Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour to Sherrin Brothers

QUEENSLAND brothers Grant and Iain Sherrin rebounded from a late race drive-through penalty to sensationally charge from fourth to first in the final ten minutes of a dramatic Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

Sent to pit lane to serve a penalty for a breech on a previous restart, the car resumed the race in fifth place with 30 minutes to go - though more than 40-seconds behind the leader.

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Fortunately for them, however, a final Safety car drew them back into contention for a thrilling 10-minute dash to the line.

Though they were no sure thing, Grant Sherrin restarted fourth however overhauled three cars fighting for the lead in front and edged away in the final two laps to win by just over three seconds.

There were four lead changes in the closing stages of a stunning race that saw the Sherrin’s BMW lead home American visitors Brett Strom and Daren Jorgensen in their BMW 1M.

Their story was just as remarkable after a titanic battle for the lead between Strom and Steven Johnson driving the Garth Walden Racing Mercedes A45 AMG.

The pair swapped the lead before both were passed by Sherrin in his final charge, only to continue their fight for second all the way to the final corner; Johnson losing second when pegged in behind a lapped car on the run to the cutting with two laps to go.

He then tried to attack again in Murray’s Corner however couldn’t work his way past the BMW in the end.

Out in front the Sherrin brothers celebrated a remarkable victory in another remarkable Bathurst enduro.

“I think I was going to break down and cry. It’s very emotional because we’ve been coming here for years,” Iain Sherrin said.

“We’ve just never cracked that outright victory we’ve been hunting for a while.”

“We’ve been focussed on standing on the top podium step. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of hard work between the 135 and now the M4.”

Added brothers Grant: “I wasn’t coming back in if we didn’t have that safety car – I didn’t want to face the pits after that penalty. We pulled a rabbit out of the hat there at the end.”

The RHC Jorgensen/Strom with MARC Cars Australia team finished a fine second having flown under the radar for much of the race today.

Strong strategy and consistent pace from both drivers saw them emerge in contention, and then the lead when Beric Lynton’s BMW broke a wheel with half an hour remaining.  

It put them in contention for the victory and ultimately the remarkable fight for second with the Johnson-driven Mercedes AMG.

“There were like eight corners when we were side by side,” Strom enthused post-race.  

“I think he was quicker down the straight but was slower getting out of the corners, I think he had some sort of traction issue, I could hear the car cutting out as he was coming out of corners, so that was my advantage.

“I managed to stay alongside of him coming out of turn two and then I used that car as a pick.. I was thinking ‘you’re going to hit that car or hit me!’.”

Johnson said the thrilling battle with the BMW and ultimately a podium finish was just reward after battling a series of issues throughout the day.

The car started from pit lane after an electronic issue on the formation lap and then battled heat related computer issues all day.

“Rob (Woods) and Marcel (Zalloua) did a stunning job and set great lap times; they handled traffic and the faster cars well.

“During my second last stint, the car dropped into an ESC mode, so it wasn’t pulling out of corners. We were battling high temps at the end and that was causing it to go into the mode it was going in to at the end.

“I saw the BMW on my right and the slow car on my left and thought that I’d better lift or it’d end up like Murphy and Ambrose,” he said of the final battle.

“I decided to lift and give Rob a podium he deserved after missing out last year.”

Rod Salmon and Leigh Burges finished fourth outright in their Mercedes AMG A45 having been consistent performers throughout the day, while Jimmy Vernon, Paul Liaocono and Peter Lown finished a superb fifth – and first Mitsubishi home – after coming back from a lap down in the closing stages.

The pole-sitting BMW M3 of Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey had looked in the box seat to grab victory after rebounding from several technical issues to lead in the closing stages.

However Lynton was robbed of a Bathurst win when his right-rear wheel broke from the car at the top of the Mountain after 101 laps.

Karl Begg and Justin Anthony won the A2 (Extreme Performance – Normally Aspirated) class with an outstanding seventh outright, while the Scott Gore / Keith Bensley / Patrick Galang BMW 135i won class B1.

A giant-killing performance and a stunning 10th outright went the way of the B2 winners; Tony Virag, Joe Krinelos and Brett Howard powering to a giant-killing result.

Kevin Stoopman, Andrew Williams and Gavin Ross won Class C, while the locally-prepared Honda Integra of David Baker, Matt Windsor and Brian Callaghan won class D.

In a dramatic finish, the Andrew McMaster, David Noble and David Worrell Mazda 3 won class E after Mark Griffith and Kyle Alford were cruelly robbed of victory when their car retired on the final lap.

