Opportunity knocks to secure crown This weekend Kerry Baily could effectively put one hand on his fifth Australian Sports Sedan Championship trophy with a good result in the fourth round of the Reward Insurance series. However a poor result at...
Opportunity knocks to secure crown
This weekend Kerry Baily could effectively put one hand on his fifth Australian Sports Sedan Championship trophy with a good result in the fourth round of the Reward Insurance series.
However a poor result at the rural Victorian Winton Raceway would make the final round at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway in September a highly stressed affair.
Baily's Nissan/Chev was out-powered and out-paced in round three which was held at the Mallala Raceway in South Australia, the first time in many seasons the category went out on its own (away from supporting V8 Supercars) as a headline package which drew good local support.
The domination of West Australia's Tony Ricciardello in the Chev-powered Alfa Romeo left the Tasmanian-born Queensland resident Baily shaking his head in disbelief. He was at a loss to come up with an answer.
However Ricciardello will also contesting the Konica V8 series aboard the Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon AU, and the last time he had multiple duties, the Alfa suffered mechanically. But he is confident that this time around he will handle both chores without problems.
Another powerhouse performance from this combination, and a shocker from Baily, would seriously negate the 40-point advantage the latter currently enjoys.
The Saab/Chev of Dean Randle is equal second going to Winton and he will be hoping for both to have problems as he fine tunes the new suspension package on the vehicle.
The sister car of Darren Hossack could be the fly in the ointment as it has the pace to compete with the front runnering pair. Only a throttle jam put him out of points contention, causing him to hit a tyre barrier whilst leading a race in South Australia.
An interesting sideline will be the return of the Tranzam cars from New Zealand for the Trans Tasman Trophy.
As a series within a series, the NZ cars are ineligible for ASSC points, but could be a factor in its outcome, going on the performance of the cars at Phillip Island in the first encounter for the International series.
Jonny McIntyre who won the opening TTT race in April will find the tighter Winton layout a far different prospect than the fast island circuit and he and fellow Kiwi Bernie Gillon may struggle in their respective Chev Corvette and Ford Mustang.
Kayne Scott was also scheduled to join them, but a recent sixth outright in a recent round of the American Trans Am series, has prompted the Corvette drive to extend his US campaign.
Other entries with podium potential include the NSW entries of the exotic Jaguar XKR/Chev of Daniel Jameson, the Holden Calibra/Chev of Mark Stinson and the turbo-powered Opel Calibra of Graham Smith.
Meanwhile regular championship runners Rodney Woods (Commodore/Chev) and Ray Ayton (Calibra/Chev) aim to check their interstate rivals and uphold Victorian state pride.
ROUND FOUR SCHEDULE Friday August 1: Practice 11:40, 13:50, 15:30. Saturday August 2: Qualifying 10:45, 16:20. Sunday June 1: Warm-Up 8:55-9:05, Race One (8 laps) 10:35, Sunday June 1: Race One (10 laps) 13:10, Race Two (12 laps) 15:05.
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (after three round) 1-Kerry Baily 119, =2-Dean Randle 79, Tony Ricciardello 79, 4-Darren Hossack 52, 5-Graham Smith 46, 6-Des Wall 42, 7-Phil Crompton 41, 8-Mark Stinson 39, 9-Rodney Woods 38, 10-Mark Duggan 35.
Round Five Sandown Raceway (Vic) September 12-14