Holt still in the hunt despite challenging weekend at home track. Racing at your home track is usually an opportunity to use local knowledge, and the odd touch of hometown luck, to put together your best performance of the ...
Holt still in the hunt despite challenging weekend at home track.
Racing at your home track is usually an opportunity to use local knowledge, and the odd touch of hometown luck, to put together your best performance of the season.
However, Sydneysider Garry Holt's weekend at his home circuit of Eastern Creek Raceway (Where his Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway Business is located) did not go according to plan, as the Mitsubishi driver suffered one drama after another in what turned out to be a challenging third round of the 2005 Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship.
Despite the misfortunes, Holt has still been able to consolidate his position as one of the leading lights in the ultra competitive Performance Car Championship, as well as leaving the Western Sydney track as the new lap record holder.
Holt's weekend started superbly, pacing the Friday practice sessions behind the wheel of his regular Century 21 Real Estate / Orix / Eastern Creek Karts / 2UE / Sarina Smash Repairs Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. On combined practice times, Holt's best of 1m43.1271 was a convincing eight tenths of a second faster than his next best rival.
Qualifying was a further shot in the arm for the Century 21 Real Estate team, Holt taking a strong pole position in the solitary 20-minute session. His time of 1m42.8027 scoring the top spot by just a tenth of a second from series long rival Mark King.
Race one forced changes on Holt's weekend, as the Century 21 Lancer suffered a puncture during the early stages in the race that dropped him from the solid fourth place he was holding at the stage to an eventual non finish. Lying 2nd in points at the time, it wasn't the result Holt was looking for in the early stages of the championship.
Race two promised a charge through the field by a fired up Century 21 Real Estate Lancer, and Holt was able to deliver -- for eight of the ten laps. After charging his way through the field to run as high as 7th place with just two laps to go, the car incredibly endured yet another puncture that resulted in a 12th place classification at race's end.
After not being able to complete his charge back to the front in the second race, Holt used the third and final 10 lapper - held Sunday afternoon -- to show his true intentions. It wasn't without dramas though: Moving into sixth place by the second lap and clearly charging, Holt came was forced to bound across the scenery at turn one in avoidance of another car.
The car didn't escape the wild ride damage free either, tearing off the under tray of the vehicle and forcing Holt to drive without it for the remainder of the race.
It didn't seem to affect the charge though; Holt braking the existing Eastern Creek Lap Record en route to a strong -- and points saving -- fourth place finish.
"It has been a tough weekend," Holt said after the final race Sunday afternoon. "On the plus side though, we have been right in the thick of the action this weekend, after being involved in a number of great battles in most of the races. It means that our sponsors will get some excellent exposure on TV out of the weekend, despite it not being the best one on track results wise."
Despite the opening race non-finish, the Century 21 Real Estate team leaves Eastern Creek a solid 3rd in the championship, with 161 points.
"We were able to save some points this weekend with our fourth place finish in the final race today," Explained Holt. "We have the pace -- as we showed by setting the lap record without the under tray on the car -- and we are really looking forward to getting up to Darwin in July.
That trip to the "Top End" will mark the first time that the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship will have visited the Hidden Valley circuit in Darwin. Round 4 of the Donut King Australian Performance Car Championship will se the Century 21 Real Estate team in action on the weekend of July 1st -- 3rd.