56 cars ultimately started the race with 41 classified finishers in the hot conditions.

11 Safety Cars punctuated the race, with one leading to a race suspension early in the day thanks to a damaged tyre barrier at Forrests Elbow.

Eight different cars led the race throughout the duration, while Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey set the fastest lap of the race (2m26.027) on lap 97.

Busted……..

We at The Motorsport Channel take safety very seriously.  An eye is kept on sanctioning bodies and of course the FIA Homologation Lists regularly.  
 
Over the last few months something very interesting has come to light.
 
An Australian race suit manufacturer appears to have not re-certified their product - but they continue to sell it!
 
A Homologation Number is issued to a manufacturer by the FIA for a defined period of time - like a license. A valid homologation number provides assurance to all drivers that the race suit they buy complies with all required safety regulations - and in turn allows them to comply with all race day regulations and most importantly driver insurance requirements.

The FIA publishes on their website Homologation Numbers , authorised manufacturers and the dates the Homologation Numbers expire.

The list in the image was updated on 6th February 2018 with the full list on FIA site available here.  

Custom Speedway, 12 hour (GT) and Supercar suits have been manufactured and we allege, after conducting our own investigations, that some suits have been ordered, manufactured and delivered after the Homologation End Date but still bares the Now expires Homologation Number and official hologram.
 
When did you buy your race suit??? Was it manufactured after 31 October 2017??? Has it been authorised and approved by FIA??? Are you in turn complying with race day regulations??? Are you insured???
 
Did CAMS check this prior to the 12 hour event? Who is holding manufacturers accountable to ensure driver safety?
 
The Australian Sport Commission was also contacted during our investigations.

Rookie’s memorial win in Skip’s Race

There’s something in the numbers, and then there’s something growing strong within the Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association as third generation rookie Dillon Ghent took his maiden Speedcar win on lap 27 of the 2nd annual Skip’s race (Skip Palmer Memorial) driving the Ghent/Jordan number 27 racer.

On top of that fellow rookies Chris Nankiville, and Toby Smith, both 3rd generation racers took 3rd and 5th place respectively in a tyre frying event that again showed why Speedcars are truly mini-muscle machines with some awesome three wide, multi car battles throughout the event.

2nd generation racer Harley Bishop was wedged between the top two cars after leading the majority of the race, and surprisingly considering his hard charging style, still having some tyre left when many others around him did not and could not go the distance.

A stout field of all Victorian racers fronted to battle it out for a race that meant more to most drivers than many other events and after four heats that were won by defending winner Travis Mills, Bishop (2) and Domain Ramsey and a triple flip by Matt Papa a full grid of racers lined up headed by Bishop, Ramsey, Mills, Justin McMinn, Luke Ferguson and Andy Pearce.

Ghent would start 11th, Nankiville 7th, Toby Smith (the Permatex Hard Charger) 14th and fourth place youngster Jack Day 9th.

Bishop made the best start and led away from Ramsey. Mills McMinn with Nankiville quickly up to 5th.

Bishop had a slight gap over the squabbling Ramsey and Mills who were fighting fiercely as if they were racing for an Aussie Title (remember what I said about this race being important to the Victorian squad).

Mills had just taken 2nd place when both Ferguson (engine) and Craig Smith stopped bringing out the yellow.

Mills was forced to restart back in 3rd and immediately recommenced harassing Ramsey and took 2d again just before his mate Pearce tagged the turn 3 wall and rolled but Ramsey had retaken the spot just in time to hold it.

For the next ten laps these two absolutely carved each other up as they also tried to take the lead from Bishop even going three wide at times.

One attempt by Ramsey for the lead proved controversial as he unsuccessfully dived up the inside of Bishop going into turn 1 losing some momentum. With the track being black and slick Ramsey got a little out of shape on the exit of turn two and got loose just as Mills was coming through without any loss of momentum. Whether Ramsey was already going around or Mills forced him became a point of conjecture when Ramsey was allowed to restart in 2nd with Mills in 3rd (Watch the youtube footage on the VSDA facebook page and make up your own mind).

It really didn’t make much difference however as Mills was soon into 2nd after the restart as Ramsey’s ill handling car plummeted through the field before retiring with many cars now smoking their right rear tyres.

