Power Cuts August Race Meet Early

For the second race meet in a row, heavy rain and wind would dominate the race meet but ultimately a power outage would see the end of the second race meet in a row for the WA Sporting Car Club Members.

A bigger cloud hanging over the club however was the passing of the General Manager Andrew Stachewicz on Friday evening with moments taken during the officials and drivers briefings to reflect on his massive contribution to the club over the past 5 years.

Before the first grid lined up for qualifying, all engines and tools were put down as Motorsport chaplain Kim Van Kuele led the 250 strong officials, competitors and pit crew in a moments silence for Andrew.

“We are a close knit team in the office so the passing of Andrew has left us in shock and sadness. However, we have many great memories with him which we will cherish.” said Motorsport & Officials Development Officer, Lauren Cornes.

“The weather pushed us to the limits but ultimately a failure in the power grid resulting in the loss of radio communication and timing would see us call off the race meet early.”

“Full credit goes to the officials who braved the very wet, windy and cold conditions to allow competitors to take to the track.”

With the track declared wet and wind gusts of over 80km/h were registered, temperatures around the 12 degrees Celsius mark and 9mm of rain getting dumped on the circuit all the competitors  were kept on their toes with the Free Formula and  Historic Sports & Racing calling it a day very early on due to the conditions.

Feature races from the Perth Motorsport Tyres FSR State Championship were being held for the Kostera Cup (F1000) and Perth Motorsport Tyres Cup (Radicals). The qualifying session would see Gianni Lutzu take out pole position in his F1000 closely followed by Andrew Malkin in a Radical SR3 RS with a margin of just 0.0048. Elliot Schutte picking up the 3rd spot on the grid with Max McRae sitting beside him. Adam Lisle had an unfortunate off during qualifying which left his team to scramble and rebuild part of the car prior to the first race.

The first race for the category saw Max McRae channelling the family rally blood and finishing ahead of Arise Racing owner Adam Lisle with Andrew Malkin finishing third.

The second race for the FSR Championship ended up being a solo run for Andrew Malkin with the choice of tyres by his father Heath being at odds with the rest of the field but ultimately the right one as the entire field behind him retired due to having slicks as the heavens opened during the formation laps and just as starters orders had been given.

The other feature race for the day and the official headline race of the day was the Improved Production Tander Cup which had 19 entries registered but only 15 of them making it to the grid. Nik Mitic took out qualifying with a massive gap of 1.0848 back to second place Reuben Romkes. A further one second split Romkes and Matt Cherry. Last years’ Tander Cup winner Steven Turpin only put in three laps during qualifying ending up 8th on the grid.

In the first and unfortunately only race for the class, last years’ winner Steven Turpin retired after 7 laps. Matt Cherry manged to get ahead of Nik Mitic and finish first, with Mitic and Romkes taking the other two podium steps. The top five of the category, Cherry, Mitic, Romkes, Ben Riley and John Callegari all managed to lap the other 10 contenders.

Formula Ford racing was tight at the top end with Benjamin Leslie, Mark Pickett and Tomas Chapman spread by just over 1 second during qualifying and 14 year old Noah Lisle finishing 5th in only his second outing for the category.

Benjamin Leslie would keep his RF93 Stealth pointed at the front of the field for both of the races held with Noah Lisle climbing from 5th to 2nd in the first race and then holding on to that position for the second race.

In Saloon Cars PRO series, Grant Johnson steered himself back into first position in qualifying and the first race after he couldn’t give an answer to Brock Boley’s form at the June race meet. Back in the PRO AM series, Michael Holdcroft would beat out Marc Watkins by just 0.3437 for pole position however Watkins would beat Holdcroft by 0.18 in the first race.

The 21 strong field of Excel Cup cars would see Tayla Dicker take out pole position and the first race win, however she would slip back to 3rd in the 2nd and final race of the day.Qualifying would see three of the drivers, Cameron Edwards, Brett Sherriff and Jackson Callo, have their results stripped due to passing under red flag conditions.

Other categories on track included the Historic Touring Cars who managed to get in qualifying and one race session, John Bondi taking out pole position in his Monaro HQ GTS Coupe with Stuart Young winning the first race.

The Sports Sedan and Sports Car category saw the debut of Ron Moller’s Chevrolet Camaro TA2 car joining Peter Georges’ Dodge Challenger TA2 car to line up on the grid. However the conditions were not favourable to these two cars. Qualifying saw Grant Hill take pole position with Richard Bloomfield taking the win in the first race.

Clerk of Course Danielle Meyne sent her thanks to all the competitors and officials after the race “Thanks to the drivers for the racing they were able to complete and to the WA Sporting Car Club for another great event. However, the biggest thank you goes to the officials for working in miserable conditions throughout the day. Your dedication to our sport is commendable and we thank you for continuing to do what you do.”

As for the Tander Cup, Kostera Cup and Perth Motorsport Tyres Cup results? It is now a wait and see to how these will be decided. The preferred option seems to be a race meet in September. Stay tuned to WA Sporting Car Club social media for an announcement on this.

[Credit, words and images: Shane Lawrie, Turn 7 Media]