Well, that was a difficult event, the Hyundai wasn't really suited to the drag-strip and it was difficult in traffic to make anything work but I'm happy to have been able to pull in a couple of points in the championship
It became apparent straight away in practice and I was down a good 5-6 kph at the end of the straight that I would have to make time on the infield to make up for the lack of pace on the long straight and while that's all well and good on your own, it's not prefferable to make time in the turns when there is other cars around as different makes of cars and drivers go about things differently...
I knew that a pole wasn't going to be possible but I reconed that a top 6 position should be possible and I was happy to set a PB in the qualifying session to line up 4th for the first race of the evening.
Got a so-so start and while I were able to outdrag a couple of those in front while loosing out to the four wheel drive (AWD) of Ricardo I was a bit too cautious going into turn 1 and lost out to both Dave M and Ryan who were a bit braver going in there.
I then got held up on the infield like I had feared and Ray got by the next time we hit the drag strip, that Alfa was a rocket ship
Going into Valvoline at the end of the straight, Richard and Ryan had their coming together and I could sneak past along with Ray and Dave.
I seem to remember that I got past Dave after he made a mistake at the Esses (3rd chicane) and then Richard W and David J had their coming together at Valvoline a few laps in and we were past them as well.
Ray I think then made a mistake at the Esses as well a lap or two later and I was suddenly in the lead of the race, a position I didn't think I would get anywhere near at this meeting.
Realized I had about a second lead on Juha in the Holden Vectra and knew that if I could open up the gap to around 6-8 seconds it would be difficult for anyone to catch me and I set about setting consistent laps and I don't think I dropped to slower than a flat 02 from lap 5 or 6 onwards until the final lap when I decided to take it a bit easier.
So a well needed win, although through the misfortune and mistakes of others, but a win is a win in the Hyundai, very happy with that result
Repeated my PB and even improved it by a tenth or so but everyone else had found more pace as usual so 6th I think was my starting position for the second race.
My start was good and I could gain a couple of positions but Ryan had an even better start and flew past in his Bimmer.
Again got held up on the infield and this time it cost me dearly as Richard C broke up the inside at Glowave Corner (Final turn) and I was then outdragged by Ray as well in the Alfa. Next lap the same thing happened on the infield (technically the "back" of the track) and Dave Sabre flew past down the straight as well in the second of the Knight Fords.
Was sat behind David for a few laps unable to get past but in the end I went for an audacious outbraking manouver at the Esses and just about got the car stopped, sorry for the slight squeeze on the exit but had to go for it when I was so close after Coca Cola (2nd chicane).
Immediately opened up a bit of a gap to David and set after the trio ahead, I think it Jacob along with Ray and Ryan.
Caught up after a couple of laps of all out driving through the chicanes, I was really flying through there.
Placed myself behind Ray and tried to find a way past but it was really diffucult, even with a 3 car draft I couldn't keep up down the drag strip.
In the end I think I made the move at the Esses, again through an aggressive move under braking, had been harassing Ray for many laps by then.
Set about trying to find a way past Ryan who was sitting in 3rd place and the final podium position while trying to not let Ray get past, I knew that if I got held up through the twisty bits, he'd have me down the front stretch. In the end Ryan made the tiniest of errors at the Esses, I think it was, and I could make my way past but so did Ray.
Tried to open up the gap to Ray but he proved impervious and he stayed within 4-8 tenths, fluctuating along the lap, usually sitting around the 6-8 tenth range as we came out of the final turn and then around 4-5 tenths as we exited Valvoline.
I got lucky and was consistent enough to stay ahead and pick up 3rd and a good haul of points. Again, really good driving there Ray!
It is nice to read that, despite the simplistic nature of the track, everyone seem to have had a good battle along the way and the while field covered by 6 or so tenths in the second Qualifying was cool to see
Thanks to everyone who showed up and I hope to see you all in two weeks time when we visit the now defunct and housing destroyed, but great, Amaroo Park