12 November 2013

The final round of the 2013 SuperSports Championship has finally arrived to Sydney Motorsport Park. The Championship started back in April and the battle for the title was fought over 7 intriguing months of racing, Darren Barlow and Peter Johnston are coming into the round respectively first and second in the pointscore. The venue for the final round is familiar but the track layout is not, it will be raced over the shortened North Circuit and the SuperSports will again run the popular format of 1 qualifying and 3 races all in one day compressing the event into a jammed packed day of racing.

Qualifying was held Saturday morning in quite warm conditions and the driver to master these elements was Greg Smith in his 8 cylinder Radical SR8 with a time of 1.00:4967, alongside him on the front row was the championship leader Darren Barlow, driving his single seater, 1 litre Stohr Sports Racer. Race 1 started around 1pm in very hot and windy conditions. Barlow bogged down at the start so by turn 2  Smith had a 20m lead from second placed Peter Paddon who was dicing with Peter Johnston. The surprise was the disappearance of Darren Barlow with clutch problems and this would have major Championship implications. Smith increased the lead and was never headed.  Brad Shiels had a gentle spin in the middle of the apex at turn 2 and his ADR ended up with rear wheels off the track and subsequently was stuck. The field continued racing around his stricken car lap after lap obeying the yellow flags until the officials decided to bring out the safety car and that is how the race finished. Smith took first place followed by Johnstone and Paddon. This was a great points haul for second place Johnston with Barlow not finishing.

In race two the pole sitter, Greg Smith in his SR8 elected to start from pit lane to save clutch wear problems., which meant that he dropped to the back of the field, leaving Johnston and Paddon to lead the field.  A hard charging Neil Kenny was able to overtake Paddon on the second lap and then passed Johnston on the filth lap claiming the lead.........but it was short lived.  Kenny overcooked turn two while in the lead, spinning across the track leaving Johnstone nowhere to go but right into the stricken Kenny car.  Aaron Lewis took avoiding action spinning just before the accident; he was able to continue but lost plenty of time.  Unfortunately the incident took out both the leaders and deprived Johnston of valuable points that would have clinched the title, he was fortunate that Barlow was a non starter. Once the dust settled Paddon was in the lead followed by Smith who had made a charge from the back of the field.  Smith was too fast and eventually took the lead and won, making two wins in two races. The consistent Paddon finished second while Rowan Ross made the last step of the podium.

The third and final race of the day and season and Johnston made the grid with what looked like a hastily repaired car, as the championship victory was almost within his grasp. Unfortunately Barlow again did not start making it easier for Johnston. At race start Paddon gained the lead and kept first position for 15 of the 16 laps. In what was to be another hard luck story of the day he had to retire on the final lap with a puncture.  Johnston was cautious and stayed out of trouble eventually finishing a strong third and most importantly taking out the 2013 Supersports NSW State Title. The winner of the race was Rowan Ross but the drama continued as second place getter Aaron Lewis received a 5 second start penalty, relegating him to third and elevating Johnston to a victorious second place and outright CAMS State Championship success,  a worthy result from a consistent, and very quick season’s performance.

Congratulation to all the class winners and Peter Johnston for winning the title.

Special mentions to the hundreds of skilled track official and volunteers, who worked all year long in all conditions allowing us to enjoy the sport we love, roll on 2014.

Results Final round of the CAMS NSW SuperSports Championship

Class One Rowan Ross - Radical Australia 1st

Class Three Greg Smith - Radical Australia 1st

Results Season Winners CAMS NSW State Championship

Class One Peter Johnston - J&S Radical 1st

Class Two Darren Barlow 1st

Class Three Greg Smith - Radical Australia 1st

Outright Championship Winner Peter Johnston!!!!

The CAMS NSW State Championship awards dinner is to be held in Bathurst on 30th November 2013.

Series Statistics at a glance - Thanks to Riccardo Benvenuti

Most Laps Driven

1st) Peter Johnson 144 Laps
2nd) Darren Barlow 106 laps
=3rd) George Davis 105laps
=3rd) Rowan Ross 105laps

Most Km driven

1st) Peter Johnson 429.2 Km
2nd) Darren Barlow 342.2 Km
3rd) George Davis 338.3 Km

Most wins = Darren Barlow & Greg Smith 3
Most seconds = Craig Perry 3
Most thirds = Peter Johnson  3
Most Podiums = Darren Barlow, Greg Smith and Peter Johnstone 5

Most fastest Laps = Greg Smith 4
Lead changes = 20
Different Leaders = 11

Different Drivers Started = 27
Different Podium Placers = 13

Cars Started = 138
Cars Finished = 124
DNF = 14
Finishing percentage = 89.9%

Johnson won the title but did not win a race

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