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ROUND 1 - APRIL 13 - SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK - REPORT

Written by Riccardo Benvenuti.

A perfect Autumn day greeted the start of the 2024 MSA NSW Supersports Championship. 15 cars rolled out to qualify in sunny conditions; a mixed field containing 8 NSW Supersport entrys and 8 Prototype series. Alex Kenny in the Nova Proto claimed outright pole with a great time of 1:25.3320, he was joined on the front row by Nick Kelly driving a Wolf Mistral. Row 2 consisted of Jason Makris (and pole for the Prototypes) and John-Paul Drake driving a Wolf. The third row was occupied by Mark Brame and Spiros Poulakis.

The day consisted of 3 races with rolling starts, a compact day that would test drivers and machines. Unfortunately, Thomas Hughes would miss race 1 due to fuel pump issues.  Kenny made the best start and quickly built up a gap to second place Kenny. Paul Drake, Makris and Poulakis diced for 3rd place. As the race evolved, the leader pulled further away. He was lapping a second per lap quicker than his nearest rival. Andrew McKee’s car started coasting as he rounded turn 3. He eventually stopped at turn 4 next to the rear entrance gate and remained stationary for a while. The car fired up again and he rejoined the race a lap down.

Mark Laucke was running mid-pack and being chased hard by Dyson Song and Simon Copping. Warwick Morris, Terry Peovitis and Shaun Hannah were having a great race in their own right. Up front, Kenny was untouchable. At race end he finished 1st with a 12 second gap to Kelly. Paul Drake came home 3rd (1st of the prototypes) and Makris was 4th. Poulakis rounded out the top 5.  

The start of race 2 was similar to the previous race, Kenny took command followed by Kelly, Paul Drake and Makris. Kelly pulled away from 3rd place and was able to keep Kenny honest for a while. Hughes had a lock up under brakes at turn 2, he went wide but was able to keep the car on track. The same cannot be said for McKee. He spun coming out of turn 2, his car went left towards the grassy infield. He eventually rejoined in near last position.

Kenny was doing qualifying laps at the front, Kelly tried to keep up to him but it was to no avail. Makris was having a great race, dicing for 3rd position with Paul Drake and Laucke. Unfortunately, Makris was the first and only retirement in the race. Kenny won in a canter from Kelly and Paul Drake ( 1st Prototype). Poulakis was 4th and Laucke finished 5th.

The compact days racing had taken its toll on machinery with only 12 starters in the final race. The race would start late afternoon with long shadows forming on the track. This did not stop Kenny to repeat his two previous feats. He again made a brilliant start from Poulakis and Laucke. By the 2nd lap the leader was already 6 second up the road. The battle for second was a different story. Poulakis, Laucke and Makris would dice lap after lap. This was until the unfortunate Laucke ran into trouble and had to make an unscheduled pitstop.

By Mid race distance the order was Kenny in the lead, followed a long way behind by Poulakis and Makris. Then a gap to Song and Brame. McKee spun again at turn 2 losing plenty of time. Hannah retired after 10 laps leaving only 11 running cars on the track. The final result was Kenny 1st, Makris went past to take 2nd (1st in Prototypes) from Poulakis. Song had a great run finishing in 4th place. Brame was 5th and Hughes was 6th. Copping finished in 7th and the recovering Mckee was 8th. Morris and Peovitis rounded out the top 10. Congratulation to Alex Kenny, pole position and 3 wins, no better way to start the season. 
 

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