Young racer Tom Sargent has survived a controversial collision to seal the NSW Formula Ford Championship in a tense title decider, held as part of the fifth and final Motorsport Australia NSW Motor Race Championship meeting at Wakefield Park on the weekend.
After qualifying on pole position, Sargent finished second behind Cody Burcher in Race 1 before the two drivers collided while battling for the lead in Race 2. Sargent’s Formula Ford sustained tyre damage but he was able to nurse his car to the finish, earning him classification in the results and scoring him enough points to clinch the title with a race remaining.
Sargent charged from the rear of the field to fourth in Race 3 – the trophy race – which was won by his CHE Racing team-mate Noah Sands ahead of Zach Bates and Burcher.
Another driver to suffer an anxious moment while trying to win a championship was Glenn Deering in the HQ Holdens. Deering finished a solid sixth in Race 1, but a differential problem in Race 2 saw him falling to 11th. A hasty diff replacement enabled Deering to return to the circuit for Race 3; seventh place was enough for him to win the championship by just a handful of points over David Proglio.
The round win went to Brett Osborn, who won all three races and set a new lap record in the process; John Baxter was second ahead of Matt Barker.
Nick Kelly (Radical SR8) won Races 1 and 3 in Supersports but it was fellow SR8 driver Peter White who emerged victorious in Race 2 after a brave move around the outside of Kelly on a damp track.
Despite chalking up a DNF in Race 1 due to a first-lap tangle, Steve Champion (Radical SR3) was able to win back-to-back titles, albeit by just two points over Kelly in the final standings.
A round win for Ryan Gorton was enough for the circuit racing debutant and former speedway racer to win the Mazda RX8 Cup title; Steve Devjak was second for the round ahead of Justin Barnes. The nastiest incident of the weekend occurred in Race 2, when Andrew O’Keefe lost control of his RX8 and ploughed into the side of Jake Lougher, in turn causing Lougher to make heavy contact with the wall at Turn 2.
Grant Doulman won the NSW Sports Sedan trophy race ahead of Mark Duggan and Stuart Inwood after the Fiat of Brad Shiels, which won Races 1 and 2, retired with mechanical problems in Race 3.
Laurence Katsidis won the first Formula Race Cars race before Greg Muddle won Races 2 and 3, while the Formula Vee race wins were shared between Daniel Reynolds and Simon Pace.
In Production Sports, David Wall (Porsche Carrera Cup car) and Nick Kelly (Audi R8) staged an epic battle in Race 1, the two cars racing nose-to-tail for the entire 30 minutes with Wall ultimately prevailing. The former Carrera Cup champion was able to win by a more comfortable margin in Race 2, while the championship went to the Class B entry of Adrian Wilson/Andre Nader.
The race meeting, which was Wakefield Park’s final major event for 2020, attracted the largest turnout of officials in history, with more than 50 dedicated volunteers attending the circuit to fulfil duties in race control, pit lane, flag marshalling, scrutineering, fire, rescue and recovery.
An end-of-season awards function for the officials was held on Saturday evening, with Glenn Nichols receiving the Official of the Year Award, Tayla Flannery being crowned the Most Improved Official, Kate Epplestun being recognised as the Officials’ Favourite Official and David Trotter receiving the Foxy 1 Award.