IPRA SA Round 2 Race Report
19th May 2021
By Sam Bradbrook
The second round of the series was a 2-day event held at The Bend on the West Circuit, with qualifying, and 5 races. We had a 20 car field with another new competitor Ric Hambrook starting his first ever race meeting with his newly built Silvia as well as a few familiar faces returning. Wet weather earlier in the weekend left the track slippery and certainly kept everyone on their toes in the early running.
Scott Cook (Nissan Silvia) started the weekend strongly with pole position, Chris Brown in his Toyota Sprinter in second, and Grant Maitland (Silvia) in third.From there 4 -7 were separated by less than a second with Sarandis (Evo), Mills (Datsun), Faggotter (Bluebird) and Baily (Siliva). Reimann (Mazda 808) did not make the call with gearbox issues, Mills did not contiue after some major suspension issues came to light which led to him parking the car for the rest of the weekend.
The first race of the weekend had an eventful start, the Commodore of Phil Mere had a brake lock up into turn one and made contact with the BMW of Jason Palmer which resulted in a spin in front of the oncoming pack - fortunately everyone else was able to avoid the BM and Jason was able to continue. The race at the front was close between Cook, Brown and Sarandis, with the Silvia slipping past the Brown’s Sprinter, Cook was able to hold off Brown to the finish with Sarandis following just behind in third.
Cook and Brown were at it again in the second race, with Brown braking extra late into turn 1, the rear of his car broke away and made contact with Cook, this left both cars unable to continue. Sarandis was able to gap the following cars and comfortably led home Grant Maitland and Andrew Baily both in Silvias. Additional DNF’s were Wong (Honda DC5) and Mere (Commodore) both with mechanical gremlins.
With both Cook and Brown starting from rear of grid, there was plenty of action with both cars making good starts and pushing through the field, Brown was able to make his way back to 2nd position, Maitland withstood the pressure from Brown to keep him behind for the win. For Cook there was more drama, this time Matt Wright (Datsun 120Y) had a brake issue into turn 6 and made contact with the Silvia, Cook was able to keep going and finished 6th. Sarandis lost 3rd gear but was able to finish the race in 3rd.
By race 4 some cars were showing signs of strain, the gearbox issues for the Sarandis Evo were terminal and he was not able to continue. By lap 2 Maitland had a suspected head gasket let go and had to retire. Cooks frustrating weekend continued with an intercooler pipe becoming dislodged and the car lost power, he pushed on to complete the race for points further down the field. Brown had a hard fought victory over Limberis in his Toyota Corolla who had been building in pace throughout the weekend. Greg Faggottor in his Bluebird finished a well deserved 3rd, his consistency paying off.
The final IPRA race of the meeting was a real car breaker, Brown out on lap 7 with a broken axle, Wright and Limberis out on lap 4 with mechanical failures, Cook out on lap 9 (no boost). Carl Ward (Datsun Sunny) also had a gear shifter issue, but after pulling into the pits and managing to get the attention of long time IP racer Mark Short, was able to get assistance to re secure the shifter and continued the race to finish 9th and gain some more points. In the end Greg Faggotter prevailed to take a satisfying win with Andrew Bailey in 2nd and Haydn Clark 3rd in his Toyota 86.
All in all a great weekend of racing, with new and returning competitors, a great selection of cars and a well run event that everyone enjoyed, see you all back at Mallala for round 3!
As always, thanks Tony Donoghue for the photos