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RESULTS: Thursday Night F1 League: Round 2 @ Sepang

Monday, March 25, 2013

There was no rest for the teams as they moved straight from Melbourne and onto Malaysia for the second round of the Racecentre F1 Championship League. A contrasting circuit compared to Albert Park, the multiple fast and sweeping corners of the Sepang circuit challenged drivers in terms of setup and tyre degradation.

Michael Gray stamped his authority early on in qualifying, clearing the field by over a second, until David Lord and Matt Anderson challenged with great vigour. The top spot was traded multiple times over the twenty minute session, with the championship leader Michael taking pole position.

As the drivers proceeded on their formation lap, tensions were high and right feet were itching to get going. A considerable amount of tyre and brake warming was done by all drivers to ensure maximum grip for the first lap. As the lights went out to begin the forty lap race, the twin Tran brothers, Jimmy and Benny both jumped the start and instantly received drive-through penalties – what a coincidence!  The first lap saw some great tussles between the two David’s – Lazzaro and Lord. Early defensive driving from Lazzaro caught Lord out and resulted in contact between the two. Lord as a result, lost his front wing, causing him to make an extra pit stop and play catch up for the rest of the race. The first five laps were exhilarating to watch as Gray and Anderson ran almost nose-to-tail. Lazzaro was to be the first and only retirement of the race due to not one, but three punctures, which completely immobilised his car!

As the race wore on, Gray managed to stretch his lead over Anderson by up to eight seconds at one point. Lord has battled his way up the field to third and continued to reel in Anderson until just after a pitstop, he made an uncharacteristic error and slid off the track onto the grass. Unabated, Lord continued on his merry way, however all the work he had done clawing Anderson back in, was now undone, the gap had stretched out to over eleven seconds! In only his fourth appearance at Racecentre, let alone in a F1 car, Evan Golbach was holding a solid fourth position. Whilst he didn’t have the pace of the top-three, consistant and clean driving was proving to be a forte of his. With three laps to go and a comfortable buffer in hand, leader Gray managed the almost unthinkable…  Coming out of the slow, up-hill right hander at turn nine, Gray’s right foot was buried a little too deep and he spun his car onto the grass! With Anderson only eight seconds away and catching, Gray only just managed to regain composure and the undamaged car onto the track again. The last three laps proved to be nail biting, with the top-two battling within half a second of each other! The infamous words of Murray Walker, “catching is one thing, however passing is quite another” echoed throughout the Sydney Racecentre store as Anderson ducked, dived and weaved all over the gearbox of Gray to no avail. In the end, Gray took the chequered flag by just over two seconds. Lord took third, whilst also setting the fastest lap of the race – a 1:35.616.

With two wins from two races, can Gray be overcome?! The circus will take a few weeks off to prepare for the Chinese GP. There are still spots available at the Sydney and Gold Coast stores, so if you wish to pit your skills in the world’s fastest circuit racing cars on some of the best tracks in the world, get in contact with either store ASAP! Remember, there is a GOLDEN TICKET to our Race to Reality competition up for grabs also!


 


Drivers
Race 1  Race 2  Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Race 9 Race 10 Race 11 Race 12 Race 13 Race 14 Race 15 Race 16 Race 17 Race 18 Race 19 Race 20 Points Place
Michael Gray 20 20                                     40 1st
David Lazzaro 17 9                                     26 3rd
Evan Golbach 15 13                                     28 2nd
Greg Pointing 13 0                                     13 6th
Scott MacDonald 12 12                                     24 4th
David Lord 11 15                                     26 3rd
Matt Anderson 0 17                                     17 5th
Benny Tran 0 11                                     11 7th
Jimmy Tran 0 10                                     10 8th

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