TCC: Eastern Creek round four race notes

Wyhoon storms to Eastern Creek GWTCC round win Melbourne based Terry Wyhoon (AU Falcon V8 Supercar) has extended his lead in the Gulf Western Touring Car Challenge (GWTCC) by taking out the fourth round last weekend (July 23 & 24) at Sydney's...

Wyhoon storms to Eastern Creek GWTCC round win

Melbourne based Terry Wyhoon (AU Falcon V8 Supercar) has extended his lead in the Gulf Western Touring Car Challenge (GWTCC) by taking out the fourth round last weekend (July 23 & 24) at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway ahead of race two winner Peter Vicary (EL Falcon V8 Supercar) and reigning series champion Luke Searle (BMW 318i Super Tourer).

On top of taking out the round win, Wyhoon established a new lap record in race one and two and was consistently the fastest throughout all three races amongst the 20 plus field of entrants. Wyhoon scored victory in the opening 5-lap sprint, finished a narrow second to race two victor Peter Vicary and in the third and final race of the weekend placed 11th in an event that was taken out by Andrew Gillespie (AU Falcon XR8 Future Tourer).

Earlier in the weekend during practice and qualifying on Saturday South Australian visitor Chris Smerdon (AU Falcon V8 Supercar) topped the time sheets and qualified on pole position with a best lap of 1:37.0420. Behind Smerdon in qualifying was Garry Willmington (EL Falcon V8 Supercar), Matthew Hunt (VS Commodore V8 Supercar), Wyhoon, Searle and Peter Kelly (BMW 320i Super Tourer) completing the top six.

There were unfortunately a number of drivers unable to take part in the races on Sunday; they were Richard Mork (VS Commodore V8 Supercar), Bryce Peter-Budge (Peugeot 406 Super Tourer) and Adam Proctor (Ford Mondeo Super Tourer) who were all struck down by misfortune on Saturday.

For the opening race (5-lap Sprint race) Smerdon sat on pole position alongside Willmington, but at the drop of the green flag it was Wyhoon who powered from the second row and into the lead. From there onwards Wyhoon was untouchable and scorched away from his rivals to score a commanding win of some 10-car lengths ahead of Willmington and struggling home in third place was Smerdon. Outside the Top 3 finishers was Hunt, Searle, Ray Ayton (VT Commodore V8 Supercar), Sam Dale (Ford Mondeo Super Tourer), Amin Chada (BA GT Falcon Future Tourer), John Vergotis (VL Commodore Walkinshaw Group A) and in 10th Kelly, with the latter handed a 30 second penalty after he started out of position on the grid.

In the process of his race one win, Wyhoon set a new lap record of 1:37.2195 around the Eastern Creek 3.93km circuit.

Group A competitors David Towe (BMW M3) and Richard Prince (Volvo 240 Turbo) shared the front row for race two in the first of two handicap races, with the likes of Wyhoon, Willmington, Smerdon and Hunt placed at the tail of the field in the fastest to the rear race format.

The opening lap of race two (7-laps) saw Towe hold down the front running before Gillespie took control of the race and held that position for two laps up until Vicary arrived on the scene. Once in the lead Vicary built up a solid advantage over the field and it looked as though the 55-year-old would go to an unchallenged maiden victory. As the laps wore down it became obvious that back markers, Willmington and Wyhoon, were cutting their way through the field at a great rate.

With Vicary still holding down the front running, Wyhoon made his way into second by the last lap after Willmington spun off the track in turn two. Wyhoon had reeled in Vicary over the last half lap and at the fall of the chequered flag Vicary took the win narrowly ahead of Wyhoon in a nail biting finish. South Coast based Peter Best (VS Commodore V8 Supercar) claimed a strong third place ahead of Gillespie, Smerdon, Searle, Chada, a recovering Willmington, Hunt and Dale, who rounded out the Top 10.

Once again, the speed of Wyhoon was obvious and this was clearly evident when he set another lap record, this time a 1:37.0048.

For the third and final race of the weekend, the GWTCC officials increased the handicapping distance and nearly gave the Group A cars a lap start over series leader Wyhoon in his AU Falcon V8 Supercar for the 9-lap event.

The Future Tourer of Gillespie quickly grabbed the race lead without a lap being completed and from that point onwards built up a handy lead and went onto score a dominant win ahead of a fast finishing Vicary, who powered passed Chada for second place on the finish line. In what was an impressive debut meeting for his BA GT Falcon Future Tourer, Chada finished in third place, followed by Searle, Vergotis, Best, Byers, Willmington, Smerdon and Dale in 10th place.

Just outside the Top 10 was Wyhoon in 11th and, he, like many of his other V8 Supercar counterparts found the handicapping system too greater of a task to overcome.

At the completion of the weekend Wyhoon scored back-to-back GWTCC round wins with a total of 129 points ahead of Vicary (123), Searle (108), Smerdon (105) and in fifth outright was Willmington (102). Class winners were Wyhoon (V8 Supercar), Searle (Super Tourer), Gillespie (Future Tourer) and Vergotis (Group A).

<pre> Current GWTCC series point standings: (After 4 rounds) 1 Terry Wyhoon 426 2 Garry Willmington 387 3 Peter Vicary 324 4 Luke Searle 288 5 Andrew Gillespie 261 6 Peter Kelly 240 7 Amin Chada 192 8 John Vergotis 159 9 Ray Ayton 114 10 Chris Smerdon 105


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Series CAMS
Drivers Andrew Gillespie , Luke Searle , Terry Wyhoon