NSW Production Touring Cars have kicked off strongly in 2019 and with two rounds completed so far, trends are already starting to appear. Both rounds attracted strong grids in excess of 30 entries, and the racing has been close, clean and exciting up and down the field.
The season opener at Wakefield Park on February 23/24 was the popular sprint race format, and the weather gods certainly looked after us at a location that can certainly throw up some wild cards…!
In A1 Michael King drove strongly all weekend in his Evo X winning two out of three races, taking out the class. Tong Virag came home in second place in a car borrowed from his good mate Joe Krinelos after his own car experienced problems in Friday practice. Regardless, Tony gave it some jandal and came in second in race one straight out of the box. Thomas Muller rounded out the top three in the BMW 1M. Jimmy Vernon won the first race but experienced mechanical problems in race two and did not take further part during the weekend.
Numbers were down in the usually popular A2 class, but this didn’t stop Matt Holt stamping his authority early on in the season by winning all three class races in his HSV Clubsport R8 in a canter. Daniel Oosthuizen made a welcome return to the category in a newly built HSV Clubsport R8, and drove consistently to finish in second place. Daniel is an experienced campaigner in the category, and will certainly get quicker as he gets used to his new car. Brent Howard came in third with his BMW M3.
B2 had six starters, with the evergreen Geoff Kite taking home the honours, winning all three class races. Geoff was followed in second by Paul Pearson in the Warlord Commodore. Paul never takes any prisoners, and gives it tenth tenths every race, great to see him on the podium. The popular Corrine Virag debuted her Commodore SSV Redline in third place, and impressed with her speed and consistency. One to watch….!
In Class C the only entrant was John Fitzgerald in his BMW 130i, who drove consistently over the three races to pick up first place.
Class D is dominated by the Toyota 86, and is ruled by the young and fearless. This weekend saw Harrison Gray take out class honours, taking out all three races in a clean sweep. Edan Thornburrow drove consistently to place second, with the class podium closed out by Oliver Shannon in a 86 lockout.
Class E was ruled by Chris Reeves in his Suzuki Swift. Chris was planning to debut his VW Scirocco R this weekend, but it unfortunately was not quite ready, so he brought the Swift out for a steer and came away with a class victory.
The second round was held at Sydney Motorsport Park on April 6/7, under perfect weather conditions, and was again a sprint race format.
A1 was a hotly contested affair, with eight competitors, including Anthony Soole making an appearance for the first time this year in his newly built BMW M4. However Jimmy Vernon topped the round, winning two out of three races in his Exo X. Tony Virag won the first race in his supercharged HSV GTS, but unfortunately an engine failure saw him retire during race two, taking no further part in the weekend. Michael King raced consistently to gain second place for the round, with his mate Stephen Thompson rounding out the podium, both in their Evo X. Special mention to new entrant to the category Mike Sheargold who finished a credible fourth in his first ever race meeting in the Mercedes AMG A45.
The ever consistent and very quick Matt Holt again took out the A2 honours winning all three races over the weekend, followed again in second by Daniel Oosthuizen, who is getting closer to Matt. Third place went to Brent Howard in his BMW M3, in a carbon copy of the round one results.
B1 class was a single entrant affair, with Peter O’Donnell picking up the win in the BMW 335i.
In the B2 class, Geoff Kite again dominated the field, however he was not without dramas in the final race. Second place was filled by Daniel Smith who has made a welcome return to the category in the Race Academy International Commodore. Dan is the reigning club and state champion from last year, and was planning to sit out 2019 until he won a season drive from RAI – he won’t take long to sort out the nuances of a rear wheel drive car, and should soon be filling Geoff’s mirrors..!! The podium was rounded out by Adam Gosling in his BMW E46 M3.
Class C saw more entrants for this round, with Chris Reeves debuting his eagerly anticipated VW Scirocco R, and he did not disappoint. The car was quick out of the box, winning three out of three class races, despite an altercation with Anthony Soole and Geoff Kite in race three. Aaron Hills picked up second in his Mazda MPS, with John Fitzgerald taking third spot on the podium.
The Toyota 86 Class D affair was again won by Harrison Gray by virtue of a strong, consistent weekend. Harrison won two from three races. Zack Loscialpo picked up second, showing impressive speed for the round. Oliver Shannon won the opening race of the weekend, but could not continue the charge and finished third for the round.
At this early stage it appears that the smart money is on either Matt Holt and Geoff Kite to take out the club championship – both are driving quickly and consistently, and finishing well up in the field in most races.
Both drivers have entered for round three at Wakefield Park, where they usually share a garage. They are good mates off the track, so we would imagine the banter will be on…!!