Oosthuizen Completes Perfect Start to Championship Campaign.

Oosthuizen Completes Perfect Start to Championship Campaign.

Jacques Oosthuizen scores Two Race Wins on Sunday to cement a clean-sweep at Wakefield Park.
Report by Zak Caban | Photos from Riccardo Benvenuti.

DSC_0799Last August at Wakefield Park, CXC Global Racing’s Oosthuizen Motorsport stable scored 1-2 finishes in all three races, and Daniel Oosthuizen was victorious in all three outings.

As luck would have it, Jacques would only have to wait for his very next visit to the Southern NSW venue to enjoy the same kind of success.

After a sensational, and comprehensive victory in Race 1 on Saturday, and backed up and finished the weekend the way he started on Day 2.

In both of Sunday’s races, Oosthuizen was never challenged en-route to victory. He did it comfortably over 12 and 15 laps respectively, and took Class A1 honours in the process – ending the weekend with a full bag of points.

DSC_0804For Jacques, it took him a while to get into the winners circle in this series, but now he’s there, he has no intention of leaving. He grabbed two race wins at SMP in September, and we’re not out of April yet, and he already has three wins to his name in 2017 – proving that he just had to get that first one, before the floodgates opened for him.

Elsewhere in the field – action aplenty, with some great battles and racing throughout.

Defending champion, Matthew Holt and Rodney Thorpe resumed their duel from Saturday.

DSC_0281Thorpe got the better of Holt in the opening race, but was unable to back that up in Race 2, as Holt squared the ledger, and claimed Class A2 honours for the first time this season.

Further afield, Trevor Symonds and Robert Coulthard were separated by no more than a car length for the duration of the 12-lap affair, with Coulthard prevailing. That was for seventh outright and fourth in Class A2. Mark Caine was third in A2, as he was in Race 1.

Barry Graham lost out at the start, falling behind Holt and Thorpe, but he did enough to hold onto fourth outright and second in Class A1.

Stephen Thompson and Mark Caine ran their own race for the most part – finishing fifth and sixth respectively, but all eyes were on Jacques Oosthuizen at the front of the field, as he cruised to his second win in as many starts.

17554499_182600935585840_1613926023175213589_nTom Muller continued his strong start to the season, coming home first in Class B1, two positions ahead of Adam Gosling, who was the first Class B2 car across the line.

Dan Smith made it two from two in Class D, ahead of Jimmy Vernon, as the Integra driver continued his exceptional start to season 2017, and Kirt Metcalf again got the better of Finley Hills in Class E.

Unfortunately for Jonathon Fishburn, Race 2 ended in retirement, and it was a retirement that ended his weekend. Mechanical failure in the form of a power steering failure forced him out of the final race later in the day.

DSC_0315Speaking of that race, the story was much the same when the lights turned to green in the Trophy Race, as Jacques Oosthuizen shot to the lead on the run to the first corner. Stephen Thompson, as track commentator Brian Van De Wakker put it, “vaulted up trough the field”, getting by Barry Graham and Rodney Thorpe, to be challenging for second on the run to one, but Matthew Holt was able to hold that position on the outside, leaving Thompson to settle into third position.

While Jacques Oosthuizen didn’t quite disappear into the sunset as he did in Races 1 and 2, he built up a small, yet unassailable lead in the opening laps, and then consolidated the lead for the duration.

DSC_0001 (1)Rodney Thorpe and Matthew Holt again went door-to-door in the battle for Class A2 honours – swapping the lead on several occasions along the way, while also holding off the likes of Thompson, Graham and Caine, who were close by.

David Baker made a solid start in the Honda Integra, before losing second in class to Jimmy Vernon. By that time, Daniel Smith had already shot clear, and was well up the road.

Unfortunately, the race ended in retirement for Josh Muggleton’s new Volkswagen Golf. Unfortunately, the retirement was mechanical related. The car is still relatively new, and they’re expecting gremlins as they continue with the development of that new production car for their 2017 campaign.

DSC_0301A late race spin for Adam Gosling saw Cary Morsink taking rather evasive action to avoid collecting the BMW. It also cost Gosling the Class B2 lead, as Geoff Kite took advantage of his misfortune.

In the end though, it was Oosthuizen claiming the clean-sweep, with a comfortable victory from Rodney Thorpe and Matthew Holt, who knows he’ll face a strong challenge from Thorpe across the season.

