RDA ROTORS & EBC BRAKES SALOON CAR SERIES: The Heinrich Hurricane swept through Mallala last weekend blowing the competition into the next postcode! What a weekend for the two-time National Saloon Car Champion. Bruce Heinrich eclipsed his...
RDA ROTORS & EBC BRAKES SALOON CAR SERIES:
The Heinrich Hurricane swept through Mallala last weekend blowing the competition into the next postcode! What a weekend for the two-time National Saloon Car Champion. Bruce Heinrich eclipsed his own lap record in Friday's practice, qualified on pole position, and won all three races over the weekend and as such now leads the 2005 RDA Rotors & EBC Brakes Saloon Car Series.
There were forty Saloon Cars entered for the meeting -- 22 Falcons & 18 Commodores. With such a large grid, there was no doubt that the action would be thick and fast.
The first to "bite the dust" was Geoff Brown (Vic). Geoff's EA had a major engine failure during in the Friday practice session that looked like ending his weekend, but Bruce Heinrich came to the rescue and built an engine for the number 82 Falcon on Friday night and with the good work of the crew the car was ready for qualifying on Saturday.
Local drivers Mick West and Roger Paterson were involved in an unfortunate racing incident during the Saturday morning practice session that terminated Mick's weekend and substantially damaged Roger's car.
Qualifying -- Saturday 12.05 -- 20 mins.
The session was very hectic with 39 cars on the track; even so everything went relatively smooth.
Bruce Heinrich (Falcon-SA) was quickest with a 1:20.5 from David Lines (Commodore-SA) 1:21.2, third fastest was Steve Kwiatkowski (Falcon-SA) from reigning National Champion Clint Harvey (Falcon-WA). The top ten was made up of 7 Fords and 3 Holden's.
Heinrich was the only one to get into the 1.20s, the next 9 cars were in the 1.21s, and then we had 10 cars in the 1.22s. After Heinrich the next 8 cars were covered by 5/10ths of a second. A mere 4 seconds covered the top 33 cars!
Race 1 -- Saturday 1500 -- 11 laps.
Heinrich led into the first turn from Lines and Kwiatkowski. Going into the Southern Hairpin for the first time Grant Johnson (6th) received a touch and spun in front of the following 33 cars, the result was a red flag and several damaged race cars.
Amazingly only one car couldn't make the re-start. The re-start was a carbon copy of the first start with Bruce Heinrich leaping to the front, behind him the racing was a "take no prisoners" affair between Kwiatkowski, Shawn Jamieson, Matt Lovell and Clint Harvey, it was great to watch.
Heinrich won comfortably from Kwiatkowski, Jamieson, Lovell and Harvey.
Point's leader after round one John Goodacre (Commodore-SA) retired on lap three with a brake problem. After being towed back to the pits as a result of the first start incident, Grant Johnson (Commodore-WA) made it for the re-start and starting from 37th he finished 11th!!
Race 2 -- Sunday 9.23 -- 12 laps.
Bruce Heinrich and Steve Kwiatkowski both got an excellent start and went into turn one side by side, Steve was on the outside and had to yield and drop in behind Bruce. Although the top 6 or 7 cars held their place for the entire race, they were involved in a pretty intense battle.
Grant Johnson worked his way up to 7th before a puncture stopped his charge forward. The Woodstock team had a disastrous race dropping to the rear of the field after an unfortunate incident. Paul Fiore (Commodore-WA) was impressive in being the first Holden home in 8th place, as was Goodacre who finished 13th from 33rd on the grid.
At the chequered flag it was Heinrich from Kwiatkowski, Jamieson, and then Lovell, Harvey, and Jake Camilleri (Falcon-QLD).
Race 3 -- Sunday 12.23 -- 11 laps.
Right from the start the Heinrich and Kwiatkowski show moved into top gear and cleared away form the field. Lovell, Lines, Jamieson and Harvey were involved in an enthralling dice until Shawn Jamieson retired on lap 7 with mechanical problems.
John Goodacre had worked his way up to 5th place and was charging, unfortunately he ran out of laps. Once again Grant Johnson did an unbelievable job to come through the field from 37th to finish 9th!
Apologies for not mentioning more of the field, but there was that much close racing going on throughout the field it was difficult to keep up with the action.
At the finish line it was Heinrich from Kwiatkowski, Lovell, Lines, Goodacre and Harvey.
A special mention must go to the Dexion team. The Dexion Falcon left the track (due to an oil spill) in race one at the Southern Hairpin and clouted the tyre barrier very hard. The car was in really bad shape, but with the help of J V Smash Repairs and the Saloon Car family the team were back on the grid for race two.
Congratulations to the interstate competitors who put in a huge effort to support our category. All in all it was a terrific weekend of RDA Rotors & EBC Brakes Saloon Car racing. For full results, photos and points go to www.tascco.com.au Highlights of the Saloon Car races will be televised on the SBS Speedweek program.