Oran Park round three preview

Consistency takes on speed and now backed by reward insurance. The consistency of Darren Hossack verses the sheer speed of Tony Ricciardello. That is the scenario that is expected to decide who walks away with the series lead after the third...

Consistency takes on speed and now backed by reward insurance.

The consistency of Darren Hossack verses the sheer speed of Tony Ricciardello. That is the scenario that is expected to decide who walks away with the series lead after the third round of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship this weekend.

It was a little over a month ago that the second round was fought out at Oran Park and the thundering monsters return to the Narellan circuit again as the second half of the short championship unfolds, this time with Reward Insurance backing the series to the end of the year.

In their respective Chev-powered Saab and Alfa beasts, Hossack took out round one at Phillip Island as Ricciardello came up short after an engine letdown. The latter was back stronger for round two, taking over victory and put him back into contention.

With just five rounds, one poor result and it all could be over for season 2002. Just seven points separate the two front runners and Hossack and Ricciardello will have to be mindful of other strong performances in round two.

Kerry Baily was the fastest man then, taking pole position but he failed to finish the first of three heats after contact with Ricciardello. Baily went on to win the final heat and his hoping that form will continue through the two legs of this round and elevate his fifth place standing into series contention.

Another consistent performer has been Tony Wilson in his Holden Commodore VS/Chev with solid performances in both rounds ran this year and is currently third, 20 points behind the series leader. Fourth after missing round one due to a blown engine in practice is Daniel Jameson whose third in the second round in the exotic Jaguar only hints at what is likely to come.

Category stalwart Des Wall returned to the series after a two-year layoff and accumulated another points to be sixth overall while Mick Monterosso is counting on not having the monumental gearbox problems that so adversely affected the performance of Ford Escort/Chev. Victorian Dean Randle was also involved in the on track dramas and will be look for a cleaner run this time.

Diversity among the wild cars of Australian Motor Sport is growing and growing. There are several Mazda RX7s in the field, some are Chev powered, some run the tradition rotaries and one, driven by Terry Shiel, has a Nissan Turbo engine and is a missile in a straight line. Several Calibras are also running, mainly Chev-engined but Graham Smith's is Fiat Turbo powered.

Numbered among the 28-strong field will again be Andrew Fawcett in his TRANZAM-spec Jaguar, which surprised many with its last performance. He will be joined by Peter Hills in his Ford Mondeo, a high-tech Super Tourer that will also compete as an Invited category alongside the Porsche GT3 of Wayne Cooper.

Unlike round two, where drivers battled over three heats, the format returns to the traditional two-race format with race one on Saturday over 17 laps and the second on Sunday of 12 laps duration.

Highlights of each round of the AUSTRALIAN SPORTS SEDAN CHAMPIONSHIP can be seen on Network TEN's Trackside program. Each of the five rounds of the series will be scheduled for the program, which generally airs the week after the round. Trackside is a 90-minute program featured on Sunday afternoons from 2:30 pm right after RPM.

-www.sportssedans.com.au

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Series General
Drivers Darren Hossack , Des Wall , Peter Hill , Graham Smith , Phillip Island