It was a family affair at Saturday nights "Thunder at night" the second round of the Australian Stockcar Championships at Sydney's Oran Park road circuit.
Former Aussie Touring car champion Jim Richards and his 22 year old son Steven the reigning Formula Ford champion used their road racing experience to advantage to win the two main events in NASCAR and AUSCAR respectively.
Jim started from pole in his Dick Midgely built Pontiac and won the drag into the first turn from fellow road course specialists Charlie O'Brien and Brad Jones.
By lap 2 John Faulkner's Oldsmobile had joined Jones in the battle for third with the two swapping places several times allowing Kim Janes Pontiac to catch up and join the fight. Meanwhile up front O'Brien's Thunderbird was still hounding a smoking Richards for the lead. The battle for third saw Jones pull in front by lap eight but in the lead it was Richards who hung on to win from O'Brien's Thunderbird and Jones in third.
Earlier in the night Richard's son Steven in only his second AUSCAR race had a furious race long bumping duel with points leader and pole sitter John Faulkner's Commodore. On the last lap Richards and Faulkner had a major coming together which saw the later leave the circuit to give Richards Jnr. his first ever AUSCAR win and a rare victory for the Ford Falcon.
In other races on the card, Points leader Tim D'Ombrian dominated the Holden HQ's from John Harding and David Wood while the combined Sportsman and Formula Falcon race saw Darren McDonald,s Commodore lead from start to finish to beat Eddie Ablnica in the Falcon and Shane Houlahan's Commodore in third. Troy Small led home the 6 cylinder Formula Falcon class finishing in 10th overall.
All in all it was a succsessful foray into Sydney for Bob Jane's circus with a good crowd attending. But the real push into Sydney will come with the opening of the paved oval at Parramatta hopefully in time for next season. The next round returns to the Calder Park Thunderdome in Melbourne on December 10 when the locals will be joined by several US Drivers.
-- Brett Ramsey