Ricciardello on track for another Sports Sedan title

Tony Ricciardello leads the Precision National Sports Sedan Series, heading to Mt Panorama this week. Image: InSyde Media

After a three-year hiatus, multiple Sports Sedan title winner Tony Ricciardello is leading the 2023 Precision National Sports Sedan Series, going to the fourth round at Mount Panorama this week.

Bathurst’s Round 4, and the final round on the Gold Coast, supporting the Supercars, is a return to the big time for the National Sports Sedans in a year that has seen unprecedented growth.

Observers are expecting some sizzling times from the 700hp-plus big-tyred, winged wonders, particularly from the big three of Ricciardello (Alfa Romeo/Chevrolet), Daniel Tamasi (Calibra/Chevrolet) and reigning category champion Jordan Caruso (Audi/Chevrolet) with a cloud hanging over the latter two after engine dramas at the previous round.

Others to watch will be former champ Birol Cetin and Steve Lacey in their Chevrolet Camaros, Brad Shiels (Fiat 124/Rotary Turbo), Ashley Jarvis (Monaro/Chevrolet), Ryan Humfrey (Falcon XE/Chevrolet), Tony Cox (Saab/Dodge), Michael Robinson (Monaro/Chevrolet), Rick Newman (Ford Falcon) and Mark Duggan (Aston Martin/Chevrolet).

Among the 32 entries, New Zealanders are represented by Angus Fogg in his modified Central Muscle Cars Ford Mustang, and Ronan Murphy, son of Greg, in Alex Donaldson’s MARC Focus V8.

The reinvigorated series began at Winton Motor Raceway on the Shannons Speed Series which was won by Speedcafe-supported driver Jarvis in Colin Smith’s Monaro. Ricciardello marked his return by qualifying fastest and won Race 1 ahead of Caruso in the John Gourlay Audi.

Both would DNF in Race 2, won by Josh Haynes who guest drove Phil Crompton’s Ford Mustang, but the engine expired as he crossed the line. Caruso and Ricciardello came back for first and second in the last. Jarvis won the round ahead Robinson and Cetin.

Caruso took out the second round at Queensland Raceway’s Shannon Trophy Series with two race wins. Ricciardello was second twice after he won the first race. Jarvis’ consistency netted him third ahead of Cox.

The category headlined the Sydney MasterBlast at Sydney Motorsport Park. Caruso set the pace and won Races 1 and 2 with a new lap record as well, before the engine expired while leading the last. Ricciardello was third in Race 1 behind second-placed Tamasi who went home early, second in Race 2 and was the winner of the third.

Ricciardello won the round ahead of Peter Ingram in his triple-rotor Mazda RX7, Cetin and Shiels. Jarvis had a troubled weekend with electrical gremlins and salvaged fifth overall. He lost the series lead to Ricciardello and trails by 29 points. Caruso holds third spot ahead of Duggan and Cetin.

Sports Sedans have three sessions on Thursday, practice at 07:25 AEDT and 10:55 before qualifying at 16:15. They race twice on Friday at 07:55 and 11:15 before Race 3 on Saturday at 11:15.

There is live coverage on Fox Sports and Kayo over the three days and on free-to-air Channel 7, 7mate and 7plus on Friday and Saturday.

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