2020 ROUND 3 - NOV 15 - SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK - RACE REPORT
Written by Riccardo Benvenuti.
Warm spring weather welcomed the Supersports drivers for the 4th round of the NSW State Championship. A solid field of 14 cars came out to qualify; Nick Kelly wasted no time in setting a time that would be good enough for pole. Neale Muston was beside him on the front row. Second row consisted of Peter White and Mitchell Neilson. Row 3 was filled by Stephen Champion and John Beck.
Kelly made a brilliant start leading the field into turn 1 with a small gap to the second placed car of Muston. Just behind the leading duo was White, Champion and Neilsen. A great dice was forming in mid-pack between Sue Hughes, Chris Barry and Gregory Kenny. The two leaders pulled a considerable gap to White as the field was spreading out.
Neilsen in 5th was slowly catching Champion, these two diced for the final few laps. Unbeknown to them, both 2nd and 3rd positioned cars retired up front: White retired during lap 6 and Muston just a few laps later. Another retirement was Craig McLatchey, his car rolling through turn 2 with no engine noise. Kelly won comfortably from Neilsen; Champion finished a strong 3rd.
Kelly made another great start in race 2, he and Muston immediately pulled away from the rest of the pack. During the first lap, Hughes’s car coasted to a stop and eventually retired. By the 2nd lap the two leaders had built up a big lead from Champion and the rest of the field. White was putting a lot of pressure on Champion, eventually getting past and proceeding his chase on the leaders.
Barry, McLatchey and Donnellan were putting on the dice of the race, each driver testing their braking limits every lap. The conditions were slippery and dusty. There was a lot of cement dust from the previous races, and the drivers struggled to get the power down out of slow corners. Up front White had caught the back of Muston; however, he could not get past with the limited laps left. The result was Kelly 1st, Muston 2nd and White 3rd.
Only 12 starters came out for the final race. Kelly’s form continued, making the best start. The two main protagonists continued their day long battle for the lead. White hung onto the leaders for a while but slowly drifted back. The race stabilised and the field progressively spread out. The only close quarters dice of the race was the battle between Champion and Clare.
In the late afternoon sun, Kelly showed his class making it a trio of wins. He commanded every session, never making a mistake. Muston came home 2nd again; his only blemish of the day was a DNF in race 1. White showed speed at times and came home a deserved 3rd position. Neilson outgunned Champion for 4th. Clare finished 6th ahead of the consistent Kenny. John Beck finished 8th from McLatchey 9th and Donnellan rounded off the top 10.