F1000 Round 1 Race Report Apr 01, 2019
The March long weekend was the date set for the first race event of 2019 and the first race event on the highly anticipated new surface that had been laid at Barbagallo Raceway. Times were expected to fall in most classes even though the track would be green and free of any rubber. The event which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the WA Sporting Car Club saw one of the largest entry lists for a long time with over 270 cars entered across all classes. This made for an absolutely awesome atmosphere on the track and around the pits.
Our field has seen some new faces for 2019 as well as some returning regulars from previous seasons. Missing from round one due to other racing commitments was Kyle Gurton. The rookie driver has been through the Arise development program at the back end of 2018 and is set to take on a full season for 2019.
Qualifying was very exciting as the field headed out into the unknown, everyone having only done a handful of laps on the Friday tuning day. One of our coaches, Jordan Oon was filling in for a driver who was away, taking pole and only a sniff away from the F1000 lap record. Adam Lisle started his season off in fine form taking a close 3rd, just behind Ben Riley. Stuart Kostera has made a return for a full season this year taking 4th place. Aaron Love has also returned for this season but is behind the wheel of a Radical to boost his seat time after moving up to the Porsche Cup Challenge series for 2019. He put the Radical closely behind Stuart in 5th place posting a 55.1 second lap time. This is a lap record for an SR3 on Barbagallo Raceway. The first of our rookies was Madeline Stewart, the young Kiwi has just moved to Melbourne and, along with her sister Ashleigh, are travelling to take part in the Arise development program for the season after many years of international kart racing. Posting a PB time Madeline took 7th place. Head coach BD Soutar-Dawson had also jumped in a radical to get amongst some of our rookie drivers and work with them on race craft and data during the event. Right behind him was another Arise development graduate in his F1000 debut, the fast paced Mitchell Johnson. Returning driver Mike Folwell was still adjusting to the new surface, posting the 9th quickest time. Ashleigh was right behind him in another SR3 followed closely by the returning Andrew Connor, who is always enthusiastic to jump in to race when he can.
With a special event for the WASCC golden jubilee the race format was over two days with some varying distance races. Race 1 was a short but intense 5 lap hit out. Jordan struck the first blow taking the win, but not without a solid battle between himself, Ben Riley, Adam Lisle and Stuart Kostera. Adam set the fastest lap of the race by 3 tenths of a second but just could not squeeze past Ben and Jordan as they went wheel to wheel. Aaron Love again impressed, placing his SR3 in amongst the F1000 battle, finishing a strong 5th. BD pushed hard taking home 7th place behind the F1000 of Stewart Burns, just holding off Mitchell and Madeline, both setting PBs. Just behind them was Mike Folwell being chased down by the Radicals of Ashleigh and Andrew.
Race 2 was a bit longer at 8 laps and again did not disappoint with a close battle up the front. Adam made it stick this time, getting one up on Jordan and beating him to the flag after swapping positions multiple times throughout the race. Stuart Kostera also battled hard and finished a tight 3rd, just pipping Ben and Aaron to the line. Aaron was forced to defend hard from a flying Mitchell Johnson who nearly cracked into the 54 second bracket hunting Aaron down. Madeline had another strong race with Stewart Burns and Mike Folwell. Ashleigh improved again from her race one pace and chased BD across the line with Andrew not far behind and still finding his feet on the new surface, with minimal running prior to the event.
Race 3 was held on Sunday morning with perfect weather for the weekend, providing the best conditions for racing. Jordan arrived looking for redemption after his race 2 defeat, striking a solid blow with a strong win and replicating his qualifying time in the process. Adam Lisle chased hard but had to settle for second place just edging out Stuart Kostera who finished 3rd and Mitchell Johnson again set a new PB chasing down Stuart and coming home in 4th place. Aaron Love had a solid battle with Mitch, but the straight-line power of the Radical could not battle the high aero grip of Mitch’s F1000. Mike Folwell found some extra pace coming home in 7th just in front of the Radical trio of BD, Ashleigh and Andrew.
The final race of the weekend was looking to be a crescendo after the tight racing up to this point of the weekend. Adam struck the final blow taking the win from Jordan by only 2 tenths of a second. Stuart Kostera was heavily involved in the battle finishing in 3rd, only another 4 tenths behind at the flag. Aaron again showed his elite driving ability and the true speed of the Radicals when unleashed, taking a strong 4th place. BD chased Stewart home in his F1000, finishing 6th just in front of Ashleigh Stewart and Andrew Connor.
It was a strong start to the year and everyone was buzzing with enthusiasm after driving on the new surface as well as the amazing atmosphere at the event from having so many entries and spectators across both days.
Now to focus on some track time prior to the next round on the 13th of April.