Radical Clubman Cup: Round 3 - Eastern Creek
29 April 2011

Shaw wins Round 3 of the Radical Clubman Cup!
Round 3 of the Radical Clubman Cup returned to Eastern Creek on Friday 29th April.  The one-day, week-day format brings not only the RCC regulars, but racers who otherwise can’t get a weekend off.  

Bleak weather was evident in Sydney in the days leading up to the event, but a brisk, clear morning greeted the competitors.  Would it last?  Certainly the first qualifying session was held in perfect conditions, with series leader Michael Shaw unsurprisingly grabbing fastest lap.  Quallie 2 was also run under clear conditions, meaning all drivers got ample opportunity to give their best.  Phil Anseline posted second quickest lap to secure his front row start, just pipping a resurgent Greg Smith by one-tenth of a second.  Series rookie Steve Shelley was three tenths behind, with Simon Haggarty relishing the conditions as fifth quickest.  It wasn’t without incident though, with Rowan Ross getting clipped by another competitor into turn 10.

As the cars rolled out onto the dummy grid for Race One, the skies darkened ominously.  Sure enough, the heavens opened just as the green flag fell on the rolling start.  Cold slick tyres and a wet tarmac meant action was to follow.  The top four cars hurtled into Turn 1 side by side, with Shelley the big gainer grabbing second place behind Shaw.  However, the pouring rain was not to be denied, wreaking havoc in Turn 7 of the first lap.  Synchronised spinning from Shelley, Smith and Anseline got the pursuing pack’s attention, but fortunately all drivers avoided contact.  The diabolical conditions forced officials to bring out the red flag on lap 7.  Drivers all returned to the pits for tyre changes to wets and the race was restarted.  Spectators were treated to great dicing throughout the pack, but Michael Shaw was not to be headed taking the race win.  Greg Smith grabbed his best-ever finish as runner-up, followed by Simon Haggarty who made the most of the challenging circumstances.  Shelley recovered from a spin to come home fourth.  Sue Hughes’ fifth place finish was all the more impressive knowing she had a mechanical issue in the closing laps.  Gordon “The Claw” Mellis followed in sixth – considering he was nursing a broken hand following an incident at Wakefield Park two weeks prior, a sterling performance.  Phil Anseline was unlucky to suffer a late-race spin relegating him to an eventual seventh, while Rowan Ross had the indignity of suffering another contact not of his own doing, forcing a DNF.

Race 2 was another wet and wild affair.  A standing start this time, and Greg Smith snatched a blinder to hole-shot Turn 2 ahead of Shaw, Shelley and Haggarty.  Smith and Shaw’s battle was a hum-dinger, with Smith holding out the impatient Shaw for several laps.   Shelley was charging, but a little too hard and replicated his prior race’s Turn 7 spin.  Sue Hughes was on the pace again after curing her mechanical ills and found a 6th place reward for her efforts.  Gordon Mellis got the gold star for the exhibiting the highest pain-threshold, finishing a “single-handed” seventh.  Simon Haggarty was thrilled to secure a strong 4th spot, and the prestigious MoComm Drivers Excellence Award for the round was just reward for his day’s efforts.  The drive of the race was perhaps Phil Anseline, scything his way through the field from his rear-of-grid start to snatch a superb final podium spot.  Greg Smith took a marvellous runner-up trophy with a quick and mistake-free exhibition of driving.  But the day was a Michael Shaw benefit as he posted another win, in the process grabbing maximum points for the round.  

Another exciting Round of the Radical Clubman Cup is concluded.  Round 4 is again at Eastern Creek on Sunday 15th May, where a 15-car grid looks set to do battle.  Can Michael Shaw’s stranglehold on the series be threatened?  Stay tuned....

RESULTS:

Race 1
1st: Michael Shaw
2nd: Greg Smith
3rd: Simon Haggarty

Race 2:
1st: Michael Shaw
2nd: Greg Smith
3rd: Phil Anseline


Overall points table results from Radical Clubman Cup, Round 3:

  • Michael Shaw - 34
  • Greg Smith - 26
  • Simon Haggarty - 23
  • Steve Shelley - 21
  • Sue Hughes - 19
  • Gordon Mellis - 17
  • Phil Anseline - 12
  • Rowan Ross - 0
 
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