Patterson Win Ends AGI Sport Dominance
Wings and Slicks returned to the Eastern Creek circuit for the penultimate round of the Race Magazine 2012 NSW Formula Car Championship. Here, we saw a new winner for the round. Perfect weather for the weekend again made for fast, close action in all of the events held on the Sydney Motor Sports Park North circuit, a free flowing, high speed and challenging track.
Garnet Patterson scored his maiden race win in the Race Magazine NSW Racing Car Championship against strong competition. Series leader, Nathan Gotch had another commanding weekend in the Snake Racing / AGI Sport Dallara F304. Nathan extended his lead in the championship and is in a virtually unassailable position leading into the final round at Wakefield Park in November. He was fastest in practice, qualified in pole position, won two races and set a new outright lap time of 58.89 seconds on the 2.8km ‘North’ Circuit. His time shows the speeds possible on the new circuit. The lap time recorded equates to an over 160kph lap – around the old 100 miles per hour mark.
Entry and Practice
Grid numbers continue to increase in this sophisticated racing class, with the usual teams joined by an exciting new car and competitor. Adam Proctor of AP Racing entered a recently imported Stohr F1000 racing car. This superbly beautiful machine has been developed for the F1000 racing class that is now becoming increasingly popular in the USA, the Middle East and the UK.
The series youngest regular competitor, Garnet Patterson, had his first outing in the newly acquired Patterson Racing Dallara F301. He showed his ever-present promise by putting in a second fastest practise lap time, only beaten by the AGI Motorsport / Snake Racing Dallara F304 of Nathan Gotch. Gotch made it four poles from four rounds – a full second ahead of the rest of the field. The AGI Motorsport team again was utterly professional in every aspect of the meeting and stood out in terms of preparation and equipment.
Third fastest was the always competitive Glenn Lynch (Eagle Transport Dallara F397), with Gary Smith (Forte Trailers Dallara F304) and Ross Mc Alpine (Mount Panorama School of Motorsport Dallara F304) filling fourth and fifth respectively. The front was crowded as usual in this competitive class, with less than a second covering Patterson to Mc Alpine. Robert Choon (Edroy Mowers Dallara F301) elbowed David Choon (Edroy Mowers Dallara F395) for sixth place on the grid and Adam Proctor (AP Racing / Stohr F1000) qualified a creditable eighth. A good run by Warwick Robertson placed the Robertson Transport Dallara F396 in an excellent ninth place with Edward Gavin (Cheetah Mk8) the first of the 1600cc cars in 10th.
The first preliminary race on Saturday afternoon started with Patterson missing from the front row due to mechanical problems. This allowed Nathan Gotch a clear jump into the lead, hotly pursued by Glenn Lynch. From the outside of the second row Smith got out of shape and was quickly passed by Robert Choon (Edroy Mowers Dallara F301), McAlpine, David Choon and Proctor. Gotch proceeded cautiously for the first couple of laps, and then got down to lap record speed, opening a gap on Lynch by about a second a lap.
Lynch had to deal with early pressure from Robert Choon, but by mid-race had pulled clear, and likewise Choon had secured a comfortable third position. Behind them, David Choon was winding the pressure on McAlpine, eventually forcing an error on the approach to Brabham Straight on lap 15. Another error two laps later put McAlpine within the sights of Smith, but he managed to stay out of the Victorian’s reach. Proctor followed in seventh, the car running well but giving up some straight line speed to the Formula 3 cars. Darren Choon (Edroy Mowers Dallara Formula R) was close behind but could not bridge the gap, with Gavin the first of the Class 1 cars in ninth and Andrew Wlodek (Dallara F304) rounding out the top ten.
Ron Bennet in the Robertson Transport Reynard Formula R was brought back to the pits with a badly damaged car after coming adrift in Turn 1 while dicing with team boss Terry Robertson and unfortunately the damage was substantial enough to end his weekend.
Sunday morning was bright but cool, with several earlier races to condition the track and to allow it to warm up in the spring sunshine. Garnett Patterson and the crew had chased away the gremlins overnight and was starting from the rear of the grid, as was Smith who took a penalty for replacement tyres. Glenn Lynch and Robert Choon both got the jump on Nathan Gotch. However as the pair exited turn two, Gotch found his way into second behind Lynch with a clever passing move. Adam Proctor in the Stohr was another who had made a good start and held fifth place for the first lap, but was quickly overhauled by McAlpine and Patterson.
