- Noah Sands clinches Australian Formula 3 title
- Grant Johnson wins third Australian Saloon Car crown
National Champions were crowned in two categories at Round 5 of the Australian Motor Racing Series (AMRS), held at Sydney Motorsport Park on the weekend.
A clean sweep for Noah Sands in the Australian Formula 3 Championship was enough for the Gilmour Racing driver to open up an unassailable points advantage over his nearest rival, Trent Grubel and secure the title with one round remaining.
After qualifying on pole position, Sands spun on the first lap of Race 1 after being caught out by oil on the circuit, but fought his way back to the front of the field.
In Race 2, Sands slipped back to third at the start, but recaptured the lead with a breathtaking move around the outside of both Grubel and Ryan Astley into Turn 2. Race 3 was a similar story, Sands initially slotting into second behind Mitch Neilson before executing another pass around the outside at Turn 2.
“It’s good to wrap up the championship a round early; we can go to the final round and just enjoy driving without any pressure,” Sands said.
“Full credit to all the crew at Gilmour Racing – the car has been amazing all year. For me to get in a rookie and do this is amazing.”
West Australian Grant Johnson won his second Australian Saloon Car title with a dominant victory in Sunday’s 20-minute feature race, after winning three of the four heat races aboard his VT Commodore.
In the heat race Johnson didn’t win, he started from pit lane due to a fuel pump problem but charged through the field to finish second behind Queenslander Brandon Madden (AU Falcon).
Madden finished runner-up in the final ahead of South Australian Scott Dornan (VY Commodore).
“It’s been a big couple of weeks for us in the lead-up,” an elated Johnson said.
“A big thank you to all the crew from Western Australia who helped us make the trip over this weekend, it’s been a huge effort for us all to make the journey across.”
Zac Loscialpo won a dramatic TA2 Muscle Car Series round, his maiden overall victory in the series.
Loscialpo did not win any of the three races but his trio of top-three finishes, combined with DNFs for Josh Haynes and Jett Johnson, were enough for Loscialpo to win the weekend overall.
It was a particularly costly weekend for the series leader Jett Johnson, who started the opening race at the rear of the field after an off-track excursion in qualifying and failed to finish Race 1 due to another mishap at Turn 1; Johnson recovered to finish Race 2 in fifth and won the last race despite a tangle with Race 1 and 2 winner Josh Haynes while the pair were fighting for the lead.
The weekend’s third TA2 race was red-flagged and ultimately abandoned after a multi-car pileup that was created when Aaron Tebb was carted into a spin and collected head-on by several vehicles including Anthony Tenkate, Hayden Jackson and Michael Rowell.
Lachlan Ward won the first four Legend Car races for the weekend but some driveshaft damage ruled him out of Race 5, allowing Will Newell to take the win; however, problems earlier in the weekend for Newell compromised his points haul, allowing the consistent Scott Melville to take his maiden Legend Cars Australia round win from Ryan Pring and Shane Tate.
In the combined Stock Cars/Thunder Sports field, Brett Mitchell (OzTruck) and Scott Nind (ex-Xfinity Series Stock Car) each achieved two race victories in the Stock Cars class; the Thunder Sports race wins were shared between Jeremy Davidson (Mazda RX7), Peter Ryder (Nissan Silvia) and Josh Dowell (Ford Falcon).
The AMRS race meeting concluded with a 90 minute Series X3 NSW endurance race, which was won by Matthew Mosse-Robinson and Dion Scott, ahead of Connor Cooper and the father-and-son combination of Tony/Calvin Gardiner.
After a frenetic start to the race that saw multiple positional changes among the top six cars, Tony Gardiner was eventually able to build a buffer over his pursuers, but his father Calvin was not quite able to maintain his son’s pace in the closing stint and was chased down by a fast-finishing Mosee-Robinson, who took over the car in a handy position after a solid opening stint from Scott.
Highlights of the event will be shown on 7MATE on Saturday, 15 October.
The sixth and final round of the 2022 AMRS will be held at Winton Raceway, 19-20 November.