Australian Sports Sedan ChampionshiP - Round One - Phillip Island - April 12-14 For the sixth year, reigning champion West Australia's Tony Riccairdello and Kerry Baily from Tasmania go head-to-head in a bid for another Australian Sports Sedan...
Australian Sports Sedan ChampionshiP - Round One - Phillip Island - April 12-14
For the sixth year, reigning champion West Australia's Tony Riccairdello and Kerry Baily from Tasmania go head-to-head in a bid for another Australian Sports Sedan Championship when the series kicks off at Phillip Island this weekend supporting V8 SUPERCARS. So far the scoreboard reads 3-2 in favour of the former but Baily had collected another two titles in the early '90s.
There is no doubt that the mature Baily had the pace to win the 2001 Championship but a couple of mechanical reliability problems early in the series meant he would never quite catch up, despite winning many of the races. Baily steps into the new season as favourite to net a fifth title with the youthful Riccairdello his major adversary.
Both can expected renewed challengers from other competitors as well. Former V8 Supercar driver Darren Hossack (Vic) and the Chev-powered Saab Aero heads the list of aspirants seeking their first Championship. Hossack has the talent and experience and is a real chance. Aboard the best looking car will be New South Welshman Daniel Jameson in the exotic Jaguar XKR. The Chev-powered machine and young driver combination put in some worthy performances during the 2001 season..
Veteran Mick Monterosso (SA) is probably the best long-term Sports Sedan driver never to have won the Championship. His short wheel base Ford Escort with a thumping six-litre Chev powerplant is renowned for its prowess for getting off the start lines. From Queensland are Phil Crompton and Stephen Voight. Crompton has purchased the ex-Jameson Chev-powered Ford Falcon while Voight has a former two-time championship winner under his racing seat in the shape of the Honda Prelude/Chev.
The ACT is represented by two rotary-powered Mazda RX7s of brothers-in-law Ivan Mikac and Anton Abramovic and NSW is further represented by the Commodore/Chev of Tony Wilson which through reliability, figured so well last year. He will be joined by the Calibras of Mark Duggan and Graham Smith who has opted for Fiat Turbo power rather than the traditional V8 engine. Another Calibra, the Ray Ayton (Vic) machine gives the pretty German-designed sportie a big presence this weekend.
Locals will looking for strong performances on their Victorian home soil with Geoff Munday in the ex-Bryan Thompson Mercedes/Chev, Dean Randle (Saab Aero/Chev) and Dean Camm, another Honda Prelude based racer, hoping to fly the state flag. <pre> WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday April 12 1050-1120, Sports Sedans Practice 1620-1650, Sports Sedans Practice Saturday April 13 1050-1115, Sports Sedan Qualifying 1 1630-1655, Sports Sedan Qualifying 2 Sunday April 14 0930-0945, Sports Sedan Race One 1350-1405, Sports Sedan Race Two
Round One Phillip Island (Vic) April 12-14 Round Two Oran Park (NSW) June 14-16 Round Three Oran Park (NSW) July 26-28 Round Four Queensland Raceway (Qld) September 13-15 Round Five Sandown Raceway (Vic) November 29-December 1 </pre> Highlights of each round of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship can be seen on Network TEN's Trackside program. Each of the five rounds of the series will be scheduled for the program which generally airs the week after the round. Trackside is a 90 minute program featured on Sunday afternoons from 2:30 pm right after RPM.