2002 New South Wales Formula 2 Championship.
Round 4 Eastern Creek, 22-23 June 2002.

The State Road Racing Championship circus found its way to Sydney's Eastern Creek raceway for round 4 of the State Championship. The ARDC put on better service than the difficult meeting back in March, but there were still a few niggling things for the Formula 2 competitors to contend with. But this did not harm the racing on track, with three very good races over the weekend.

Craig Smith's Cheetah Mk 8 dominated qualifying. Smith getting down to a 1m34.169, ahead of series leader Ted Dunford's Reynard. Next was Craig Dawson in his Reynard and Terry Robertson's Sirch. Neil Caswell in the F3 Reynard was 5th with the two Cheetah Mk 7's of Brendon Cook & Clayton Pyne. Cook 14 seconds faster than in March. Brian Burman in the Ralt RT30 pipped Mike Bennetts Cheetah Mk 6 for 8th. Don Hewitt in the Dallara rounded out the top ten. John Muddle and Kiwi Tom Brickley had mechanical trouble, as did Kevin Lewis who got things going for the second race.

Race 1 on Saturday afternoon saw Smith away ahead of Dunford, Dawson and Caswell. Pyne jumped to 5th ahead of a Robertson and a charging Burman, Cook, Hewitt and Bennett. Cook got Burman on lap 2 and Robertson on the final. Smith set the quickest lap of 1m37.1685. After the race Clayton Pyne called it quits and withdrew from the meeting. David Choon took his ride in the third race.

Race 2 on a chilly Sunday morning saw much of the same. Smith away quickly followed by Dunford, Dawson & Caswell. But on lap 3 Smith blew a tyre and retired. Dunford took over the lead, ahead of a re-charged Robertson, Caswell, and Dawson. Kevin Lewis was 5th and Cook 6th. Bennett was next ahead of Hewitt. Burman blew an engine and didn't finish. Smith still set the fastest lap of 1m35.6142.

Race 3 Sunday afternoon saw Smith charging form the rear of grid. From the start Cook stalled on the line and the other competitors took to the grass to avoid his stranded Cheetah. Dunford settled in for second ahead of Robertson. A spinning Caswell was 4th ahead of Kevin Lewis. F3 driver David Choon was 6th ahead of Bennett and a recovering Cook. Dawson blew his engine and Hewitt spun. Smith, no surprise, was the quickest posting a 1m34.9074.

Off to Oran Park in 4 weeks, with most teams having some work to do to catch the consistent Dunford. See you there.

-Kim Saffron.