Toyota 86 Touring Car
NSW Production Touring Cars Championship Round 5: Sydney Motorsport Park
It was only a matter of time before we got to take our new ride around the glorious Sydney Motorsport Park, my home track. This track always provides a lot of excitement with the big flowing turns, perfect for these little Toyota 86's! This track has brought some fantastic memories for me, including just recently taking out the Historic Formula Ford lap record there. I have done enough laps around this track to almost call it home... so I was expecting BIG things to come from this round of the Production Touring Cars Championship.
This round of the Championship takes us back to the routes of Sprint Racing, which was a bit different to the recent round of the Endurance Championship we competed in. This round consisted of 3 races, 2 races where 20 minutes long and 1 race was 16 minutes long. The thing about Sprint Racing is that you not only have to think about what position you finish in as far as your Championship points are concerned, you also need to try really hard to post the fastest time in Qualifying for the extra point, and then follow that up with the fastest lap time in the race. This is especially crucial for me as I missed the first round of the State Championship, and also the first 2 rounds of the club Championship. Every point is critical for me at this stage, this will give us the best chance at climbing the Championship ladder and seeing where we can salvage for this year after losing all those points early on.
Friday started out fantastic, we rolled out a fast car! Team Manager (Dad) had been working hard in between race meetings to try and make a faster car. We got our 2014 Formula Ford team Listec Race Cars to design us some wheel alignment bars so we can adjust our set up to find that perfect balance. We ran out of time to put the wheel alignment bars to full use, but this just means that we can work on the car to make it faster for next time. We ended up posting the fastest time in our class at the end of Friday, a huge confidence boost leading into qualifying on Saturday morning.
Saturday brought around another beautiful sunny Sydney day, with track temperatures looking like they where going to be great for our Qualifying session. We went out and tried to find some clear track among the chaos of 32 Production Touring Cars racing to post the fastest lap time. I put my head down and ended up posting a time quick enough for Pole Position in Class D, just over 1.5 seconds quicker than 2nd. This looked like it was all thumbs up leading into the 3 races for the weekend. Race 1 proved to be an exciting one, getting an average start and then making good use of the track around me to find myself in a comfortable position to monitor my gap to 2nd and take the race win. I also managed to capture the fastest lap time in this race, adding to the valuable Championship points we desperately need.
Sunday proved to be another bright and clear day, another great day to be out racing cars! Race 2 got off to another average start, it was better than my usual starts in this new car, but I could still see room for improvement in that area. I placed my car where I needed to for the first few laps, with 2nd place in class right on my tail! I had to really work hard in this race, I had the 2 time defending NSW Production Touring Car Champion right behind me and it was a battle for the class win. I put my head down and just concentrated on claiming the fastest lap of the race, I knew if I kept posting times close to my qualifying time then we should be able to clench the win. I held on in the end for another victory in class D and also bagged the bonus point again for the fastest lap. Race 3 was held just after lunch, much to my surprise, I tried something new off the start and it worked! It worked really well! I got a good launch and zipped through a few of the cars around me, finding myself quite high up in the field of big V8 Commodores. I had to try negotiate where they where going to pass me so that I didn't lose too much time and get caught by second place. There where some seriously tight moments in this race, with very little racing room given. I escaped without making any contact with any other cars, which just proved that this category has some high class drivers in it. Being able to race mirror to mirror without touching is really eye-opening! I held on to the lead in this race and ended up posting a perfect weekend.
I claimed maximum points this round, getting the race win in all 3 races, qualifying on pole and posting the fastest time in each race. It was a very succesful weekend for the team and everyone involved. I want to thank the boss of the team... Dad, as I always do because everyone needs to understand the appreciation I have for him pouring his heart and soul into my dream. Dad did everything I needed him to do this weekend, giving me the information I needed to know out on track and always believing in me.
A big thank you also needs to go out to my sponsors, Shockwave Signs and Toolforce Automotive Tool Sales. I also want to thank Listec Race Cars for the help on the lead up to the race meeting. Again I also want to thank Triple Zero Racing for helping us out with the car and continuing to support our journey into Production Touring Cars.
Our next round is not too far away at Wakefield Park on the 20th-21st of August.