Wrappin’ Up Round 3 at Racefest 2016


Wrappin’ Up Round 3 at Racefest 2016

The Heritage Touring Cars series took to Sydney Motorsport Park over the 11th and 12th of June for Round 3 of 2016’s competition, putting on a magic display of motorsport at Sydney Retro Racefest.

Conditions could not have been better at Sydney’s storied circuit, with cold mornings giving way to beautiful sunshine throughout the weekend. There was just enough heat hitting the track to provide racing traction and the cold winter air was perfect for the series’ fire-breathing touring cars’ respiratory needs.

The lovely weather and promise of a weekend of exciting historic racing led to bustling crowds and a festive atmosphere on both days. It’s a great honour to share these legendary cars with fellow enthusiasts, and it was wonderful to race in front of such enthusiastic crowds and to share the experience with everyone in the pits.

Racing kicked off in earnest on Saturday morning with qualifying. Carey McMahon got his weekend off to the perfect start, putting in a 1:40.56 to claim pole position for race one in the B&H Racing Ford Sierra Cosworth. Just three tenths behind was Tony Alford in the R32 Nissan GTR Skyline. Anthony Compton put in another great lap to round out the top three in the second Sierra RS500.

Topping the Group C times was Frank Binding in the Army Reserves Falcon XD, closely followed by Phil Verwoert in his R76 and John Mina in his ’81 Ford Falcon XD.

The goal of Sydney Retro Racefest was to offer quality track time and plenty of it, and the event did not disappoint with qualifying followed by four full races over the course of the weekend.

Race one would see Tony Alford get the legs on Carey McMahon in a photo finish, the nose of the Skyline crossing the line barely three hundredths of a second ahead of the Sierra. Anthony Compton maintained his third place after a close race with Terry Lawlor in the ex-Dick Johnson Greens’-Tuf Mustang.

Group C racers Frank Binding, John Mina and Phil Verwoert enjoyed some close racing with Paul Axiak in the Group A Commodore throughout the race. Verwoert managed to get by Axiak to move up to 12th overall, while the Group C podium remained Binding from Mina and Verwoert.

Saturday afternoon’s race two saw Carey McMahon get back into the lead and pull out a small gap from Tony Alford, with Anthony Compton enjoying a few seconds’ breathing room in third.

Frank Binding picked up a spot to move up to 10th overall, once again leading the Group C cars home. John Mina maintained second in class while also gaining a spot overall and George Nittis brought the Ford Falcon XE home lucky 13th overall to claim third in Group C competition.

Sunday morning saw competitors get stuck into an epic thirty-minute feature race. In Group A Carey McMahon was able to maintain his lead from Tony Alford, the pair still neck and neck and separated by an impressive seven tenths at the end of 28 minutes of racing.

Terry Lawlor and David Towe Lawlor and David Towe Sydney Retro Racefest 2016

Anthony Compton managed to pull out a gap from Terry Lawlor to once again earn a little racing space and finish third, while Lawlor and David Towe in the JPS BMW M3 kicked off an exciting duel that would last throughout Sunday’s racing.

Frank Binding kept up his extremely consistent race pace, claiming the top spot in Group C competition once more. John Mina followed to finish second in Group C after a thrilling dice with the VH Commodore of Daniel Cotterill that saw the pair separated by just a tenth of a second when they crossed the line.

Competitors concluded an enjoyable weekend’s racing with race 4 on Sunday afternoon – another extended race.

In Group A Tony Alford managed to get by Carey McMahon to take his second win of the weekend, with both drivers setting race-pace fastest laps quicker than their qualifying times. Anthony Compton maintained his traditional third place to wrap up an impressively consistent weekend of competition

Frank Binding maintained his weekend-long domination of the top of the Group C tables, moving up to ninth overall to claim his fourth class win of the weekend. Phil Verwoert climbed back onto the podium to finish the weekend second in Group C and was joined by Daniel Cotterill in third.

The close of competition saw Carey McMahon at the top of the weekend’s points tables in the Group A over three litre class, David Towe leading Group A 2-3 litres and Brian Henderson top in Group A under two-litres.

Group C over three litres was topped by Frank Binding, while Russell Keam did so in Group C under two litres.

“Sydney Retro Racefest was a great event. We enjoyed plenty of track time and were pleased to do so with a sizeable crowd!”

“The racing was close, great fun and, importantly, extremely consistent and respectful.”

“We were also very pleased to see 32 entries in the event – a real quality field of Group C & A historic touring cars.” – David Paterson

Thanks to the HSRCA and ARDC for putting on a great event and a magnificent weekend of racing!

The Heritage Touring Cars series will return over the 6th and 7th of August, 2016 at Winton Motor Raceway where Round 4 will be contested during the VHRR’s Historic Winton.

Stay tuned to www.heritagetouringcars.com.au for more news from the Legends of Bathurst!

Lead image thanks to Brent Murray of At Speed Images