Formula 3 title set to go down to the wire

Ben Barker at Eastern Creek today

Ben Barker at Eastern Creek today

The Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship will go down to the wire, with only 12 points separating the leading trio of Ben Barker, Mitch Evans and Tom Tweedie after the penultimate round of the Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships at Eastern Creek today.

Evans won the opening heats from pole position, but Barker aced the third race start, taking a convincing victory from Tweedie, who held out a maximum pressure attack from Evans.

In the earlier races, Tweedie brought his older model car home in third place behind Barker.

“It was good, a fantastic weekend,” Barker said.

“It’s good to keep the ball rolling, and hopefully we can wind up on top at Sandown.

“After the first couple of races, I really had to work on getting off the line.

“I nailed the last start, and I had to keep the pressure on all race long to get the fastest lap bonus point.

“It’s unfortunate for Mitch (finishing third), but the win was brilliant for me.”

Tony Evangelou has all but wrapped up the Shannons V8 Touring Car National Series, with a round win by virtue of leading home the third and final race.

Category debutant Scott Loadsman was second for the weekend after taking victory in the opening race, while John Vergotis rounded out the overall podium.

Sam Walter was the convincing victor in race two, but a jumped start and subsequent drive-through penalty proved costly in the final heat.

“Since Winton, the car has been really good,” Tony Evangelou said.

“Scott did a great job out there all weekend long, and Sam was fast as well.

“Little by little we’re getting the car better, dialing a bit more oversteer out of it every time we race.

“It’s just great racing in the V8 Touring Cars.”

The Kerrick Sports Sedan Series has firmly swung in James Sera’s favour, after championship rival Darren Hossack failed to finish the third and final race with a differential problem.

Sera won all three races from pole position, while Hossack was second in the opening two encounters.

Local drivers Chris Jackson and Scott Butler filled out the podium places in the heats, with their local knowledge coming to the fore.

“The first practice session on Friday was wet, and we really needed some dry track running to learn the circuit,” James Sera said.

“For second qualifying we bolted on some new tyres, it was fast, it was on fire, it gripped and it steered brilliantly.

“We’re really looking forward to Sandown; the boys have been doing a great job developing the car over the past few rounds.

“Darren has lots of experience around there, so Friday will be important in learning the circuit once again.”

The 997 model cars broke through in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, with Roger Lago taking his maiden round winning, in the process closing in on series leader Matt Kingsley.

Terry Knight captured his first career victory in the opening heat after provisional winner Sven Burchartz was penalised post-race for contact with Kingsley.

Lago broke through in the second heat, with Shaun Juniper taking a clear win in the third event after a weekend of intense racing at the front of the field.

Reigning Commodore Cup National Series champion Brett Holdsworth returned to the category with a round victory, surviving two wild races of side-by-side racing.

Holdsworth and Tony Bates shared the first and second race placings for the weekend, with the bottom step of the podium in the races split between Adam Lloyd and Josh Hughes.

Adam Beechey continues to hold down a solid championship lead heading into the final round at Sandown.

Multiple National Formula Vee champion Ben Porter won all three Vee races held over the weekend, while the PRB Race Series sponsored by L.W. Parry Engineering had a mixed bag of race winners, with honours shared between Adam Moore, Stefan Versuluis and Chris Berry.

All of the action from the Shannons Nationals can be seen on SBS Speedweek over the next two Sundays from 12:30pm.

September 19th’s show will feature the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championships, the Porsche GT3 Cup presented by Mission Foods and the Commodore Cup National Series, while September 26th’s episode will feature the Kerrick Sports Sedan Series and the Shannons V8 Touring Car National Series.

The Shannons Nationals Motor Racing Championships conclude at Victoria’s Sandown Raceway on October 23-24.

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