A tense contest in the Sports Sedan category was the highlight of the opening round of the 2016 CAMS NSW State Motor Racing Championships which took place at Wakefield Park on the weekend.
The three Sports Sedan races were hotly contested by the two most recent series champions, Steven Lacey and Birol Cetin, both in Chevrolet Camaros. Lacey took victory in the opener but Cetin turned the tables in Race 2, with a last-lap error from Lacey relegating him to third behind Anthony Macready (Nissan 300ZX).
In Race 3, Lacey and Cetin battled nose-to-tail for the entire race before the duel bubbled over on the very last lap, the two cars making high-speed contact on the approach to Turn 3 and spinning to the infield. Cetin retired from the race while Lacey limped across the line in fourth position; a surprised Macready took the win ahead of Steven Shiels (Camaro) and Simon Copping (Commodore V8 Supercar).
“I certainly didn’t expect to be in this position, but you take race wins however you get them,” Macready said after the race.
The Formula Vee races marked the opening round of not only the state series, but also the national series for the category. The weekend started in sad circumstances with the passing of Allan Harrison on the Thursday prior to the meeting, and the front row of the grid was left vacant in Race 1 as a tribute to Harrison.
Ryan Reynolds won two of the three races with Tasmanian Kieren Glover winning the other race. Dylan Thomas was third in Race 1, defending NSW champ Michael Kinsella was third in Race 2 and Daniel Stein was third in Race 3, staging a fine recovery after a DNF in Race 1.
Lachlan Gibbons took a clean sweep of race wins in the Formula Ford Duratec Class from debutants Jett Bennett and Jake Donaldson. Simon Hodges was equally dominant in the Kent Class, winning all three races ahead of Anglo Motorsport team mate Daniel Holihan, while the final podium spot was hotly contested between Aaron Grech, Mark Lowing and Rodney Baker.
Hot weather conditions made for interesting racing in the three Improved Production Over 2 Litre races with brothers Matthew and Peter Ingram (Mazda RX7s) battling with the Holden VE Commodore of John McKenzie. Matt Ingram won Races 1 and 3, McKenzie won Race 2.
Ryan Jagger (Holden Gemini) and Justin McClintock (Toyota Sprinter) won two Improved Production Under 2 Litre Races each, while Nathan Gotch dominated the Formula Race Car races in his Dallara F307, smashing the lap record in the process.
Neale Muston took overall victory in the Supersports category, driving his Radical SR8 to victory in two of the three races; the other win went to Alexander Kenny in his Chiron LMP3.
Brothers Marcel and Tadros Zalloua won the one-hour Production Sports endurance race in their Porsche 911, just holding out the Iain Pretty/Scott Fleming Ford GT40. Wakefield 300 winners Craig and Adam Burgess completed the podium in their Ginetta.
The next major event at Wakefield Park is the Australian Superbike Championship, to be held 25-27 March.