Bishop was wisely holding onto the bottom of the track but was under immense pressure from Mills, Nankiville and Ghent as McMinn fell out.
On lap 20 Mills took the lead and opened a gap and seemed destined to win back to back events but the young Ghent was on a charge and in a sweet move on lap 26 swept around the outside of both Nankiville and Bishop in one move that proved to be the winning pass when on the next lap Mills blew his tortured rear tyre and hit the front straight wall and rolled.

With the race being declared at this point Ghent had taken his first feature, in his rookie season from a struggling Bishop, Nankiville, Jack Day and Toby Smith.
As a measure of Ghents speed he set his fastest race lap on his last lap.

Multiple Sprintcar series champion Brett Milburn was out of luck like many but made a solid debut in the Fisher #23 after being forced to start rear of field all night as an absolute Speedcar rookie but thoroughly enjoyed his debut although he no doubt bent the throttle pedal trying to find the extra horsepower he’s used to in his 900hp Sprintcar.

Next-up, the Bill Evans Classic
The growing group of local hero’s now heads to Redline raceway (Ballarat) this weekend for another milestone event, the Bill Evans Classic, where they will be joined by the current Aussie Champion, teenager Kaidon Brown, whose grandfather Rob Brown raced here many decades ago, with the likes of South Australia’s Norm Moore who will be the only competitor who actually raced here back in the heydays of the 60’s and 70’s.

Nankiville and Smith can also both relate with their respective grandfathers both being regular racers, and winners at the legendary track.

Nominations are not yet closed for this event but already it is shaping up to be a great field of competitive local and interstate racers.

The Speedcars were for many years the headline class at Redline under the promotion of the late Bill Evans and most of the Nations’ best drivers such as Gary Rush, George Tatnell, Rex MacKay, John Fenton, Johnny Stewart, Blair Sheppard and Dean Hogarth to name a few competed there at various times during events that were often televised live.
 
Many past and present drivers, crews, family and media have been invited for this unique event that is designed to bring the past and the present together in an exciting atmosphere of speed and reminiscence.

Keep up to date with any late nominations or changes via the Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association Inc. Facebook page or the club’s website – www.vsdaspeedcars.com


VSDA 2018 race calendar (subject to change)

March 24       Redline – Bill Evans Classic

April 7           Wangaratta
      21          Avalon – Round 6 Track Championship.


Karters power up to prove themselves

Three Karratha karters are gearing up to prove girls can hold their own in a male-dominated sport and help stop breast cancer at a national women-only competition.

Karratha Kart Club members Karen Campbell, her daughter Charlotte Campbell, 11, and Annabel Bishopp, 10, will take to the Lithgow City Raceway in NSW on January 19-20 to compete with kart racers from all over Australia in the 2018 Ladies’ Trophy.

The annual race meet is Australia’s only all-female karting event and involves a fundraising component for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Team manager Campbell and her daughter formerly competed in 2014 when they were new to karting and raised about $18,5000 towards breast cancer research with their three person Pilbara team.

Several years later they were keen to retest their skills and, after calling for interest, have assembled the six-person Team Pilbara Motor Sports, including youngest recruit Annabel as well as Geraldton and Perth karters Amy Davis, Tayla Dicker and Imogen Vince.

Together, they are believed to be the only WA team in the competition.

Campbell said several of their external recruits were multiple major title winners.

“We’ve got an amazing brains trust with us... as a group of women, the pit crew we’re bringing with us is some of the highest quality pit crew you’ll find,” she said.

Team Pilbara Motor Sport are recruiting sponsors and fundraising, with a raffle to be drawn this Saturday at the Karratha City shopping centre.

Charlotte and Annabel said they were excited to be able to raise money towards preventing breast cancer research, which had affected some of their family members and friends, and help raise the profile of karting as a sport for women.

“It helps promote racing for girls, because I think it’s inspiring for us six girls to be racing and showing other girls that they can race and that they can do it,” Charlotte said.

For more information or to support the group, go to the Team Pilbara Motor Sports Facebook page.

CAMS Recall Dodgy Racewear

Today, after extensive lobbying to the FIA and CAMS they have finally acted to recall non homologated race wear produced by Revolution Race Gear.

On the 10th of February 2018 The Motorsport Channel exclusively broke the news that Australian race suit manufacturer Revolution Race Gear had been producing race apparel without the required certification in place.

It has taken 122 days for the “Authorities” to Act and to be honest it’s totally not acceptable.

Those unsuspecting racers have purchased product in good faith that it’s not only within spec it also meets the FIA standard as it has the official FIA hologram attached.

