First-time race winners in Super Trucks and Wakefield 300
The nation’s spectator track, Wakefield Park Raceway, has attracted another large crowd of around 2,500 people who enjoyed a couple of history-making moments in the weekend’s opening round of the Australian Super Truck Championship and iconic Wakefield 300 endurance race.
Driving his Volvo, Robbie Fern took the overall round win in the Super Trucks, his first in the category. Fern finished third in the weekend’s opening race, before achieving second place results in Races 2 and 3. A win in the final 10-lapper was enough for him to take the overall round victory, as several of the other contenders struck trouble.
Shannon Smith was on target for a good weekend after winning Races 1 and 2, his victory in the first race coming after an intense battle with six-time champion Steven Zammit. But Smith experienced dramas in Race 3, and spun off the track in Race 4 after contact from Marcus Prillwitz.
Last year’s runner-up Barry Butwell also endured a tough weekend, mechanical problems in his Mack Superliner forcing him into retirement in the last three races and relegating him to a lowly sixth in the standings.
Mazda RX7 drivers Brendan Scotter and Greg Boyle claimed victory in the 13thrunning of the Wakefield 300 endurance race.
After qualifying fourth, Scotter and Boyle were running in the lead pack for much of the race, but only took control at the front of the field with 14 laps to go, after a decision not to pit under the race’s one and only Safety Car intervention ultimately paid dividends.
“A lot of our rivals chose to pit during the Safety Car, but we knew we wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end at that point, and thought a lot of others would be in the same boat,” Scotter explained.
“It turned out to be the right decision, and we inherited the lead when others had to do a second fuel stop late in the race.”
The Jimmy Tran/Drew Hall Honda Civic finished second after a late splash for fuel, ahead of Terry Denovan (Holden Commodore), who drove the entire race solo. The total race time of 2hr 43min 20sec was a new record for the Wakefield 300.
The Super Trucks and 300 were supported by three other categories. The Series X3 NSW (Hyundai Excel) round was won by Wil Longmore, who took out two of the three races to extend his championship lead. Longmore’s closest challenger for much of the event was Canberra driver Paul Quinn, who won Race 2 but retired from Race 3 after spinning on oil left by another competitor. Jackson Noakes took advantage to finish second overall ahead of Dean O’Neill.
Mathew Pearce won all three Formula Vee races, but had to work hard for his victories, fending off spirited challenges from Simon Duffy, Leigh Porter and Angus McDonald.
James Burge won the Legend Car round ahead of Ben Jagger and Rick Christy, winning all three races. Burge’s weekend was highlighted by a storming drive through the field in the second race, which featured a full reverse-grid format, while Jagger recovered strongly in Race 3 after an early spin.
Wakefield Park’s next event is the Hi-Tec Oils Drift Series round, held this Friday and Saturday (10-11 May).