FHOLDEN: Darwin race two report, results

The battle between the two fastest drivers in Formula Holden went right to the wire in the second race at Hidden Valley today infront of a near record Northern Territory crowd. Fans were on their feet as the duo of Wills and Kelly traded blows ...

The battle between the two fastest drivers in Formula Holden went right to the wire in the second race at Hidden Valley today infront of a near record Northern Territory crowd. Fans were on their feet as the duo of Wills and Kelly traded blows during the seventeen lap encounter, but it was Simon Wills who came out victorious by a mere 3-tenths of a second at the chequered flag.

Teenage sensation Rick Kelly jumped away from his 2nd grid position at the start of the race to lead the field into the first turn from Wills, who promptly tucked in behind Kelly as they threaded their way around the 2.9 kilometre Hidden Valley complex.

Stewart McColl (NRC Racing Reynard 95D) moved into third, and was never headed for the remainder of the race, as the leading duo pulled out a significant margin. However one driver who was carving his way through the field was Race One retiree Alan Gurr (Telecell Konica Reynard 94D), who starting from virtually the rear of the field moved into position 6 after only one lap, and went on to finish fourth behind McColl, posting the third fastest lap of the race in the process.

The main focus though was with the leaders as lap after lap Simon Wills shadowed Kelly, trying to force the youngster into a mistake. It wasn't going to happen this time though as Kelly punched in a 1:03.2076 second lap with Wills right on his hammer. Lapped traffic came into play a number of times with both drivers gaining advantages at different stages.

However on lap 14 Kelly was baulked slightly coming onto the 1.1km start finish straight, and Wills ranged up on the outside of the teenager as they crossed the start finish line at over 240km/h. Wills ran down the outside under brakes and completed the move successfully into the 90km/h turn 1, and managed to maintain the gap to the flag, Kelly pushing all the way.

The win capped off a strong weekend for the reigning champion Wills, who ended up with the round win and a new outright lap record for Hidden Valley.

There were dramas for M-ONE-11 driver Peter Hill, who suffered a flat tyre while running in a strong sixth position, the Melbourne based driver forced to pit for new rubber, dropping back to eleventh as a result. American Emerson Newton-John was also forced to complete a stop-go penalty for breaking the start, and then retired on lap 11 with oil pressure problems.

Further back in the field Murchison ran in fourth, before the charging Gurr passed him on lap 10, with Con Toparis posting another impressive sixth position in his first ever Formula Holden round. Clearihan took Silver Star honours with seventh position, with Oakeshott, Ellis and Peters rounding out the top ten.

The Formula Holden circus moves next to the concrete canyons of Canberra for Round 4 of the Holden Australian Drivers Championship on June 10th, in what will be a complete climatic shift from the hot and sunny Northern Territory.

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RACE 2 RESULTS

Pos Car Driver Vehicle Laps Race.Time Fastest...Lap

1 1 Simon Wills (SA) Reynard 94D 17 18:14.8254 13 1:02.9268R 2 2 Rick Kelly (SA) Reynard 94D 17 18:15.1789 13 1:03.2076 3 19 Stewart McColl (VIC) Reynard 95D 17 18:43.5589 14 1:04.2768 4 11 Alan Gurr (NSW) Reynard 94D 17 18:47.5671 16 1:04.2535 5 75 Christian Murchison VIC Reynard 97D 17 19:02.0652 9 1:06.1232 6 74 Con Toparis (VIC) Reynard 97D 16 18:23.6789 5 1:06.4310 7 27 Terry Clearihan (NSW) Ralt RT23 16 18:47.6166 13 1:08.8623 8 28 Roger Oakeshott (SA) Reynard 97D 16 18:49.7374 13 1:07.9565 9 17 Mark Ellis (VIC) Reynard 92D 16 19:08.3050 11 1:09.9278 10 24 Ian Peters (SA) Reynard 91D 15 18:31.2988 10 1:10.0681 11 66 Peter Hill (VIC) Reynard 95D 14 18:24.0837 12 1:06.3046 DNF 20 Emerson Newton-John VIC Reynard 95D 10 11:37.9252 9 1:05.4548

Fastest Lap Av.Speed Is 164kph, Race Av.Speed Is 160kph Current Lap Record Is 1:03.0478 Set On 13/05/2001 By Simon Wills (SA) In A Reynard 94D R=under lap record by greatest margin, r=under lap record, *=fastest lap time

2001 Holden Australian Drivers Championship (Top Ten)

1. Rick Kelly 105pts; 2. Stewart McColl 74pts; 3. Simon Wills 60pts; 4. Christian Murchison 42pts; 5. Alan Gurr 34pts; 6. Peter Hill 34pts; 7. Emerson Newton-John 25pts; 8. Roger Oakeshott 22pts; 9. Ian Peters 19pts; 10. Terry Clearihan 14pts.

-Brenton Ramsay

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Rick Kelly , Simon Wills , Alan Gurr , Peter Hill , Christian Murchison , Mark Ellis , Emerson Newton-John