Class B1 honours were claimed by Thomas Muller, who finished in tenth outright, just ahead of Cary Morsink, and it was great to see him back on the grid, after sitting out the 2016 season.

Geoff Kite got his first win in Class B2 for 2017 – finishing 12th outright.

DSC_0430Further back, Daniel Smith completed a clean-sweep in Class D – taking the Honda Integra to a comfortable win, ahead of Jimmy Vernon and David Baker.

The emergence of Dan Smith has really livened up Class D. We leave Goulburn excited, and eagerly anticipating the rest of the season, and the battle for Class D supremacy, remembering that in the last three years, a Class D has finished on the outright podium at the end of the championship.

DSC_0320Kirt Metcalfe was again victorious in Class E – after a captivating battle with Finley Hills. The development in Finley Hill’s car and the improvement in Finley himself is not to be understated – his team have worked very hard across the off-season, to get him up to speed, running closer to his competition, and so far, it’s been successful, and has Finley’s confidence builds, expect further improvement from the teenager.

While attention now turns to the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour for some competitors, the rest of the PTC contingent is now preparing for the next sprint round of the series on the Brabham Circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park at the end of the month.

Begg Cleans Up at Lakeside.
Report by Zak Caban | Photos from Matthew Paul and Randolph White.

17425831_1503970679635451_3741416377557831331_nThe inaugural round of the Bilstein Suspension Queensland Production Touring Car Championship finished how it started, with Karl Begg claiming victory in the third and final race of the weekend.

Sunday’s one-hour enduro was, not only the feature race of the weekend, but also the opening event on the program at Round 1 of the Queensland Racing Drivers Championship meeting at Lakeside.

After taking pole by a comfortable margin, and holding off Beric Lynton in the two Saturday afternoon sprint races, Begg started from pole for the one-hour feature.

It was predicted that the battle for outright honours would be between Begg and Lynton,and the form guide wasn’t wrong, as the two set out on an epic duel in the first-half of proceedings.

17629963_1503970739635445_1372511875889355924_nWith a compulsory pit-window in the second-third of the race, Begg was first to dive into the lane, as Lynton assumed the lead of the race.

Begg’s pit-stop was faultless, and he resumed without trouble, for a clear run to the chequered flag.

As luck would have it, Begg would go unchallenged to the chequered flag, when Beric Lyton was forced to retire just after he completed his compulsory pit-stop.
Fire marshals pulled Lynton up as he approached pit-exit, to address the small amount of smoke coming from under the bonnet.
Officials wouldn’t allow Lynton to resume, and he was forced into retirement.

17757353_1503970616302124_2738763243800365110_nFrom there, Begg continued to gradually extend his margin over Brian Anderson, who was elevated to second position as a result of Lynton’s demise.

For Anderson, the race was smooth and uneventful – he ran his own race, with the only action coming when he had to navigate lapped traffic, which he did without any trouble.

For much of the race, Anderson kept the margin between himself and Begg very respectable, but in the last five minutes, Begg increased the margin from 20 to 38 seconds, as he cruised to a comfortable win – taking the chequered flag and creating history, as the first winner of a Production Touring Car round on Queensland soil. He was also the winner of Class A2.

Third outright, and second in class A2 was the series president, Gerry Murphy.

17426173_1503971346302051_4248833738179365034_nMurphy battled with his BMW all weekend, and while there’s still some fine-tuning, tweaking and testing to be done, he was rather pleased with the progress across the weekend, and the fact that he could bring it home for an outright podium finish.

Fourth place went to Justin Anthony and Bruce McKenzie – they were winners in Class C.

Fifth place to the winners of Class D, Michael James and Troy Rolley in a car that is very popular in the NSW Championship, a Toyota 86.

17757480_1503970886302097_292758049772951467_nIn sixth position was Bruce Forsyth in his Class D BMW, while the Mazda 2 of Tony Bonanno came home at the tail of the field – claiming Class E in the process.

Just the one retirement – that was Beric Lynton, on a day where Karl Begg staked his claim for QLDPTC supremacy, and BMW went 1-2-3-4, but both Begg and BMW will have a massive fight on their hands in two months time, when the NSW series contenders invade Queensland, to do battle in Round 2 of the QLDPTC, Round 3 of the NSWPTC – the race that signals the start of the MoComm Cup for 2017.

The opening weekend of June can’t come quick enough.

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