Racers have NOT had insurance whilst wearing those dodgy and non approved products and CAMS must take full responsibility for that.

This is simply NOT an administration error as outlined in the official release from CAMS.  This was a systematic fraud.  We have it on good authority that Revolution Racegear wrote to the authorities and stated they were no longer manufacturing suit RS 161.08 back in November 2017.

They in fact attempted to get a new suit homologated but this failed leaving them with no FIA homologation number to product custom suits as used by Supercar teams.  This didn’t stop them and they simply continued to make suits bearing the out of date and non homologated number.

It has also been alleged to The Motorsport Channel by affected competitors, team owners and sponsors that legal action is pending.

To say there has been a huge error and lack of duty of care is an understatement one competitor said.   It’s not just a couple of suits as indicated in the release it’s a massive number that also include Speedway and other forms of motorsport.

Below is the official release from CAMS

A small number of race suits have been recalled, after an administrative error by Revolution Racegear saw it produce suits that had not been correctly homologated.

CAMS and the FIA investigated the matter and found Revolution Racegear had produced race suits in breach of the FIA homologation agreement.

Importantly, there is no safety issue with the suit – the affected suits have been tested and met FIA homologation requirements – rather, it is an administrative error where suits have been produced for a short period of time beyond the FIA homologation expiry, and therefore labelled incorrectly.

The impacted suits are labelled RS.161.08 – however this recall only applies to suits with this number produced from 1 November, 2017 onwards.

Given these suits are not considered homologated by the FIA, they are unable to be used. The suits produced prior to this date are within the FIA Homologation for this suit and are compliant for use.

Revolution Racegear has commenced the recall process and will be contacting customers that purchased the affected suits directly – however if you have any concerns about your suit you should contact CAMS or Revolution Racegear.

The FIA Homologation process for safety apparel, such as race suits, presents the highest possible standards in motor sport for this equipment, combined with a robust testing, quality control and product authenticity process.

It is the responsibility of each manufacturer to ensure they remain compliant with the FIA homologation requirements.

Any breach of these requirements does impact the sport across the board. FIA and CAMS will take all necessary action to ensure the continued compliance of all manufacturers.


Full release on CAMS Website.

 

PLENTY AT STAKE IN NATIONAL SPEEDWAY TITLE

When Sam Masters rolls out onto the Kurri Kurri Speedway track this Saturday a lot will be at stake when he competes in the opening round of the 2018 Australian Speedway Solo Championship.

The 26 year old Novocastrian will be defending the Championship crown that he won for the first time last year in front of his home crowd and he knows all too well the importance of scoring top points in the first round of the four round Championship series.

Should Masters successfully defend his title, he will be the first rider to win back to back titles since former World Speedway Champion Chris Holder from Appin, NSW won three consecutive Australian Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Masters is also in line for four straight Australian Championship podiums. He finished runner up in 2015 and 2016 before climbing to the top step of the dias last year. Ironically, it is also Chris Holder who was the last rider to achieve four straight podiums with third place in 2009, followed by his three consecutive wins.

Hunter Region Hall of Famer, Todd Wiltshire was the last local region rider to achieve four Australian Championship podiums. Wiltshire won the title in 1999 and finished third the following year with runner up places in 2003 and 2006.

The winner of the Australian Speedway Solo Championship has the opportunity to launch into an international pathway. The successful rider will have priority for the ‘wild card’ spot in the final round of the 2018 World Speedway Grand Prix held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne in October.

Other doors that open up for the Australian Champion include the opportunity to compete in the World Speedway Grand Prix qualifying rounds as well as the chance to be selected for the Australian team to contest the 2018 Speedway World Cup.

Pundits are scouring through the record books to check on the best ever representation of Hunter Region riders in the national championship. Sam Masters heads the list of five local region riders  including Rohan Tungate (Pelaw Main), Mason Campton (Kurri Kurri), Jye Etheridge (Buttai) and Josh Pickering (Heddon Greta).

Former Australian speedway solo champion, Brady Kurtz (Cowra NSW), current Australian Under 21 Speedway Solo Champion, Jack Holder (Appin NSW), former multiple Australian Under 21 Speedway Solo Champion, Max Fricke (Mildura VIC) and former dual World Under 16 Speedway Solo Champion, Matthew Gilmore (Cowra NSW) add to the quality field selected by Motorcycling Australia to compete in this year’s Championship chase.

Gates open at Kurri Kurri Speedway this Saturday 06 January 2018 at 1pm with racing scheduled to commence at 7pm