Barbagallo July Race Meeting [Round 5] Sponsored by Network Couriers It was looking like a grid of 20 cars for round 5 of the HQ WA State Championship but unfortunately Chris Ainscough had to withdraw from the event with engine trouble. This still gave us a healthy grid of 19 HQ's.
Welcome to Steve West and Sean Cooper both making their debut in HQ racing and a welcome return for the 2007 HQ WA State Champion Darren Peat.
Qualifying Darren Peat started qualifying with a very ill sounding HQ, which held him back during the session finishing 12th fastest. Steve West also had Carby' and Timing issues which would see him start rear of grid for race 1. Phil Breen had an interesting qualifying session, on his 7th lap the left rear axle snapped just before turn 4, as the #75 car came to a halt the rear wheel rolled off in to the distance! Brian Pangler was going well setting his fastest lap of the day placing him 9th fastest. Marc Watkins put his HQ on pole with a 116.363 followed closely by an on form Adam Butler, Wade Hedley and Stu Kenny made up row 2 with Rory Sharp and Michael Howlett on row 3 with less than 0.7 of a second between the 1st 6 cars. Lots of activity preparing and repairing HQ's for Race 1.
Lots of close racing throughout the field, 1st lap action as Darren Peat came together with Laurie Marsh in turn 4 pushing Marsh out wide. Peter Marsh also had dramas with a couple of 180 spins and poor handling issues found later to be a possible puncture on his right rear tyre but still did well to finish 14th. Watkins was under pressure early in the race from Adam Butler with Wade Hedley and Stu Kenny close behind. Butler got past Watkins on lap 3 but Watkins took back the lead on the same lap. Hedley passed Butler on lap 4 and closed the gap to Watkins. Butler had clutch issues on the final lap dropping him back to 7th, Stu Kenny was driving well and did his fastest lap of the day with a 116.77. Watkins only just managed to hold off Hedley to take the win with Kenny 3rd and Rory Sharp 4th. Laurie Marsh, Brad Butler and Mark Alfonsi all set their fastest laps of the day. Well done to Wade Hedley who set the fastest lap of the day with a 116.24, All 19 cars finished, again with lots of activity back in the pits preparing for Next race.
Race 2 The Reverse grid race would see grid position 3 vacant as Ryan Davis had retired the #49 car with mechanical issues. Adam Butler started well going from 3rd to 1st on lap 1 ,Michael Woodbridge also on a flyer going from 5th to 2nd. Laurie Marsh retired for the day with a blown head gasket. Brad Butler had gearbox issues and did well to finish the race in 15th. Dennis Russell was making steady progress going from 16th to finish 12th doing his fastest lap of the day. Again good clean close racing all through the field, Phil (AXLE)Breen and Peter Marsh run for 2 laps side by side with no contact, Great effort from both drivers. Watkins made his way through the field passing Adam Butler on the last lap to take the win only .04 of a second ahead of Butler. Stu Kenny was having a great race but then dropped back to finish 6th with a blown head gasket. Wade Hedley took 3rd, Mick Woodbridge 4th and Rory Sharp 5th.
16 HQ's made the grid for the final race of the day. Hedley made a move on Watkins to take the lead on the 1st lap, Lap 4 would see Woodbridge drop back to 7th with a blown head gasket where he remained for the rest of the race. Watkins passed Hedley on lap 4 to re take the lead. Steve West and Sean Cooper were now getting quicker both setting their fastest laps of the day. Darren Peat was now getting back in to the grove setting his fastest lap of the day finishing 6th. Phil (AXLE) Breen, Peter Marsh and Scott Hames also did their fastest laps in race 3. Watkins took the checkered flag from Hedley with Adam Butler taking a solid 3rd, Rory Sharp 4th closely followed by Michael Howlett 5th.
Round 5 results:
Full championship standings can be found here.
Another great day of clean close racing, Congratulations to Steve West and Sean Cooper both completing all 3 races without incident, steadily improving lap times. Thanks again to Network Couriers for sponsoring round 5. Good luck to our Nationals contingent at Phillip Island in August and see you all back at Barbagallo on the 16th September for round 6!