Hartnett Scores Maiden QLD Round Win – Improved Production QLD
Greg Hartnett, in the Zero Tolerance Motorsport Nissan Pulsar, has secured his maiden QLD round win at the Lakeside Classic event this weekend
The weekend started off in mixed conditions for qualifying with Bruce Cook setting a blistering 58.3952 lap time followed by Karl Begg, David Waldon, Scott Hunter and Daniel Clift rounding out the top five.
With race one starting out in the wet, the front wheel drive cars took it upon themselves to take control of the race.
The high powered V8 cars could not get the traction down at the fast and flowing venue which allowed Hartnett to climb his way to the top step from ninth position. It was Hartnett’s first drive at Lakeside and also the first under 2 litre car to win a race outright in Improved Production Queensland.
Hartnett also set the fastest lap of the race smashing a 1:10.6 which was some 2.7 clear of the field. Karl Begg and Justin Wade made up the top three.
Race two for the weekend, and the rain was really starting to set in which allowed the front wheel drive cars to further capitalise on their fast pace from race one. D’Arcy Wade in his Integra shot up to challenge Hartnett for the lead only to run out of laps and come home second in front of his father, Justin Wade.
Sunday morning and race three was set in sunny conditions which meant that the over 2 litre cars were eagerly awaiting to get their top step back. Hartnett put up a great fight but was rounded up by the bigger V8 and turbo cars. Bruce Cook stormed from seventh to take the lead late in the race, and Steven Jukes had a great run following Cook home for second place, and the podium regular Jason Grimmond claiming third.
The fourth and final race for the weekend was sure to be a nail biter. Bruce Cook stormed away from the front row and was never challenged taking his second win for the weekend in style, leading Grimmond home by 8.5 seconds and David Waldon made his way through from seventh to take home third. Daniel Clift ran hard after coming unstuck on the first lap he would finish sixth.
Hartnett won the round claiming the most amount of points across the two days, and is the first under 2 litre car in QLD to do so since the Supercars round at Lakeside Raceway back in 1997.
“It’s been a longtime ambition of mine to race at Lakeside, it’s one of those legendary race tracks that everyone says you have to give respect to”, Hartnett said at the conclusion of the round.
“Now I’ve experienced it, I understand exactly what that means!”
“To get two race wins, and the outright round win on debut at the Lakeside Classic is fantastic, especially in an under 2 litre car against the V8’s and turbos.”
“I’m on a huge high and I’d like to thank all the Queensland IPRA drivers for their good clean and close racing.”
Cook claimed second for the weekend and Jukes filled the final step of the podium after a great run with consistent results.
The championship is getting hot and with only two rounds remaining, there is still a lot of laps left to run, and anything can happen.
The next round for Improved Production Queensland will be at Morgan Park September 3rd – 4th.