Nice to see an exotic took the title
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Greetings Motorsport Fans and welcome to the Penrite Oil SINsational Sprint Event Report.
It was a cold and windy morning that greeted track day fans on Saturday May 16th as queues began to form at the entry gates and at the scrutineering shed for what was set to be a great day of high speed motorsport action at Eastern Creek.
One of the events highlights was Jason Engleman’s Supercharged Alfa 147 GTA which looked every bit as fast standing still as it did on the circuit. Jason has been hampered this year with gremlins in the garage and unfortunately a radiator issue brought his day to an early close - he did get to set a warm up lap though which you can view online...he’ll be back!
The French charge established by Martin Bevz in the last round was this time led by Gew Ded in a Renault Megane 225 F1...much to the dismay of the small hot hatch contenders “165kw, light weight, LSD...those things are fast”.
Ian Cudmore (of Team Movember and Rennenhaus fame) finally able to get time off work since the Toyo Tyres Motorkhana, purred into the pits in the Team Rennenhaus VW R32 ready to stamp his authority as a leading contender in the Hot Hatch category...the question was could he keep ahead of Shacker’s and her BMW Mini Cooper S.
Shacker’s and Team Renenhaus were separted by 0.3 points at the last Toyo tyres round and with Shacker’s sporting some new light weight wheels and even stickier tyres all our eyes were on the clock...Shacker’s is not to be underestimated, as many competitors found out.
Rounding off the class was Nick Dojva in a showroom spec Goff Gti 5 Door. Don’t be too quick to skip to the next paragraph – he was all over the back of some of the Bavarian vehicles (which you can see on his footage) and captured some great footage with the chase cam.
So who won the category?
In equal 1st place are the two are the competitors which all of us were watching fight it out all day - Team Renenhaus and Shackers on 21 points!
Honourable mention goes to Najdov just 0.4 behind the leaders – the handicap system makes all these classes close. Jason Engleman scores 12 points for just being able to get to the circuit – after all the mechanical issues he has had this year he deserves it.
The Coupe class was were all the action was with pit garage after pit garage of M3’s, M coupes, M Roadsters, DTM replicas and all other things Bavarian with 2 doors...not to forget the scariest BMW Go Kart / what used to be a Z3 roadster / complete custom race machine I’ve ever seen.
So what was this race machine? It was a Z3 roadster before the roof was cut off and everything but the instrument cluster and steering wheel were removed (including the doors), then a whole host of performance parts were added (including an M3 motor) to create one truly unique track day machine – you’ll never see another one like it!
On the topic of unique – Arthur Scerri’s monster E36 328i Super Charged BMW...if Beethoven turned his skills to the aural delights of track day machines this would be his 9th symphony. The induction noise is the first thing that pulls you in as it inhales as much oxygen at a Euro Fighter jet turbine before releasing the pressure to the tune of someone knocking the head of a 9kg gas cylinder – its spine tinglingly euphoric and just screams POWER!
Leigh though had seen this all before and was quietly napping, snuggled comfortably inside his PRB Clubman cockpit, strapped in, helmet on and patiently waiting his turn to hit the circuit – and hit the circuit he did consistently placing in the outright top 5 despite having less than half the power of the other Big Boys Toys...definitely one competitor to watch.
Some other competitors to watch were (well you needed to or you would miss them with their lap times) were Nelson Da Silvia and Adam Laura who injected more than enough M3 white knuckle heat into the circuit. Adam unfortunately bowed out with gear box issues after the first heat leaving the circuit all to Nelson as he continued to set times no one else could match.
Nelson’s Brother Clinton, also won the Penrite SINsational Flag Marshal prize for volunteering on the day. If you want to really get up close to the action, being a marshal / volunteer on the day is the way to do it – and you could score yourself a prize too.
Some other cars in the Coupe Class to watch out for were Jeffrey Morton’s immaculate Autopia 135i and Mark’s Circuit spec 968. The Autopia 135i defiantly captures the eye and if you could pull yourself away from it to look at the timing board you would see it was neck snapping quick with Jeff behind the wheel. Jeffrey and Mark partnered up last year to take a clean sweep at the NSW Dutton Rally so are two competitors to always keep an eye on – they just make it look easy.
Mark’s Porsche though was the perfect balance of form and function and you could tell he dosen’t just drive to the corner shops for milk and a paper on Sunday with paint burnt off the Porsche factory callipers – never seen a Porsche driven that hard...ever! (and yes that does include the PR Tech meets)
The Peak Performance and Parramatta Prestige garages (not to mention half the car park behind them) provided a plethora of eye candy and both boasting some serious performance tuning which they more then backed up on the circuit – just like every tunning company should. Great work Guys and Girls.
So who stands atop the podium?
1st place on 49 points goes to Richard in his E36 M Coupe...without doubt bending the laws of physics to set the lap times he did.
2nd place on 45 points goes to the PRB Clubman star, Leigh Hemming’s...if it was not for the gale force headwind up the straight he would have had this round – next time Leigh.
Rounding off the class in 3rd is Jeff on 40 points in the Autopia 135i coupe with honourable mention going to Mark, just one point behind on 39 points in the Porsche 968 CS...close indeed.
To our shock the Sedan, and Avant Classes were both empty of Euro's on the day (plenty in the car park though).
There some easy prizes up for grabs people. Come on, grab the helmet, car keys, and driving shoes, then come to the circuit for what is without doubt the most accessible, most affordable and most prize packed motorsport series on the calendar this year!
Check out the full event PHOTOGRAPHY, VIMEO and YOUTUBE race day footage plus the overall placing RESULTS.