A compelling opening day of racing in the 2016 NSW Production Touring Car Championship left us wanting more, and we were in luck, as there were another two races to enjoy on the second day of the opening round at Wakefield Park in Goulburn.
Races three and four were a bit longer than one and two – with Race 3 to be run over 12 laps, and number four over 15.
Daniel Oosthuizen and Greg Symes shared victories on the opening day of the season, and would share the front row for the opening race of the day.
Brett Heeley, who had a cracking battle with Nigel Williams on Day 1, missed the opening race of the day due to computer and technical glitch. The crew behind the #47 were trying to do a new tune into the car engine, and the technical problem imobilised the car. A factory reset fixed the issue, and brought about a sigh of relief in the Heeley camp, and enabled him to start race 4.
Greg Symes admitted on Saturday afternoon that his start was where he won the second race, and he’d win the start again in Race 3… until he got to turn 2, where he completely locked it up, kicked up some dirt, and let Daniel Oosthuizen through on the inside – Daniel doesn’t need an invitation, nor does he need to be asked twice to take the lead of a motor race.
From there, He didn’t look back after that, going on to blitz the competition just like he did in Race 1, as he pulled away from Barry Graham, going on to take the most comfortable of wins.
Barry Graham could do nothing about Daniel Oosthuizen, and was left to take second position, while David Ayres cruised to third.
Matt Stubbs continued a terrific debut for his BMW E46 M3, coming home in 4th.
Jacques Oosthuizen, who retired at the end of race 2, made his way back through the field on Sunday morning, reaching eighth position, losing out to Merrick Malouf and Greg Symes in the closing stages.
At the front, Greg Symes was again the one to watch at the start, as he breezed by Ayres and Stubbs, and tucked in behind Daniel Oosthuizen running into turn 2.
It was Barry Graham who won the start from Oosthuizen, but unlike Race 2, Oosthuizen found a way to the front on the very next lap, and would stay there.
Oosthuizen completed the near-perfect weekend, with a 2.9 second victory over Symes and Graham – not the blow out that we saw in Races 1 and 3, as Symes and Graham kept the young man honest, but still enough to put everyone on notice, that he would be one to beat across the remaining races and rounds in the 2016 V8 Superlaps New South Wales Production Touring Car Championship.
As far as the minor placings were concered, David Ayres and Matt Stubbs rounded out the top five.
A race long battle between Brett Heeley and Nigel Williams was eventually won by Willams, and they were just clear of Geoff Kite.
Another fascinating battle unfolded between Class D drivers David Bailey and Daniel Williams, along with Simon O’Donnell from Class C.
Class winners on the day: Daniel Oosthuizen – 2 from 2 in Class A1, and Nigel Williams was too good in Class A2.
The ‘B’ classes were won by David Ayres (B1) and Matt Stubbs (B2) respectively.
Class C was taken out by Simon O’Donnell. David Bailey took Class D, and despite retiring from both Sunday races, Jonathon Fishburn claimed Class D honours for the weekend.
A unique four-race weekend, under AASA sanction to get 2016 underway, and it proved to be a good mix for Daniel Oosthuizen – victorious for the weekend, and a comfortable championship lead going forward to the next round in Sydney at the end of May.
Before Sydney though, the production car show piece – the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour at Mount Panorama, with many Production Touring regulars featuring on the grid there across the Easter Weekend.