After finishing second in the opening race, Holihan’s duel with team-mate Simon Hodges would resume on the second day of the opening round of the 2016 season.
The second race was contested over 12 laps, and sometimes in motorsport, you need some luck to go your way, and that’s exactly how it panned out for Daniel Holihan on the day.
Half the field found itself either involved, or trying to avoid an incident at turn 10 in the early laps, and Holihan was one of two cars to be facing the wrong way of the other side of the corner. Thankfully, he was able to resume, and went into damage control, as he went about trying to catch and pass those who capitalised on his misfortune, and in doing so, limit the points deficit to Simon Hodges, who wasn’t involved in the incident.
Team-mate Aaron Greech was involved in the incident as well. Holihan was able to resume ahead of his team-mate, and soon after, he’d catch and pass Jason Liddell and Jake Hobbs, and all of a sudden he was fourth in class, and chasing down third.
It wasn’t long before Holihan found himself battling with Rodney Baker for third. The former North Shore Karters had an almighty duel, which went right down to the final lap. It became the battle for second when Mark Lowing retired with mechanical issues.
On the final lap, Baker made a mistake at the top of the hill, on the approach to turn 4, which saw him spin out of the battle, and Holihan move up to second position in the Kent Class, and that’s where he finished, quite a way behind team-mate Simon Hodges.
It was a character building race for Holihan, and sometimes, you make your own luck in this sport. To come away with second was as good as a win for the Sydney driver, who reflected on the drama when speaking to Zak Sports post-race.
“Race two was interesting, I thought I was about to retire and destroy my whole weekend. I was on the inside of Shane Baumer and he just didn’t see me coming. It was a bit crazy to be honest. Starting on the front row, then dropping back to last place, then with less than 2 to go, I end up battling for 2nd place.”
But, Hooly could see the funny side of the chaos – “Talk about luck of the Irish. Next time I’ll keep a clover on my car.” he joked. “That race was insane.”
After all the excitement of the second race, attention turned to the trophy race, and there was an air of anticipation around it given what we’d seen just a few hours earlier.
For Holihan, the race would be far less eventful. He started well, and challenged for the lead at the end of lap 1, but from there, both he and Simon Hodges ran their own race. That tenth of a second edge that Hodges had enjoyed right throughout the weekend, was enough for him to build a gap between himself and Holihan, and Hodges would go onto claim a clean-sweep of the opening round of the season.
So, a solid points haul for Holihan to start season 2016. Three second place finishes, and when he spoke to Zak Sports afterwards, he was all smiles.
“I’m pretty happy with how my weekend went. This is the second week in a row I’ve been at Wakefield Park and I got one step further up the podium than last week.”
Commenting on his busy schedule, Holihan said: “I’ve been racing non-stop lately, so in terms of maintaining consistency, it definitely helps driving a range of different tracks and cars.”
The story line of the weekend was his battle with team-mate Simon Hodges, and Holihan was the first to admit that Simon had the edge this weekend – “My team mate Simon Hodges was just that little bit quicker than me all weekend. I’m thinking of the bigger picture though, with new tyres and a competitive field, I think the championship will heat up over the next 5 rounds.”
“As for me as long as I can grab a few wins down the line and not have any retirements, then the championship could lean in my favour. I’ll remain optimistic though, because in motorsport, anything can happen, but it does help running for a top team like Anglo Motorsport, who have won the State Championships nine times.”
Holihan will next be on track next weekend at Phillip Island in Victoria for the Historic meeting, before turning his attention to the Bathurst 6 Hour over the Easter Weekend, with the next round of the NSW Formula Ford Championship to be contested at Sydney Motorsport Park on April 9 and 10.
|NSW Formula Ford | Kent 1600 | Round 1 of 6|
|Race 2 – 12 Laps (26.4km)|
|1||Simon Hodges||Anglo Australian Motorsport||13:08.9937||12 Laps|
|2||Daniel Holihan||Anglo Australian Motorsport||13:24.0612||+15.0675|
|3||Rodney Baker||Baker Motorsport||13:33.2655||+24.2718|
|Race 3 – 16 Laps (35.2)|
|1||Simon Hodges||Anglo Australian Motorsport||17:30.8150||16 Laps|
|2||Daniel Holihan||Anglo Australian Motorsport||17:35.6003||+4.7853|
|3||Mark Lowing||Farrace Race Engines||17:37.1288||+6.3138|
|NSW Formula Ford | Points After Round 1 of 6|
|Next Round: April 9-10 | Sydney Motorsport Park|