Stockwell Dominates Series X3 NSW Opener
Matt Stockwell has dominated the Series X3 NSW opener at Wakefield Park on the weekend, with pole position, four race wins and a new lap record for the category.
Stockwell was closely challenged by Ben Bargwanna and Emily Duggan in the first three races, but marched to a comprehensive eight-second victory in the 15-lap feature race, and his fastest lap of 1:14.6 was around a second faster than the previous record, and underneath the HQ Holden lap record at the venue.
“The car was beautifully prepared this weekend and it’s a great way to start the season, but I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be a long year, and winning one round does not win you the championship,” Stockwell said.
Bargwanna, making his debut in the series, finished second in each race after close dices with Duggan in each race; the two cars exchanged positions on a number of occasions before Bargwanna gained the upper hand.
Bathurst racer Nik Hough challenged Bargwanna and Duggan in the first three races before fading in the final, while Ryan Mee enjoyed a consistent weekend with a trio of seventh-place finishes followed by fifth in the final.
Reigning champion Adam Bryant endured a character-building weekend – after qualifying fourth and finishing fifth in Race 1, he spun to the rear of the field in Race 2 due to contact from David Lo-Iacono; he recovered to finish 10th, before finishing eighth and sixth in Races 3 and 4.
Newcomer Dean O’Neill enjoyed a competitive run in the first three races, highlighted by an impressive run to fourth in Race 2. However, he came unstuck in the feature race when the bonnet flew up on the first lap, necessitating an unscheduled pit-stop.
Elsewhere in the field, Mark Nottage and Brian Scibberas were involved in a ferocious contest in Race 1, swapping positions on a number of occasions. They resumed their dice in Race 2 before Scibberas spun out of contention at Turn 2.
Rookie Steve Dalziel improved his lap times in each race, while Matt Price, Andrew Clarke, Rod Mercer and Maurice Piper were engaged in a ferocious battle for position just outside the top 10.
The next round of Series X3 NSW will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park on 18 March.
Series X3 NSW Top 10 Pointscore*
1. Matt Stockwell – 200
2. Emily Duggan – 192
3. Nik Hough – 182
4. Ryan Mee – 164
5. Adam Bryant – 158
6. Dean O’Neill – 154
7. Matt Price -134
8. David Lo-Iacono – 120
=9. Michael Golding – 116
=9. Maurice Piper – 116
*Ben Bargwanna is not a member of Series X3 NSW and is therefore ineligible for series points.