Another solid outing for PIARC April Access event

Wednesday 14 April, 2021
Photos: Revved Photography
The Phillip Island Auto Racing Club (PIARC) welcomed more than 100 competitors to its April Access and Supersprint on the weekend as four categories featured as part of the busy program at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
 
On Saturday, it was a pure racing day as the 2 Litre Sports Sedan and two Victorian Excels categories took to the track  - the Excels completing all practice, qualifying and races by the end of the day, while the 2 Litre Sports Sedan ran one race before finishing up for the weekend on Sunday morning.
 

With 51 competitors split into the Excels Trophy and Excels Masters – there was plenty of entertaining duals across all six races – especially when it came to top honours in the Trophy category between Hugo Simpson, Kai Allen and Adam Bywater. 

In the first race, just over a second separated the trio with Simpson edging out Bywater by one tenth, before Allen got closest to Simpson in the final race and fell short by just four tenths.

In the Masters, after an incredibly close finish between Peter van Waart and Travis Jones in the opening race - van Waart crossing the finish line less than two hundredths of a second ahead of Jones – it became a blowout as Jones comfortably took out the two remaining races.
 
In the second race, Jones grabbed a three second win over Glenn Mackenzie before blitzing the 22 car field in the final outing, beating the second placed van Waart by almost nine seconds in the process.
 

It was a similar story in the 2 Litre Sports Sedans as the only race on Saturday saw Steven Howard claim a half second victory over Iain McDougall before the 1975 Toyota Corolla failed to make an impact on Sunday as McDougall steered his 2007 Mini Cooper S J to a one minute victory in race two and an 18 second victory in race three.

Following on from the final 2 Litre Sports Sedans race, the supersprints got underway with the 35 entries spread across three groups getting nine sessions each on the famous circuit.
 
By the end of the day, it was James Crichton in the Open Racing Cars class who secured the outright win after posting an impressive 1:41.2836.
 
It took a while for anyone to get close to the Ralt Rt5 driver, with Brendan Schade getting within a second by the end of the day. Driving a Honda S2000, the Porsche Club Of Victoria representative battled hard but couldn’t get closer as he claimed a class win and outright second courtesy of his 1:42.2402.
 

Rounding out the top three fastest times was another Porsche Club Of Victoria driver in Andrew Gott. Behind the wheel of the Porsche GT3RS, Gott was the only other driver to go sub one minute and 45 seconds – his best lap of 1:44.9810 securing him class honours and third outright.

Other notable class winners included Graham Bentley in the Audi TT RS and  Mazda MX5 driver Louis Stoopman – both of whom rounded out the day’s top five fastest times.
 
The Phillip Island Auto Racing Club moves away from its home ground for its next event, hosting a hill climb at the popular Haunted Hills Hillclimb track this weekend on 18 April.
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