KERRICK SPORTS SEDANS UPDATE NOV 2014
Tony Ricciardello has claimed his eighth Kerrick Sports Sedan Series title today in the #5 B&M Ricciardello Motors Alfa Romeo GTV in an epic final round of the 2014 Series at Sydney Motorsport Park, which also saw him claim the finale round win ahead of Victorian Darren Hossack who overcame a tumultuous season in the #4 Auto Union Deutsche Audi A4 to finish the year on the podium and third in the championship.
On his way to the title and round win, Ricciardello claimed two race wins to Hossack’s one, with all three races delivering epic battles between the two top contenders to the delight of fans both on-track and watching online with the Shannons Nationals live stream. Third for the round was Queensland’s Phil Crompton in the #12 Moonbi Oil Traders Ford Mustang.
Claiming second in the title standings was Queenslander Colin Smith whose season of consistency in the #44 MR Automotive Holden Monaro saw him hold-out two-time champion Hossack – who headed to this weekend sixth on the title standings – from the runner-up spot. Also claiming honours today was Steven Lacey in the #29 Primo Smallgoods Chev Camaro, who will be awarded at this evening’s championship dinner as the State of Origin champion for the year by virtue of being the State of Origin contestant with the most points across the year.
All three races across the day had fans on the edge of their seats, with race one starting with a great drive by Hossack around the outside of top qualifier Ricciardello on turn one to take the lead and start a tense battle between the front-runners that would last six laps before front bodywork damage on the Ricciardello Alfa saw the champion drop back slightly. On the opening lap, Steven Tamasi had been fighting for third position, but found himself stranded on turn six after an electrical issue saw his #9 Domain Prestige Homes Holden Calibra come to a stop on just the second lap, bringing out a race-long local yellow flag.
Race two signaled the second installment of the Hossack versus Ricciardello battle trifecta, with Hossack again taking the lead from the first corner after starting on the inside line this time, with the pair battling hard through the entire race including an epic dice on lap seven, which saw Ricciardello eventually emerge with the race lead after no less than four lead changes within just four corners.
After his race one issues, Tamasi impressed early when he charged from the rear of the grid to be third on the road by turn four, but was later presented with a five second time penalty for jumping the start. Courtesy of his gap over the fourth placed Crompton however, the penalty would have no effect on his finishing position for the race.
On their way to the race end, Crompton and Lacey put on a great battle in race two following contact between the pair on the rolling start, with both getting away from that to continue on to deliver an intense battle which lasted to the final lap, with Crompton crossing the line fourth while Lacey came home in seventh.
Enduring heartbreak in race two today was last-round winner Michael Robinson, who was in the box seat for third in the title after defending champion Bruce Banks’ withdrew from the round yesterday, with a spin in the #32 Bell Real Estate Holden Monaro on lap one forcing him to retire to the garage for repairs, putting him out of contention. While Robinson returned for race three, his fourth position in that race saw him finish the 2014 season in 4th place in the championship, ahead of Bruce Henley and the #67 Stawell Cartage Mazda RX8.
Race three and the final act of the front row battle saw Hossack repeat his race one turn one maneuver to again take the lead, with the pair yet again keeping the intensity up until Ricciardello was able to get past for the lead on lap six after a number of laps which showed both racers pushing their cars to the absolute limits in their pursuit of glory. Tamasi again came home in third position, while Robinson’s fourth position came after an attention-grabbing four-way battle for position between he and Phil Crompton, Steven Lacey and Ron Muller which included multiple side by side battles. By the end of the race, it was Robinson who streaked away for fourth, followed home by Crompton, Lacey and Muller with the battle for sixth staying wide open until the very last corners.
The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series will return in 2015, with the season calendar set to be announced in the coming weeks. For more information on the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series, including championship standings, please go to www.sportssedans.com.au