Sports Sedans - Race One (10 laps). Solid start for reigning champion. The new 2002 season has started just nicely for 2001 champion, West Australia's Tony Ricciardello. Driving his Chev-powered Alfa sports sedan, Ricciardello has won the first...
Sports Sedans - Race One (10 laps).
Solid start for reigning champion.
The new 2002 season has started just nicely for 2001 champion, West Australia's Tony Ricciardello. Driving his Chev-powered Alfa sports sedan, Ricciardello has won the first of two races constituting the opening round of the Australian Sports Sedan Championship.
It was a thunderous opening to the five-round series with quality dicing, car spins, crashes and a new lap record to the race winner. The Phillip Island round was also boosted by the last-minute support of the Whitehorse Truck Centre.
At the start Ricciardello and Darren Hossack (Saab/Chev) went side-by-side through the first series of high-speed corners before the latter gained the lead. Also in their company was the Nissan/Chev of Kerry Baily which was alleged to have jumped the start and would be forced to undergo a stop/go penalty. He would retire shortly after with electrical problems.
Mark Duggan was a first lap casualty after his Calibra/Chev retired with front-end crash damage while the Queensland Ford Falcon of Brett Francis was forced to start from the rear of the field and then experienced rear-end stability problems that eventually put him out. Graham Smith (Calibra/Fiat Turbo) and Dean Camm (Honda Prelude/Chev) were also early retirees while Stephen Voight's engine dramas of qualifying made him a non-starter.
Hossack led the first time around but Ricciardello went to the front on lap two. He looked to be comfortably placed before the engine dropped onto seven cylinders on lap four. Hossack closed and briefly sampled the lead again before Ricciardello passed the Saab and then consolidated victory.
"Our car was going away as the race went," said Hossack "I fell we could match Ricciardello's pace but not consistently. They have a very slick operation."
He ultimately fell into the clutches of the flying Mazda of Luke Youlden but managed to stay ahead as they took the flag. Next came Dean Randle whose Saab/Chev had featured in a couple of battles, firstly with the Escort/Chev of Mick Monterosso until it lost second gear, and then Tony Wilson's Commodore/Chev which finished fifth.
Monterosso was next just ahead of the RX7 of Ivan Mikac whose team mate Anton Abramovic was lucky not to have crashed heavily into the pit wall after suspension failure coming onto the main straight threw his RX7 into a wild series of spins.
SPORTS SEDANS RACE ONE (10 laps)
1-Tony Ricciardello (WA) Alfa Romeo/Chev 15:59.2233
2-Darren Hossack (Vic) Saab/Chev 16:02.6334
3-Luke Youlden (Vic) Mazda RX7 16:02.9832
4-Dean Randle (Vic) Saab/Chev 16:24.9892
5-Tony Wilson (NSW) Holden Commodore VS/Chev 16:26.9881
6-Mick Monterosso (SA) Ford Escort/Chev 16:32.2069
7-Ivan Mikac (ACT) Mazda RX7 16:32.4311
8-Robert Smith (NSW) Holden Commodore VS 17:10.5609
9-Milton Seferis (Vic) Holden Commodore VS 17:28.9973 #10-Mike Roddy (Vic) Jaguar XJS V12 17:47.0095
Sunday April 14
1350-1405, Sports Sedan Race Two
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.