With over 6,800 kilometres and 72 hours of travel in the books, Pittard Racing teammates Ash Hounsfield and Chad Pittard’s journey to the 2019 Australian Wingless Sprint Championship was an arduous one, with Hounsfield’s campaign in particular being bittersweet to say the least.
Making the decision to embark on the tedious drive across the Nullarbor from their home in Bunbury, Western Australia to Warrnambool on the south-west coast of Victoria to participate in the Australian Championship, which was recently held at Premier Speedway, Hounsfield and Pittard certainly had something to prove when they took to the unfamiliar track, being the only representatives to fly the flag for their home state.
Managing to do just that, the weekend couldn’t have gotten underway in a more positive fashion for the duo, who made their presence known by topping the practice session, but it was Hounsfield who took the team to the next level, managing to lock himself directly into the Australian Championship-deciding feature race after some impressive qualifying results.
Lining up in position nine for the all-important 40-lap feature race, having determined his starting position by placing ninth in the championship scramble, Hounsfield was showing solid pace, making his way up to seventh place in the opening 14 laps.
However, it was then that he ran into catastrophe, riding the cushion and launching himself into a spectacular roll which brought the feature race to a halt as the 29-year-old racer was extracted from the car and transported to hospital for observation, thankfully being given the all clear the following morning.
“It definitely wasn’t the way we wanted our Australian Championship to end, but our goal heading into the event was to qualify for the feature race so we’re proud that we were able to achieve that,” admitted Hounsfield, whose Australian Championship campaign began with placing fourth and third in his heat races, before finishing fourth from position 13 in preliminary feature race one.
“We had really great pace from the outset, which we were able to maintain throughout the weekend and while our results were definitely bittersweet, it was a real honour to represent Western Australia amongst the country’s best Wingless Sprint drivers.”
Unfortunately for Pittard, his campaign didn’t quite go as smoothly as Hounsfield’s throughout qualifying, with the 19-year-old experiencing a DNF in his second heat race after hitting the wall, only to make contact with another competitor in his final heat race, sending him into the wall and bringing his weekend to an end due to his car sustaining too much damage to continue.
With two damaged cars aboard their transporter, the team’s journey home to Bunbury seemed much longer than the one to Warrnambool. However, with Hounsfield’s car not being as badly damaged as they initially anticipated, he will return to the track on the Saturday night of March 30 at the Perth Motorplex for the next WA Club Championship round, which he’s currently chasing, along with the Perth Motorplex Track Championship.
As a result of the damage sustained during the Australian Championship, which has left him requiring a new chassis and a complete rebuild, Pittard’s season has unfortunately come to a premature close.
Pittard Racing would like to thank their 2018-19 season sponsors for their support: Foton Australia, Century Batteries, Moyle Engines and Race Parts, Mobil 1, Bunbury Kart Centre, Auto Panel and Paint, Pittard Motors, On2it Graphics, WA AG Solutions, and Varley Transport.
Hounsfield would like to thank the entire Pittard family, his brother Jason, his crew member Jayden Davis, and the rest of his family, while Pittard is thankful for the support of his dad (Ray), the Hounsfield family, Mick, Vaughan, and Ralph.
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