Gotch had been hard on Lynch’s heels, and on lap three he had good speed out of turn three and drew alongside Lynch on the entry to the ‘flip-flop’. In a brief, breathtaking split second, both cars made it through, but Gotch had the better line into the next corner and took the lead, which left Lynch vulnerable to Robert Choon and Patterson. On lap five Choon and Lynch went through the 240 kmh turn one side by side, but Lynch out-braked himself at the top of the circuit and, although quickly recovering from the ensuing spin, lost places to Robert Choon, Patterson and David Choon.
Gotch looked set for another big winning margin, but had a spin in turn two on lap twelve, which reduced his lead to five seconds. Behind Gotch, Robert Choon was able to hold out Patterson for several laps, eventually conceding the position on lap nine, but he stayed within striking distance for the remainder of the race thus providing some intriguing dicing and finishing less than a second apart. Glenn Lynch recovered to fourth, ahead of David Choon and Ross McAlpine, the three cars staging a close battle in the second half of the race. They were followed by Gary Smith, who worked his way up to seventh ahead of Darren Choon and Proctor.
Andrew Wlodek finished tenth again, but had to fight his way back from thirteenth early in the race. Rob Sviderskas (Reynard 923) chased down Rodney Brincat (Robertson Transport Dallara Formula R) passing him on the line for eleventh place. Al Palmer, as usual, drove his immaculate Cheetah Mk 6 with skill and precision, the car cornering as if on rails and clearly obeying its master’s command. But again, as usual, this skillful driver was hampered by a chronic lack of power, being the only 1300 cc car in the field, and finished up in a Robertson sandwich, between both Terry and Warwick. Al drove consistently to complete all races and seal another Class 1 championship.
The third race was perhaps the best we have seen in the Race Magazine 2012 Racing Car Championship series. In the feature race, Nathan Gotch’s car moved before the lights went out, then stalled, and a scramble for positions ensued. Patterson got away cleanly, Robert Choon had to avoid the Gotch car and dropped a position to Lynch, and Smith used the confusion in front to jump from seventh to fourth. While Patterson slowly pulled away from Lynch to build a lead, Gotch was left to work his way through the field from ninth, jumping to seventh on lap two and then taking back one place on each of the following laps. Robert Choon was working over Lynch, briefly heading him into Turn one on lap three, only for Lynch take the place back into Turn two, and pulling the same move with more success on lap six. By this time Gotch was hunting down the pair, also taking Lynch on lap six, and passing Robert Choon on the following lap to claim second.
The action behind them was just as close with Smith, David Choon and McAlpine battling for places. Smith held fourth until passed by Gotch on lap five, and then conceded two more places on lap six as he struggled with a gearbox problem. This would recur periodically during the race, the car sticking in sixth gear, and eventually Smith would fall to ninth. Meanwhile David Choon and Ross McAlpine were involved in a race long battle for position.
McAlpine was able to get through on lap six but conceded the position on the following lap. He made another claim for the position on lap nine which he held for several laps, before Choon re-passed on the penultimate lap. Gotch continued to close in on the leader, but had conceded too much ground and had to settle for second place, 1.5 seconds behind Patterson. Robert Choon, Glenn Lynch, David Choon, Ross McAlpine, Adam Proctor, Darren Choon and Gary Smith filled places two to nine and all finished on the lead lap. Sviderskas held out Wlodek for tenth place.
Congratulations must go to Garnett Patterson, who at 18 years of age, is the youngest winner of a round of the RACE Magazine 2012 NSW Formula Car Championship series. Patterson led the Trophy Race from start to finish, holding off a late surge from championship leader Nathan Gotch, who had to overcome a disastrous start that relegated him to ninth place on the first lap. Patterson was having his first outing in the newly acquired Dallara F301 and despite leading the final race all the way he had to work hard over the weekend, with mechanical problems causing him to miss the first preliminary race, and having to work his way through the field for a determined second place in Race two after starting from the rear of the grid. Patterson’s victory brought Gotch’s winning streak to an end after an impressive eight races. It appears that the ‘Wings and Slicks’ formula is again shining the light of success on those with talent.
At the conclusion of the fourth round, the top 10 in the standings are as follows:
- Nathan Gotch 276
- David Choon 209
- Glenn Lynch 202
- Graeme Holmes 145
- Andrew Wlodek 125
- Ron Coath 104
- Darren Choon 104
- Rob Sviderskas 93
- Greg Muddle 91
- Robert Choon 90
For more information contact Formula Race Car Association
Competition Secretary: Kevin Lewis 4981 8428
President: Greg Muddle 0432 890 708