Upcoming Round

NEXT RACE – Round 1

Round 1
Track: Sydney Motorsport Park
Date: 16th March 2018
Length 3.93km
Turns: 11
F3 Lap Record: 1:22.6290

Summer Shakedown – Newsletter

FRCA Summer Shakedown
21 February 2016
Sydney Motorsport Park Druitt Circuit

 

Run in conjunction with the Festival of Sporting Cars, the Summer Shakedown was our first event outside the State Championship for some time and proved to be well worth the effort, especially for those looking to get some seat time in their new cars ahead of the Championship opener at Wakefield Park in two weeks’ time.

With a regularity and two ‘points’ races the event was designed to reward consistency over outright speed and together with  the FoSC approach – relaxed, competitor friendly and not too focussed on technicalities – it was a return to the fun of Club level racing.

Eighteen entries – about two third of which were either having their first competitive run in new machinery or renewing acquaintance with old machinery after a long absence – were reduced to 15 cars on the day:  unfortunately both Ron Coath and Richard Scarcella had minor issues with their cars and we were deprived of both our ’07 Dallaras; and the meeting was probably a week too early for Tom Brickley’s Kaditcha to be ready.

 

First up was Qualifying, and it was the two Lynch cars out in front, with Glenn taking pole at the wheel of the ’98 in its new gold livery and son Chris making a far-to-infrequent appearance in the yellow car.  In third we had Lawrence Katsidis in the first of the ‘new’ ’04 Dallaras, with Rodney Brincat taking it easier and qualifying the other in 7th.  In between the two ‘04s were Aaron McClintock in his Dallara, out for the first time in 12 months and using the time to bed in tyres and brakes ahead of the Championship;  Al Palmer in the TOMS Toyota who had some rear suspension issues; and Luc Botton having his first run in the ex-Kevin Lewis Cheetah Mk.8. 

From 8th to 11th we had invited guests in sports cars, most notably Justin McClintock in the Galloway Sports 1300 (thankfully it didn’t rain and we were saved the embarrassment of Justin giving us a lesson). Behind them were the Morrow brothers –Phil in the Mix ‘n’ Match Reynard, sporting the red livery but with the yellow car’s rear end; and Shayne in his PRS Ford AF2.  Rounding out the field were Greg Muddle in the Ralt RT30, which was parked after qualifying with fuel problems; and Ross McAlpine the ’97 Dallara with the For Sale sign, a split fuel hose keeping out of qualifying but it was repaired for later in the day .

 

Our first event was run as a regularity, and given the number of laps he’s turned in the car it was not surprising to see Justin McClintock was at the top of the list, marginally ahead of brother Aaron.  Third was Luc Botton, coming to grips with the Cheetah very quickly, ahead of Glenn Lynch, Lawrence Katsidis and Craig Watson driving a Westfield XTR2 sports car.  Al Palmer, who many would have picked to be the most consistent, unfortunately missed the session repairing his car and Rodney Brincat had to park it half way through with an air filter failure.

 I’m not sure there was a complete understanding of the regularity concept, with most of the field taking the opportunity to see by how much they could beat their nominated time and a number managing to do it by some margin!   However most were grateful for an extra run before racing began in earnest.

 

Time thento go racing proper, and from the rolling start Glenn Lynch led the field away, with both Aaron McClintock (inside) and Lawrence Katsidis (outside) pushing hard for position. It didn’t take long for the red mist to descend, and as a result Lawrence found a fair amount of grass on the way down to turn 2 – unsurprisingly it didn’t prove to be the quickest way there, with Aaron passing Glenn for the lead, ahead of the Turn Two Guru, Al Palmer, Chris Lynch and Lawrence falling back to 5th.  At the end of the first lap they were followed by Luc Botton, Ross McAlpine charging hard from the rear of the field, Justin McClintock, Rod Brincat dropping a couple of spots, and Craig Watson in the Westfield in 10th

Lap 2 saw both McAlpine and Watson undo their good work with offs, sending them to rear of field, while Brincat and Simon Bathgate in the Radical SR3 made gains to 8th and 9th respectively. Closer to the front Chris Lynch and Katsidis continued to put pressure on Palmer, but on lap 3 Lynch had a moment which resulted in Katsidis moving to 4th.

