Power takes Rookie title lead at Bathurst
Despite a start to the weekend that was overshadowed by a frightening accident for one of its drivers, Spectrum Racing Cars can still take plenty of positives from the penultimate round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.
Synergy Motorsport’s Sam Power enjoyed a great weekend which resulted in his best ever round finish of second overall as well as a second place in Race 2, equalling his previous career best achieved in Townsville earlier this year. Significantly, Power has now also taken the lead in the Rookie of the Year standings by 14 points from Macauley Jones with one round remaining.
The weekend kicked off in encouraging fashion for Spectrum when Shae Davies took his Borland Racing/Davbridge Constructions Spectrum 014 to the top of the timesheets in Thursday’s second practice session. But what was looking like a very promising weekend for the fast Gold Coast driver was cruelly cut short in qualifying on Friday morning.
On his second lap, Davies spun on the exit of McPhillamy Park and became stranded in the middle of the circuit. Moments later, Garry Jacobson careered into the side of Davies’ Spectrum at high speed. Despite the sickening impact, Davies walked away shaken but unharmed - a testament to the excellent structural integrity and safety of the Spectrum 014.
As a result of the lengthy clean-up, qualifying was cut short after most drivers completed just one flying lap, resulting with the Spectrums of Synergy Motorsport’s Mathew Hart and Matt Campbell to line up in the first two positions for Race 1, albeit not in the way anyone would have wanted.
Race 1 late on Friday afternoon saw Hart lead from pole position before quickly becoming embroiled in battle with championship rival Jack Le Brocq. The two traded the lead numerous times before Hart became locked in pursuit for most of the 7-lap race which resulted in a close finish. Power drove well to hold off fellow rookie Jonathan Venter for third.
Wet weather for Race 2 meant that most drivers would have to adopt a cautious approach on the fearsome 6.213km layout. Off the start, Hart and Power gave chase to Le Brocq until Hart spun in the treacherous conditions dropping to seventh, while Power was promoted to second where he would eventually finish.
Hart demonstrated his obvious pace in Race 3 when he advanced through the field, passing three cars on the second lap before picking off Anton de Pasquale and Liam Sager to move to an eventual second place with a fastest lap quicker than race winner Le Brocq. Power was home in fifth which gave the Synergy Motorsport driver enough points to clinch second for the round, while Hart rounded out the podium in third.
Hart’s result clinches the Spectrum Driver to USA Challenge prize, which will see the 18-year old Canberran test a USF2000 for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing later this year.
The final round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship takes place at Victoria’s Winton Motor Raceway on November 16-18.