Darren Hossack takes the Clem Smith Cup
Darren Hossack has finally put his name on the Clem Smith Cup with a last to first drive in the Kerrick Sports Sedans, the featured class at the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships at Mallala Motor Sport Park today.
After damaging his new set of tyres for the weekend during qualifying, Hossack was forced to start his Audi-Chevrolet from the rear of grid with a new set of tyres.
Undeterred, the former champion scythed through the field, taking advantage of a quick spin by rookie James Sera (Saab-Chevrolet) to score the race win.
“Finally, it’s been one that’s been hard to win for some reason,” Hossack said.
“It would have been interesting had James not spun, but he did a really good job regardless.
“I had to pace myself, but for some reason Mallala has never been easy for us, but it’s good to break through.”
Main championship rival Kerry Baily (Nissan 300ZX-Chevrolet) came unstuck in the Sunday morning race, heavily damaging his car, although he emerged from the incident unhurt.
Hossack won all three races for the weekend, although multiple karting champion Sera was very impressive during his circuit racing debut, finishing second overall from opening round sensation Trent Young (Mazda RX7).
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Mission Foods turned on some exciting racing. The results sheet may have shown a comprehensive clean sweep for series leader Matt Kingsley, but the quick starting pack meant he had to work hard to claim the top prize.
“They destroyed me off the start line all weekend long, Roger (Lago) probably has better reflexes than me,” Kingsley said.
“I had to play the waiting game for the tyres to come up to temperature, and there were some ding dong battles in there.”
Kingsley finished the weekend with a new lap record for the class, amazingly set half way through the final heat of the weekend.
Lago claimed second overall for the round, from local South Australian Gary Dann, as many of the Porsche heavy hitters tumbled down the order during the three physical races.
Ben Barker put his hand up as a serious contender in the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, taking a clean sweep of the race wins.
Barker won the opening wet race on Saturday by a massive 20 seconds after Mitch Evans slipped off the track in treacherous conditions.
Barker had to work hard to hold off Evans in the Sunday races, with the pair trading fastest lap times throughout.
“It was perfect, it’s great to grab the points back, we really needed it,” Barker said.
“The car felt amazing, it was really consistent, and with every race I felt more and more comfortable with the car.”
Tom Tweedie finished third for the round, but maintains a slender championship lead over Evans and Barker, with only nine points splitting the trio.
In the Commodore Cup National Series, Tony Bates was the man for all seasons, taking out both of the 30 minute races that featured compulsory pit stops for a wheel change.
Both races were action packed and filled with controversy, with the Saturday evening twilight race finishing under safety car, as wet weather combed with the encroaching darkness to make conditions almost impossible for racing.
Adam Beechey continued his strong run, finishing both races in second, with the final step on the podium being shared by Scott Andrews and Josh Hughes.
The Commodore Cup now heads to the highlight of their championship, with the two-driver event at Winton Motor Raceway.
Tony Evangelou won the battle of the Shannons V8 Touring Cars, and in the process closed the gap to championship leader Terry Wyhoon.
In a Ford Falcon benefit, Evangelou won the Time Attack before taking out Race 1, with Wyhoon bouncing back with the next two race wins.
Chris Smerdon was third for the weekend, after qualifying on pole position.
In the South Australian Formula Vees, New South Wales based visitor Dylan Thomas all but took out a clean sweep of the five races, with the final event going to Rob Surman.
The Mallala round of the Shannons Nationals will be shown on SBS Speedweek on June 13 at 2:00pm (check your local guide for details), with the fifth round of the Championships being held at Winton on June 26-27.