Australian MGF round one Phillip Island summary

Safety Cars, Rollovers, Floods, Track Closures, Stewards Hearings & Disqualifications. All a part of a weekends racing for the Australian 2003 Kumho Tyres MGF Series. The Australian 2003 Kumho Tyres MGF Trophy Series started last weekend...

Safety Cars, Rollovers, Floods, Track Closures, Stewards Hearings & Disqualifications.
All a part of a weekends racing for the Australian 2003 Kumho Tyres MGF Series.

The Australian 2003 Kumho Tyres MGF Trophy Series started last weekend with all the ingredients that make this one-make series one of the most exciting motor sport championships in Australia, with Round 1 of the 8 Round Series, held at Phillip Island, Victoria.

With over half the field made up of drivers from the 2002 Series, it was always going to be hard for the new entrants to make an impact against some of the more experienced drivers. Last years Series runner-up Adam Bressington, and Series winner Jamie Cartwright in the MG X-Power entry, continued to show the form that saw them to be so successful last year.

The weekend started with a very wet practice, catching out some of the rookies including Joe Di Santo, who impacted into one of the walls at turn two on lap one. Richard Buttrose was fastest by 2 seconds in this session, while most of the other drivers were busy familiarising themselves with their new cars and the track whilst at the same time having to bed in new brake pads.

The next outing was qualifying, as practice session two had to be abandoned, due to the continuing torrential down-pour. Again last years names topped the time sheets, such as Chris Oxley, Adam Bressington, Richard Buttrose and Jamie Cartwright. The new format of combined qualifying sessions for grid positions meant qualifying Session two (in drier) conditions would set the final grid positions for Race 1. Pole position went to Chris Oxley with a time of 2:00.2487, and Jamie Cartwright sharing the front row.

Phillip Island's ever changing weather continued to hold out for Race 1, as the lead changed several times between Oxley, Cartwright, Bressington and finally D'Ercole, who crossed the line first, only to be excluded from the official results after being penalised for overtaking Yanis Derums under a Yellow flag. The win was handed to Jamie Cartwright. While most of the competitors were content with their MG's rolling on 4 wheels, Bruce Thomlinson took the award for the first MGF to roll-over in the Series, when he hit a gravel trap sideways. The car landed on all four's enabling Thomlinson to continue.. if only he wasn't bogged.

Changes to the Series format now mean a progressive grid with finishing positions for Race 1 determining the grid for Race 2. With D'Ercole now having to start from the back of the grid, Cartwright shared the front row with Bressington for another 9 lap race around one of Australia's longest circuits. Cartwright got a bad start, and slipped to third position, as Bressington led the field for the first lap. Cartwright managed to slip in behind Oxley and gain a tow down Phillip Island's long straight to over take, both Oxley and Bressington and take the lead. Oxley, Bressington and Buttrose continued to dice for the remaining podium positions, while Cartwright extended his lead to well over 7 seconds by the end of the race.

Both race wins handed Cartwright the Round win with full points and a 6 point advantage over Adam Bressington heading into Round 2 at Eastern Creek on 2 - 4 May in Sydney.

-amgf-

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Series Road racing
Drivers Jamie Cartwright , Richard Buttrose , Phillip Island