Winning Ways Continue for Team 5150R in QLD Championship
The #50 kart of Team 5150R claimed the top honours once again as they won last weekend’s ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ at Greer Park Raceway, in the process extending their lead in the Powered by Honda ProKart Australia Queensland Endurance Kart Championship.
After two rounds of the Queensland Championship, the Team5150R line up of Joshua Townsend, Ian McMah and Luke Delaurence have claimed both rounds in their #50 chassis, including their ‘Gympie 7 Hour’ victory earlier this year - which they won by 6 laps. That wasn’t the case last weekend at Greer Park Raceway however and it saw them have to well and truly fight for the win.
Qualifying for this event was a single-timed-lap and the order in which competitors took to the track was determined by a random draw. At the conclusion of qualifying, Team5150R’s Luke Delaurence had placed the #50 kart at the top of the time sheets, taking pole position for Saturday’s all important ‘sprint’ race.
Saturday’s action saw a special ‘One Hour’ sprint race and the win was picked up by the team from PDS Grand Prix aboard their #661 Phoenix chassis. With Carl Brown demonstrating blistering speed in the #661 kart, the team took the lead after an unfortunate safety car mid-way through the event brought the #50 Team5150R Azzurro back to the field. Earlier in the event they’d appeared certain to win after establishing a sizeable initial lead. Climatrol were 3rd on their return to the Queensland Championship, reminding everyone of their proven performance and renowned speed.
In Sunday’s 6-hour endurance race, the #661 PDS Grand Prix team gave the #50 kart of Team 5150R a run for their money, leading the time charts for most of the weekend in addition to setting the fastest race lap. Had it not been for a mix lap with a driver change entering the last hour of the event then the end result quite possibly could’ve been different. In a race of changing fortunes for the 2 front running teams, the #50 Team5150R entry had enjoyed a comfortable buffer over the field only to have the one and only safety car period of the ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ negate their advantage at the four hour mark. Some clever strategy by the team from PDS Grand Prix saw them time a fuel stop to perfection, entering the pit lane just before the safety car was deployed, allowing them to un-lap themselves and close the gap to the leading #50 entry from Team5150R.
In recent years Mark Johnson’s PDS Grand Prix team have lacked consistent pace but there has never been any doubt about their reliability. This year however their performances indicate that both are working in harmony and they reinforced this with the fastest lap of the ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ and complete reliability throughout the event. It’s interesting to note that they recorded that time during the latter stages of the race, an ominous sign for their rival teams as the ProKart Australia season heads towards a consecutive run of the longest events this season, with races between 9 and 24 hours being run between now and August.
Although disappointed that a mistake on their behalf cost them an opportunity to take the win, the #661 PDS Grand Prix team were able to take away a lot of positive signs that another victory isn’t too far away. If they are able to continue their current form then there is no reason why the PDS Grand Prix won’t be one of the Queensland Championship’s leading contenders as the season progresses. They currently sit second in the point standings after finishing the opening two rounds with a third and now a second place. Consistency is the key to any championship, especially in Endurance Kart racing; and that is an area that the #661 PDS Grand Prix team is certainly demonstrating strength in 2010.
Behind the victorious #50 kart of Team 5150R and second placed PDS Grand Prix were first-time podium finishers #152 Phantom Racing. Their third place finish was a pleasing result for Simon Ham and his team, but it was one that they certainly had to earn. Phantom Racing was able to come out on top in an almost race-long tussle with Ryan Bolton’s #2 Atlas Racing team for the final spot on the ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ podium. The #2 Atlas Racing team ended up finishing just off the podium in fourth, while fifth place was taken out by ‘Gympie 7 Hour’ runner up finishers Team5150R in the #51 kart driven by Troy Corones and Glenn Firth. The #51 kart made a strong recovery from an incident early in the race which damaged the steering; the required repairs losing the team a total of six laps as a consequence.
Both the #101 Frog Racing and #84 RPM teams had strong weekends at the ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ and brought home strong Top 10 finishes. In the case of Russell Pocock’s RPM team, it was their first race in 8 months and despite running on tyres used at the Toowoomba round last year, their speed and performances were reminiscent of their pace from the 2009 season. The team are very encouraged as they prepare for the next round of the Queensland Championship at Nanango in 3 weeks’ time.
The #5 team from Climatrol Racing made their return for the year at the ‘Toowoomba 6 Hour’ and despite showing a good turn of speed from the moment they hit the track, an incident early in the race put paid to their winning hopes. The incident occurred when they were leading the #42 KnK Scuderia team and the latter tried an ambitious passing move that failed to come off, resulting in heavy contact to the rear of the Climatrol Racing BRM chassis and the team retiring due to a damaged carburettor. After a review of race footage from the innovative RacerTV footage, the stewards deemed it a racing incident.
Each qualifying and race session of the Australian ProKart Endurance series is broadcast live over the internet by RacerTV. To view the next ProKart event live visit prokart.racertv.com.au. It was this broadcast system that allowed ProKart Australia race officials to review footage of the incident between Climatrol and the KnK Scuderia teams, another ‘first’ for the ProKart Championship as they continue to lead the way in Australian Endurance Karting.