Crick fights to the front at Bathurst
Cameron Crick has recorded several outstanding results in the recent Toyota 86 Racing Series meet, as the category supported the biggest motorsport event in the Southern Hemisphere – the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – between October 4-7. The Camden-based racer entered the meet placed 3rd in the series championship, and was determined to conquer the famously treacherous Mount Panorama circuit.
Inclement weather played havoc with the first few days of the event, as teams across the field battled to grow more accustomed to the circuit in wet conditions. Crick knows all too well the dangers of competing at Bathurst, coming off nasty incidents in Race 3 of both the 2016 and 2017 events.
“In 2016 I made a little error which caused a complete failure of the ABS system coming down the hill and in 2017 we were unfortunately hit by Timmy Brook who had just been spun on the other side of the track. These things do play in your mind a bit but it certainly helps you to respect the track for what it is, and apply yourself one-hundred percent to the task at hand” Crick explained, “The wet weather wasn’t ideal when you know the weekend will be sunny and you’d like to fine-tune your set up to the dry conditions, but everyone was in the same boat so we knew we just had to apply ourselves to the task at hand and not worry too much about placings and what not on the Thursday and Friday”.
The two practice sessions on Thursday would see Crick post the 4th and 7th quickest times respectively, with his best of 3:03.69 clocking in as the 4th fastest lap overall for the day. The 20-year old sought to build on this solid start to the race weekend in qualifying, however he would find himself unable to do so in what was a largely disrupted qualifying session, which featured a major incident on the out-lap, and therefore a shortened window for Crick to post a competitive time. His best lap of 3:03.50 would be good enough to start 10th on the grid, however marked a less than ideal beginning to the weekend for the young speedster.
Crick hoped to put his disappointment behind him in Race 1, however the red flag would be brought out before most cars had even completed their first lap, after a collision which sent Ben Grice into the wall and caused a blockage to the track towards the top of the famous Mount Panorama circuit. Crick would fortunately emerge unscathed, after his strong start had him poised to make a run for the top 5 after he wasted no time in jumping two positions to 8th at the time of the incident. Due to the incident occurring on the first lap the race would be suspended and all competitors would be forced to start Race 2 from their original qualifying positions.
Race 2 saw Crick assert himself from the outset, as a particularly hard-charging effort from the young speedster reaped rewards, with several gutsy passes across ‘The Mountain’ helping Crick to climb all the way to 4th by the conclusion of the race. The aggressive mindset saw Crick showcase some dazzling moves and unleashed part of the race-craft repertoire which is becoming widely recognised in the racing scene as this 2018 campaign goes on.
“It was a conscious effort really to put our head down and just hustle based on what was in front of us. The car felt good and so once we made a move we weren’t having to cover and go defensive, we just moved on to the next one”, the 20-year old explained.
Crick’s positive mentality was again on display in Race 3, as the Camden-based racer converted his strong start into a two-position jump. An incident later in the race forced a safety car which created the prospect of a dash to the finish following a restart, however Crick was unable to seize the lead and finished under a second behind eventual race winner Tim Brook. The sum of these results was enough to earn Crick 3rd Overall for the round, leaving the young speedster in 3rd position for the championship, 54 points adrift of the 2nd-placed Luke King and 102 points behind championship leader Tim brook.
The Toyota 86 Racing series will endure a long break before their next event at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500, where the series will conclude its 2018 season. Crick believes his Bathurst showing is a major sign of his improvement shown over the course of this season, as he stated;
“Coming off our last 2 years at Bathurst ending in disappointment, to get these results and have the consistency across the weekend is massive. We’ve worked hard all year to be consistent and I think our results speak for themselves that we’ve been in the Top 5 at some point of every round. The experience of our first two seasons have helped us grow up a bit and pick our spots a bit better, and just be a bit more calm and in control of what we want to be doing out on the track. So we’ll look at what we can improve on and build ourselves up before Newcastle, try to get everything in order to finish the year on a good note. The event last year was brilliant, I love the street circuits and the atmosphere so as far as I’m concerned it can’t come quickly enough!”