PHOTOS: Colson Photography
A wide selection of national categories have put on an entertaining show in Round 3 of the Australian Motor Racing Series at Winton Raceway this weekend.
Tom Shaw – son of long-time rotary racer Ric – extended his lead in the OccSafe Australia Mazda RX8 Cup by winning two of the four races and taking the overall round win. Shaw qualified on pole and won Race 1, but was shuffled back to third place in Race 2 by Justin Barnes and Shannon McLaine, after a number of competitors were caught out by an oil spill at Turn 11.
In Race 3, Shaw reasserted himself and was able to take the win from McLaine and Jack Pennacchia, while in Race 4 it was McLaine who prevailed after beating Shaw off the line, driving into the distance to take his maiden RX8 Cup race win. However, Shaw’s two race wins were enough for him to take the overall round victory from McLaine and Barnes.
In a drama-filled PROMAXX TA2 Muscle Car Series round, it was Jett Johnson who extended his advantage at the top of the points table with victories in three of the four races. The first race went to Kyle Gurton, but Gurton fell to the back of the field in Race 2 after suffering a mechanical problem at a Safety Car restart. Johnson capitalised to take the lead, but was involved in a controversial collision with Jackson Rice on the run to the finish line; Rice was sent spinning into the infield but Johnson was cleared of wrongdoing by the officials.
Johnson also won Races 3 and 4 to secure the overall round honours ahead of Dylan Thomas – who recorded a trio of second-place finishes – and Zach Loscialpo, who accumulated enough points to stand on the overall round podium despite a brush with the wall at the start of Race 4.
Gilmour Racing driver Noah Sands surged into the lead of the Australian Formula 3 Championship by winning the weekend’s round with victories in two of the three races. Sands was defeated in Race 1 by Ryan Astley after copping a penalty for a dangerous re-entry to the track, but bounced back to win Races 2 and 3, taking the round win ahead of Astley and Mitch Neilson.
It was a disastrous weekend for Trent Grubel, the points leader coming into the weekend; an engine failure sidelined him for the weekend, while his Tim Macrow Racing team-mate Ben Taylor was also ruled out of proceedings due to a crash in qualifying.
Mark Tracey made a welcome return to the Thunder Sports Series, chalking up a quartet of victories in his V8-powered BMW E36 M3 to take the overall win from Stephen Chilby (Oz Truck) and the impressive Scott Nind, who punched above his weight in his 1,700kg Stock Car. Josh Dowell (AU Falcon) took the win in Class B ahead of David Shaw (AU Falcon) and Colin Bau (VN Commodore)
The Thunder Sports round was marred by a nasty crash in Race 1 involving Travis Condon and Merrick Malouf, which ruled both cars out for the weekend.
Brad Neilson won the Miniature Race Cars round in his Future Racer with victories in two of the three races; the other race wins went to Jack Boyd (who took out Race 1 in his Aussie Racing Car) and David Brewer (who won the weekend’s final race in his Future Racer).
The Excel Trophy Class races were hotly contested; Brad Vereker won the first race but was upstaged by Toby Waghorn in Race 2. Hugo Simpson fought his way to the front of the pack in Race 3 and was also able to win Race 4 to secure the round victory from Vereker and Waghorn.
In the Excel Masters Class for the over 40-year-old drivers, it was Glenn Mackenzie who won all four races to take the round from Larry Merifield and Mark Pesavento.
Brian Finn continued his domination of the VicV8s Series in his ex-Geoff Emery Commodore Cup car, winning all four races ahead of Greg Lynch (VT Commodore). Allan Argento flew the flag for the Ford fans in his XD Falcon, finishing third in each race.
The next round of the AMRS will be held at Queensland Raceway, 19-21 August.