Hansford.

A further two races await TCM competitors on Sunday, with two 12 lap hit-outs to come – the first at 1.10pm, the second at 2.55pm.

Turtle Wax Trans Am Series

Team Valvoline GRM’s Nathan Herne has been dominating the category for quite some time now and the youngster was again on track to do so again after qualifying on pole yesterday and winning the series’ first race in the morning.

Finishing second on both occasions was Owen Kelly and the Ford Mustang driver never looked like passing Herne throughout the 11-lap outing, despite being only one and half seconds behind the chequered flag.

However never giving up, Kelly ended up claiming a race win of his own today after Herne had mechanical issues during the second race – limping to the pits halfway through the 14-lap race.

Enjoying the runner-up finish five seconds behind Kelly was All American Driveline’s Ben Grice, who improved significantly over the course of the day, having ended the afternoon race in fifth.

One of the biggest movers of the second race was debutant Zach Bates for Sullivans who climbed from seventh place to third place, overtaking a number of drivers along the way.

Showcasing a dominant day for the Ford Mustangs, the top eight in race two were all steering a Mustang – TPS Group’s Brett Holdsworth the best of the rest in P9 after finishing race one in third.

The mighty Trans Am machines will feature in one more race on Sunday afternoon, with a 3.30pm start to determine a round winner.

GC Marine Australian Prototype Series

Ricky Capo has won the opening race of the GC Marine Australian Prototypes Series following an epic five-way battle for the lead.

Qualifying on pole on Saturday morning, Capo got a slow start in his Praga Racing ANZ entry as the lights went out, allowing Ready Set Reline’s Ryan Godfrey to jump into an early lead and Excalibur Extreme / Dammit Dolls’ Neale Muston to take second place by the first corner.

As the crews battled to find their place, it wasn’t long before the safety car was deployed following a first lap incident for Bill Medland in his Radical SR3.

Muston jumped Godfrey on the restart and took the lead, while a five-car battle pack emerged at the front of the field – featuring Godfrey, Muston, Capo, Jam Motorsport’s John Paul Drake and Oracle/GC Marine’s Jason Makris.

As the quintet fought for the lead, Godfrey ran wide on turn two during the sixth lap, allowing Capo to climb to second.

On lap seven, Capo was finally able to use his superior pace to get past Muston and from there he didn’t look back.

Drake, meanwhile, enjoyed a close final lap battle with Muston, Muston holding on to claim second.

With just a solitary race on Saturday, the GC Marine Australian Prototype Series will finish the opening round with two races on Sunday.

Sunday’s third race, beginning at 1.40pm AEST, will be live streamed on Stan Sport as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships coverage.

Radical Cup Australia

Bing Technologies’ Chris Perini has won the opening race of the Radical Cup Australia.

Starting in fourth, Perini made his way through the top half of the field to edge out First Focus’ Peter Carr and Peter Paddon, while Elec Motorsport’s Zig Fuhrmeister who finished in third.

Perini’s race was nearly over before it began, the series leader nearly suffering a premature end to his race at turn two. Perini copped contact in the rear, was turned sideways before being hit again which fortuitously saw his car facing the right way and only dropping back to fourth by the end of the first lap.

Carr himself copped a five second penalty for a starting procedure infringement, served as the team made their compulsory pit stop time.

Pole sitters Streamlined Energy’s Brad and Mitchell Neilson ended the race in sixth.

Radical Cup Australia’s final 45-minute race takes place on Sunday at 9.45am.

Australian Production Cars

A strong field enjoyed two 30 minute races on Saturday, with Aaren Russell claiming both race wins on Saturday.

Russell claimed the outright and class X victory, taking over the lead from Beric Lynton who led 10 of the 15 laps in his #23 Bruce Lynton Service BMW M3.

Shane Smollen set the fastest lap of the race and took home P2 outright and second in class X.

The Cachet Homes Clubsport driven by Matthew Holt took out the A2 class win in P7 outright.

Ben Silvestro (#55 S-Sport Racing Mazda RX8 – 13th outright), James Keene (#51 MWM Racing Mini – 11 outright) and Allan Jarvis (#70 Suzuki Swift) took out the class C, D and E victories respectively.

A 300km endurance race rounds out the weekend on Sunday morning – a 7.20am start for competitors as they wrap their weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park.