Summer Super Series Round 1
Things certainly heated up at GRCMCC with the first round of the Summer Super Series held at the track over the weekend. With weather forecast to get up into the mid 40’s the day kicked off early and the small amount of cloud cover helped delay the inevitable heat. In an event that would see short course, nitro buggy, truggy and e-buggy run all in the same heat, things were bound to get interesting. In this handicapped series, racers were grouped, based on their previous average times run at GRCMCC. With that in mind, there was some carnage expected in the lower heats, however the results were quite surprising, with the majority of the racing smooth, and clean.
Through qualifying, it was Benny Black who surprised everyone. Four solid runs and consistently beating his own average lap times by 4-5 seconds locked away the maximum 60 points for the round early. Benny (normally a B main driver) also went on to take a podium spot in the A main. Let’s see if he can keep this momentum going through the rest of the series.
In outright qualifying it was Tyson Walsh who took TQ honours, putting in some solid runs to get himself on the pole position. Rob Thomas and Allan Kent rounded out the top 3. The heat seemed to be taking its toll with quite a few drivers seeing DNF’s through the day.
By the time the mains had come around the heat had set in and the battle was sure to be on. It was the battle of the new comers Mat Robins out in front on pole for the C main and Ashley Pike starting from second. But the man to watch was seasoned veteran Dylan Johnson after sorting out battery connection issues early on in the day put in a stellar performance to charge the lead after starting from 3rd. Mark Earl who qualified from the back of the pack after issues in qualifying, started the main late and had a lot of time to make up to chase down the front runners. By the 6th lap he had caught up and taken the lead, however shortly thereafter transponder issues meant his car was no longer being picked up and it was Dylan Johnson who took out the win, recording a time 3 seconds per lap quicker than his average. Enough to secure him 3rd in the points for the finals. Just a shame these were the only points he could muster for the day due to issues during qualifying as he would certainly be one to watch out for in this series. Mat Robbins took 2nd place representing the Esperance crew with Ashley Pike rounding out the top 3.
In the B Main it was Jesse Walters starting from pole. Jesse would hold the lead for the first lap however, it didn’t take Esperance driver Matt Wohling and local Ben McConachie long to get around him. They went back and forth for the lead early on, but by about lap 6, Matt had started to put a comfortable lead over the field. Devastation for Tyrone Dark after failure put him out after just 5 laps. Out in front, Matt continued to gap the field, putting his closest competitor a lap down. But it was the battle for second that had the attention of the crowd. Ben McConachie fought to hold second for the majority of the race with Eddy Ennor nipping at his heels. Jesse also came through with some quick laps to catch up and get involved in the rivalry. A horror 44 second lap from Ben with just over a minute to go handed Eddy the second spot. Only momentarily however as the battle would continue back and forth until the centre double on the final lap. A mistake from Eddy had the crowd gasping and it was all over. Ben McConachie takes the second, with Jesse Walters rounding out the podium.
The A main was exciting and interesting to say the least. With temps now fully into the 40’s the heat was taking its toll. And the timing system was the first to go. Starting from pole, it was Tyson Walsh who took the early lead, however an overheating laptop soon put a stop to that and the race had to be restarted. Engine troubles however for the TWR man meant his car was still on the starter box when the siren sounded. It was Rob Thomas who took the early lead , but after a few bobble early on, left the door open for Allan Kent. Tyson Walsh eventually got his car on the track, over a lap down and stated mounting his charge. By now Allan Kent had put in a comfortable lead over Rob Thomas, only to realise his name wasn’t being called over the PA. A transponder failure or timing system problem meant it was now Rob’s race loose. However in the dying seconds, with less than 30 seconds to go, his decision not to refuel at the starting grid would come back to haunt him, running out of fuel with less than a few corners to go. This however would be enough to secure 2nd place. In what would seem like good Karma after having to give up his lead in the first race it was Tyson Walsh who came from the back worked his way to third, and eventually took the win. In this survival of the fittest race, it was also devastation for Paul Bowles, who was running towards the front of the pack when he experienced failure, and Daniel Kent with engine problems. Tyson Walsh and Benny Black the only two cars to still be recording lap times as the final siren went off.
Congratulations to Tyson Walsh on the win, setting a new fastest lap time for 2015 in the final of 28.869, Rob Thomas in second and our current SSS leader Benny Black with third place outright.
Thanks to all who came for an enjoyable day and well deserved beers and banter afterwards. Look forward to seeing you all at the remaining rounds.