Luck turns good for Baily in opening round first heat. Putting the misfortunes of his last two Australian Sports Sedan Championship bids behind him, Kerry Baily has easily taken out the first of three heats in round one of the 2003 title.
Luck turns good for Baily in opening round first heat.
Putting the misfortunes of his last two Australian Sports Sedan Championship bids behind him, Kerry Baily has easily taken out the first of three heats in round one of the 2003 title. Starting from the outside of the front row, Baily leapt to an immediate lead, his Nissan 300ZX/Chev never headed despite experiencing some clutch problems in the latter part of the race.
Pole sitter Daniel Jameson had a slow start and went wide at the first corner, dropping to sixth place as defending champion Tony Ricciardello's Alfa Romeo GTV/Chev stormed to second place ahead of the fast-starting Saab/Chevs of Darren Hossack and Dean Randle, and the Toyota Supra/Chev of Des Wall.
With Baily opening up a handy break early, the order settled until Hossack retired with engine overheating troubles, and Ricciardello pulled off the Wakefield Park circuit with rear-end dramas. In the interim Jameson, who had passed Wall, could not avoid the spinning lapped Commodore/Chev of Chris Jackson with the resulting crash putting him out too.
Baily cruised home a winner while any chance Wall had of snatching second off Randle was negated by brake problems towards the end. In fourth position was the Ford Falcon V8 of Queenslander Phil Crompton. The combination had problems in both qualifying sessions and started off the rear of the grid. He claimed it as his best ever result given the circumstances.
The Calibras of Graham Smith and Mark Duggan ran in close company throughout the race. Duggan's Chev power held the early advantage before the Fiat Turbo engine, running lower boost for this race, came out on top. Behind them came the Toyota Levin/Rotary Turbo of Trent Young. A brake-troubled Pontiac Trans Am of Jeff Barnes ensued ahead of the Chev-engined Falcon of Charlie Senese and Ray Ayton's Calibra/Chev which also experienced powerplant problems.
New Zealander David Thexton started from third on the grid due to good wet weather qualifying, but his former V8 Supercar Ford Falcon EL was no match for the true Sports Sedans, quickly dropping through the field and further delayed after an off-track excursion.
Highlights of each round of the Reward Insurance 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.