On lap 5 McClintock slowed and eventually retired, stopping in response to an oil pressure warning light.  This left Glenn Lynch well ahead of the rest of the field and able to cruise home easily for a win. Katsidis had chased down Palmer and taken 2nd, and Chris Lynch had also recovered to hold 3rd and was challenging strongly for 2nd close to the end of the race.  Brincat continued to work through the field to finish 5th behind Palmer, with Justin McClintock, Bathgate, McAlpine (despite further misadventures) Phil Morrow and Graeme Hayles in the Royale Sports 2000 rounding out the top 10.  Botton retired after running strongly, purely a precautionary measure ahead of the big Historic meeting at Phillip Island in a few weeks.

As noted however, this was a ‘point’ race with drivers rewarded for improving lap times, and maintaining gaps or improving places, so finishing positions were not the most important factor.  In the wash-up, after Rick had run the details through his super-computer, the race winners were Glenn Lynch in the Outright Class and Ross McAlpine in the Cup Class, the rear-of-grid start proving to be a useful tactic!.

 

The final race saw a very unusual turn of events and something we don’t often see in FRCA:  Team Orders!  Experiencing brake issues in the gold car, Glenn chose to take over the yellow car for the final event, leaving Chris without a drive.  Until that point Chris had been faster……. let’s hope Chris is not forced to sit out the season for making the novice error of being quicker that the team’s ‘No.1’ driver.

Somehow Glenn managed to start from pole in a replacement car (a tactical error in that he could have scored heavily by charging through the field) and he led the field away with Katsidis, Palmer, and Brincat following closely, ahead of what turned out to be an ‘interesting’ Turn 1 further back in the field.  The Sports 2000 of Hayles and the Westfield of Watson came into contact, twice, resulting in Hayles’ car spinning across the front of both Phil Morrow’s Reynard and Bathgate’s Radical – a very near miss for Phil (“I ducked” he said – mind you there’s not a lot of spare space in that cockpit to duck into) and narrowly avoiding major contact with Bathgate took avoiding action and found himself in the kitty litter.

Aaron McClintock made his way through the field to be 4th at the end of the first lap, moving ahead of Palmer on lap 2 and then ahead of Katsidis on lap 5, but had no realistic chance of reeling in Lynch in 7 laps. Katsidis kept station with Lynch in the early part of the race but lost ground once he had to deal with McClintock.  Behind them Brincat tailed Palmer for the whole race, with never much more than a second in it, but finding a way past proved difficult, especially as Turn 2 is the main opportunity and you’re unlikely to get the Guru there.  McAlpine, Justin McClintock and Phil Morrow were the remaining finishers on the lead lap.  The ‘points’ in the Outright Class went to Glenn Lynch ahead of the consistently improving Rod Brincat, whilst Al Palmer won the Cup Class.

 

So at the end of the day the Summer Shakedown Cup went as follows:

  

Reg.

Race 1

Race 2

Total

Open Class

     

Glenn Lynch

Dallara F398 / F397

12

15

15

42

Aaron McClintock

Dallara F301

15

5

10

30

Lawrence Katsidis

Dallara F304

10

12

8

30

Rod Brincat

Dallara F304

5

10

12

27

Craig Watson

Westfield XTR2

8

8

5

21

Simon Bathgate

Radical SR3

6

6

6

18

      

Cup Class

     

Ross McAlpine

Dallara F397

8

15

12

35

Justin McClintock

Galloway Sports 1300

15

12

8

35

Phil Morrow

Reynard 923

10

8

10

28

Al Palmer

TOMS Toyota 036F

0

10

15

25

Luc Botton

Cheetah Mk8

12

3

0

15

Chris Lynch

Dallara F397

5

6

0

11

Graham Hayles

Royale RP42 Sports 2000

6

5

0

11

Shayne Morrow

PRS Formula 2

4

4

0

8

 

And for those interested in who did what times, the fastest times of the day were:

Aaron McClintock

Dallara F301

1:02.304

Glenn Lynch

Dallara F397

1:02.720

Chris Lynch

Dallara F397

1:02.735

Lawrence Katsidis

Dallara F304

1:04.322

Al Palmer

TOMS Toyota 036F

1:04.540

Rodney Brincat

Dallara F304

1:04.680

Ross McAlpine

Dallara F397

1:06.427

Luc Botton

Ransburg Cheetah

1:08.110

Simon Bathgate

Radical SR3

1:08.245

Phil Morrow

Reynard 923

1:09.099

Justin McClintock

Galloway Sports 1300

1:09.234

Graham Hayles

Royale RP42 Sports 2000

1:13.737

Craig Watson

Westfield XTR2

1:15.096

Shane Morrow

PRS F2

1:17.236

 

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