The #33 Pro-Duct Mitsubishi Evo X of Bob Pearson has chalked up six straight race wins from six starts in the APC this year, with Pearson and co-driver Rick Bates bringing home another race win at Queensland Raceway today.
The #33 crossed the line ahead of the #1 Bruce Lynton Prestige Automotive BMW1M of Beric Lynton and Tim Leahy, the #11 Team DPO Ford Focus RS of Chaz Mostert and Nathan Morcom and the #18 Sherrin Racing BMWM4 of brothers Grant and Iain Sherrin.
Rounding out the top five for Sunday’s race was the Class A2 winning #35 RBWH Foundation BMW E92 M3 of Jim Pollicina and Gerry Murphy. Taking out the other class wins were the #19 Sherrin Racing BMW 135i of Michael Sherrin and Stephen Champion (B1, 7th outright), the #13 Osborne Motorsport Renault Megane (Hadrian Morrall and Colin Osborne, C, 8th outright), the #67 Juuce/Scott’s Rods Ford Falcon AU Saloon Car (Lindsay Kearns, Scott Green, I, 12th outright), the #86 Oracle Motor Sport/The 86 Shop Toyota 86 (D, 15th outright), the #76 TW Motorsport Holden Commodore SSV Redline of Jeff Nielsen and Troy Williams (B2, 19th outright) and the #7 Suzuki Swift of Michael Hopp and Ryan Epa (E, 20th outright).
In a repeat of yesterday’s race start, Pearson leapt away at the start only to be reeled in by Iain Sherrin on the back straight of lap one. Iain Sherrin would go on to build a considerable lead, before being penalised with a drive through penalty for overtaking under the race’s only safety car – called on lap 7 for a stricken Naylor Racing Mazda 3 MPS.
In a steward’s review post-race, it was found the penalty for the #18 was unfounded, with Sherrin having in actuality been passed himself by the lapped car in question under safety car who then redressed the pass to move back behind the #18.
After serving the penalty, Iain Sherrin would re-join the field in fifth, while Lynton lead the field from Pearson, Rod Salmon (#6 Skwirk Online Mercedes-Benz A45) and Morcom.
From there, the #18 racer would push hard to regain the race lead from Lynton by lap 39, before handing over to brother Grant Sherrin on lap 50 with a 11.48s gap over the nearest contender. A change of brake pads was undertaken, before a second stop was undertaken for fuel.
However, this strategy backfired as the stop was made under the assumption of a second safety car being called, which did not eventuate for the crew. The #18 would re-join down the field and push on to finish fourth for the race behind Bates/Pearson, Lynton/Leahy and Morcom/Mostert.
Following the pit stops, Bates took over from Pearson in the #33 and pushed hard to take the advantage, ultimately claiming the race lead ahead of the #1 BMW1M and the #11 Ford Focus RS. By bringing it home, he would make it six race wins from six race starts this year for the Evo entry.
In Class A2, the Karl Begg/Justin Anthony #92 MotorsportLife.com.au Mercedes-Benze C63 entry lead early, however would struggle with power issues through the corners, losing a considerable amount of time attending to the issue in the pits. From there, the #35 had the advantage and would lead the class to the end of the race.
In Class B1, the Sherrin/Champion entry dominated while the #48 BMW135i of Scott Gore and Keith Bensley continued to be plagued by issues, while in B2 the #76 persevered through another day of electrical gremlins to bring home the Commodore with the class win and 19th outright.
Class C was again hotly contested, this time coming down to the two Osborne Motorsport Renault Meganes, with the #13 of Osborne and Morrall ultimately taking victory over the #31 of Tyler Everingham and Calum Jones. Retiring early from the class was the Naylor Brothers Mazda 3 MPS which lost a wheel on lap 7 on the approach to turn three, bringing out the race’s sole safety car. Also encountering issues were the #40 Mainpoint Advistory/Pulse Capital BMW130i of Todd Hazelwood and Scott Turner and the #52 BM Racing Developments BMW 130i of Ryan Suhle and Christian Yates-Round, with their drivers hanging in across the 96 lap race to bring their entries home.
Class D provided plenty of thrills, especially in the final laps. Early in the race, the #86 Oracle Motor Sport/The 86 Shop Toyota 86 had lead, before last night’s winners Gray and Best took over in the latter stages of the race. With just a few laps to go, the two entries would do battle for the class win – multiple lead changes would transpire over a number of laps, with the #86 ultimately taking the class win when the checkered flag fell.
Class E went to the #7 Suzuki Swift of Michael Hopp and Ryan Epa, while I was taken out by the #67 Juuce/Scott’s Rods Ford Falcon AU Saloon Car of Lindsay Kearns and Scott Turner.
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By Michael Ford, August 2017
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