Nathan Gotch has prevailed in a thrilling City of Goulburn Cup feature race for Formula Race Cars at Wakefield Park today, coming out on top after a tight battle with Tim Berryman.
Starting second on the grid, Gotch fell back to fourth due to a clutch problem at the start. By the end of the third lap, he had worked his way back up to second but faced a deficit of almost 12 seconds to Berryman.
However, a Safety Car was triggered when Ron Coath spun at Turn 8, enabling Gotch to close the gap to Berryman.
At the restart, the pair exchanged fastest lap times before Gotch pounced with a brilliant, around-the-outside passing move at the final corner to take the lead with seven laps remaining. He pulled away, but an encounter with lapped traffic on the final lap brought Berryman back into contention and almost allowed him to re-take the lead in the very last corner of the race.
“We were battling clutch dramas for a lot of the weekend, and we were fortunate with the Safety Car, but the car was fantastic – the AGI Sport team did a great job,” Gotch said.
“Tim drove well and it was a challenge to get around him, but overall it was really fun racing throughout the weekend.”
Third place went to Andrew Wlodek after Shane Wilson spun out of proceedings on the final lap.
The other two Formula Race Car sprint races went the way of Berryman, with Gotch finishing second on both occasions.
The weekend’s race meeting also featured Round 4 of the Australian Formula Ford Series, which produced three different winners from the three races.
By virtue of consistency, Leanne Tander – who won Race 3 – took the overall round victory thanks to second-place finishes in Races 1 and 2. It was Tander’s second round win of the season and extended her points lead to 32 with two rounds remaining.
Race 1 winner Jayden Ojeda finished second overall while Race 2 victor Will Brown was third for the weekend.
The Formula Ford competition doubled as the final round of the NSW Championship as well, with Jett Bennett winning the Duratec Class after a heartbreaking mechanical problem for Lachlan Gibbons in the very last race, while Aaron Grech prevailed in the Kent Class to defeat his season-long rival Simon Hodges.
In a race meeting at which open-wheelers featured prominently, Formula Vee produced three typically entertaining races with Ryan Reynolds, James Horne and Dylan Thomas occupying the top three positions in the first two.
However, a collision between Thomas and Reynolds in Race 3 saw the latter spinning down the order while the former received a drive-through penalty; meanwhile, Horne retired with mechanical problems allowing Michael Kinsella to take the win. Reynolds recovered for second ahead of Aaron Pace.
The Superkarts also produced plenty of entertainment across the four races with John Pellicano and Adam Stewart each taking a race win in the Gearbox Class before Aaron Cogger claimed supremacy in the final two heats.
In the Non-Gearbox Class, James Burge dominated but Alan Dodge and Leigh Grant staged an epic contest for second, Dodge eventually prevailing by the tiniest of margins.
Michael King (Mitsubishi Evo) took a clean-sweep of four wins from four races in Improved Production Over 2 Litre with John McKenzie (Holden VE Commodore) sneaking ahead of Peter Ingram (Mazda RX7) for second place in the trophy race.
Improved Production Under 2 Litre delivered an assortment of results; Peter Foote (Nissan Pulsar) won Race 1 on a damp track before Mat Harris (Honda Civic) turned the tables in Race 2. However, Harris was eliminated from Race 3 after a first-corner collision with Foote, which also claimed the Ford Escort of Ian Price. Foote went on to record his second race win for the weekend.
In the trophy race, Foote led early but was caught by the Honda Civic of Graham Bohm, with Bohm eventually working his way to the lead and taking an emotional maiden race win.
In a closely-fought contest at the front of the field, Brett Osborn resisted pressure from his rivals to win all three HQ Holden races. Arch-rival John Baxter was second in the trophy race ahead of Scott Cameron.
Brothers Daniel and Jacques Oosthuizen were first and second in all three Production Touring races in their Mitsubishi Evos. Garth Walden (Mercedes Benz A45 AMG) was third in Races 1 and 2, but elected not to contest the final, allowing Rod Thorpe (CSV Volanti) to finish third.