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GRASSROOTS: Collie Ice Breaker's Four Seasons in One Weekend – Saturday Wrap

Collie Motorplex saw the arrival of the West Australian circuit racing championship categories with Excels, Saloons, Sports Cars, Sports Sedans, Formula Vee, Formula Ford amongst the the categories to race at the track.

SATURDAY

Saturday was the day for the Excel Cup Cars, Saloons, Formula Ford and Free Formula categories with the Saloons getting two grids to separate the two classes.

The sky opened at various points of the day with some heavy downpours occurring mainly between races leaving to a variable track surface for all the categories and last minute tyre changes as the track dried and dampened.

FORMULA FORD

Formula Ford started off the proceedings of the day with Tomas Chapman qualifying on top followed by Craig Jorgensen and Thomas Brown. Sports car and sports sedan regular Arthur Abrahams managed to pick up a 4th in his first outing in a Formula Ford.

Race 1 saw Craig Jorgensen take the top step almost 7 seconds ahead of Tomas Chapman in 2nd place. Another 7 second gap back to Thomas Brown wrapped up the top three. Arthur Abrahams retired early from the race and didn’t start the second race of the day.

Race 2 and Craig Jorgensen, Tomas Chapman and Thomas Brown again stayed on top with the gap between Jorgensen and Chapman reducing to roughly 2.5 seconds.

Tomas Chapman managed to get ahead of Craig Jorgensen in the 3rd and final race of the day with Thomas Brown remaining in third. After a trip to the doctors for a medical clearance Arthur Abrahams returned to the grid and put his Formula Ford into fourth where he started the day.

EXEL CUP

An emotional qualifying session for pole sitter Jake Passaris with is car wearing a tribute to his Uncle Jamie who had passed recently due to Cancer and who’s funeral the family had attended during the week. The website Jamie’s Legacy carrying some designs done sticking the finger up to Cancer which has also appeared on John Bowe’s car.

In the first race, Brett Sheriff and Jack Clohessy battled it out for the top step with the rest of the field behind led by Jake Passaris.

In the second race Sheriff and Clohessy would again lead the field with their battle up the front and Jackson Callo and Passaris fighting it out for the third spot with Callo managing to stay ahead of Passaris.

The third race of the day saw the first major incident of the weekend with Salvatore Russo rolling his Hyundai Excel in the last race and team mate Wesley Leher veering off to avoid the crash and ending up in a rather unusual position behind a tyre wall.

Eventually once the cars were recovered, drivers checked and track cleared the race continued with Callo, Clohessy and Passaris taking the top three steps after Sheriff received a 5 second penalty relegating him down to 7th from 2nd.

FREE FORMULA

10 museum pieces from the Free Formula grid took to the Collie Motorplex track featuring Ralt RTs, Macon MR9-82s, Brabam BT 23 and more.

Daniel Gate started on pole position with Marc Redman in a Van Diemen RF92 starting to his side and William Norman in his Ralt RT4 taking in 3rd.

Gate would stay at the top of the field for the entire of the day with Marc Redman bringing up second spot for the meet and Lance Carwardine behind in third.

SALOON CARS

The Saloon cars received separate grids for the weekend with the “PRO AM” class heading out first with Marc Watkins firing out ahead of the rest of the field in the first race 2.5 seconds clear of Michael Koberstein in 2nd and Craig James a further 7.5 seconds down the track.

In the second race Watkins stayed ahead with Koberstein closing the gap down to 1.1 seconds. Craig James also closed the gap further being 6 seconds behind.

The final race of the day almost turned into a twilight race after an incident involving Craig James, Neil Streatfield and Andrew Martin brought the race to a grinding halt.

With James sitting out the rest of the race, Shane Eather was able to make a move up and ended up finishing in second place with Koberstein first, Watkins third.

The PRO class of the Saloons saw an unusually slow Grant Johnson in the first race be beaten to the finish line by Matt Martin and Greg Dyson. Johnsons’ woes were later found to be caused by fault in the power steering system which required the entire front end to be removed from the car before Race 2.

Race 2 saw ‘order restored’ with Johnson back on top finishing almost 3 seconds ahead of Mason Harvey with Matt Martin rounding out the top points positions. Behind them on opposite ends of the age and experience spectrum Vince Ciallella and Chase Hoy were trading paint in a close battle for fourth which Hoy eventually took.

After a delayed start due to the carnage in Race 3 of the PRO-AM class, the drivers received a new competitor on track, the fading light with no track side lights at Collie Motorplex. Johnson beat the fading light to the line along with the rest of the field and Harvey and Martin bringing up the final steps of the podium.

An interesting points result for the round saw Johnson on 68, Martin on 61 and Harvey on 52 and fourth spot for the weekend a threeway tie between Chase Hoy, Vince CIallella and Greg Dyson on 49.

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