The weather wasn’t getting any cooler as the cars gridded up for the first race start for 2016.. Making it very uncomfortable and a test of concentration and stamina for the drivers of the first 7 lap race.
Vince Misuraca was able to get a good start and held out the fast starting Cameron Beller who was second going into turn one ahead of Chris Lewis-Williams, Graham Smith, Tony Westaway, Michael Westaway, Pedr James, Jim Gallagher Brad Winter, Jason Miller, Marius Catrina and Paul Crocitti – who dropped to the rear after missing the start with the car not engaged in gear as the lights went out.
Up front Lewis-Williams passed Beller to get back into second place as the field crossed the line for the first time, while the Westaways swapped positions when Michael passed Tony to move into 5th, and Crocitti started his climb back up the field getting past Catrina.
Lap 2 and Beller re-took Lewis-Williams again for 2nd, and then set off to chase Misuraca who had set his fastest lap and a new lap record on lap 2 with a 1:35.60. Graham Smith’s race ended early with no fuel pressure at the start of lap 2 and the white Hazard Solutions 944 rolled to a stop coming out of turn 4. This elevated Michael Westaway to 4th, and Pedr James to 5th after he also got past Tony Westaway, who remained 6th after Smith’s demise. Crocitti got past Miller and was up into 9th.
Lap 3 and Beller started closing the gap back to Misuraca, resetting the lap record on the way with a 1:35.47. Gallagher dropped from 7th place back to 10th behind Winter, Crocitti and Miller, but would be back to 7th again on lap 4 after James spun while being pressured for 5th place by Tony Westaway, which dropped the two of them to 10th and 11th respectively. This left Winter in a fantastic 5th place ahead of Crocitti and Gallagher with Miller in 8th ahead of Catrina.
Beller was able to close up to the back of Misuraca and shadowed the United backed Porsche 944, but could not find a way through and would follow Vince across the line less than 4 tenths of a second behind car #15, and a couple seconds clear of Chris Lewis-Williams in 3rd. A decent gap back to Michael Westaway who had a lonely but satisfying race to 4th position, ahead of Crocitti who managed to get past Winter on the last lap for fifth place – a great effort after being last into the first corner. Winter was 6th from Gallagher, Miller, Catrina who just held off the fast closing James for 9th, with Tony Westaway the final finisher in 11th after his mid race altercation with James.