Championship tightens at The Bend!

After three false starts MG Racing finally got to The Bend Motorsport Park, finally!  Albeit a smaller than expected starting list due to a number of cars having issues from the prior round.

14 cars made the start, and after a short and sharp qualifying session Philip Chester sat on the front row ahead of local Trevor Lindsay.  The local SA contingent put a huge effort in with new to series entries from Jason Edwards in an MG F and Jai Raymond in a Rover SD1 that has been campaigned at Targa events.

The opening race was a comfortable run over 8 laps, Danny Ciarma came to a stop after 3 laps with gearbox problems, with no other gearbox available he was forced to head back to Melbourne and the weekend was done.  Greg White came in on lap 5 but would continue for the weekend.

Out front Phil Chester took a commanding win up front, the conditions putting emphasis on keeping out of trouble and Jai Raymond used his rally experience to be 3rd on the road while local knowledge from Rodney Gibb saw him in 6th place in a strong result while Jason Edwards in his first race held down a solid 8th place right behind Tony Vollerbregt.

The second race on Sunday morning saw wet conditions, for Chester he got a solid start but Trathen set off on a mission to get a gap.  Chester having to find his mojo to chase down the Midget, the paid comfortably the quickest on track.  Trevor Lindsay and Chris Gidney both early casualties while Dunford in his MG F was a later race DNF.   In the pack Gibb found his way into 3rd place just ahead of Vollebregt and Raymond holding the top 5 spots, a very strong run for the big ZT to hit the podium.  Mike Wood would hold 6th in his GT V8 in a strong consistent run.

The final race of the weekend saw Chester settle in, he set off up front and wouldn’t be seen.  From the rear of the field Gidney found himself again with a DNF and shortly after Tony Vollebregt joined him in the lane.  UP front Chester mounted a huge lead from Trathen as Trevor Lindsay came through the field and was into the top 5 easily.   As the race wound down Lindsay and Trathen had a similar lap speed meaning no meaningful gain for Lindsay to close the gap.  Raymond again impressed to be 4th on the road and Richard Vollebregt was 5th in a season best result to round out his weekend.  6th saw Geoff St John Cox, Jason Edwards, Greg White, Rodney Gibb and Michael Wood round out the 10.

The championship has taken a swing with Trathen’s consistency still holding him up the front, he now holds a 2 point lead from Philip Chester while Tony Vollebregt despite a DNF at The Bend holds down 3rd overall.  DNF’s for Illingworth and Ciarma drop them to 4th and 5th overall.

1Mike TrathenMG Midget153
2Philip ChesterMG B GT V8151
3Tony VollebregtMG ZR124
4John IllingworthMG ZS113
5Danny CiarmaMG B GT V8104