Round 3. Sandown – Race 2

Round 3. Sandown – Race 2

Early Sunday morning and the 944 Competitors were the first event for the day with a shorter 8 lap race to kick off the days racing. With some overnight repairs to the cars of Brent Rose, Brad Winter, Keith Marriner and Ken Rowland, as well as the return to the circuit for Jim Gallagher, 17 cars gridded up for Race 2 of the weekend.

Off the line it was Beller with a fantastic start from Pole position, while Jason Miller struggled off the line and was overtaken by Tony Westaway on the run to Turn 1. His start wasn’t as bad as Vince Misuracas though, the United Petroleum car bogging down and dropping behind Tony Westaway, Mark Taubitz and Michael Westaway. James was in 7th from Goddard who made a couple of spots up at the start, then Howe, Rose & Winter both making good starts, followed by Catrina, Woods, Millar who had a bad start and dropped back, then Gallagher, Rowland and Marriner.

Miller passed Westaway for second at his favourite Race 1 passing spot – under brakes for turn 1 on the inside. Beller though had pulled out a 4 second lead by the end of lap 2 and wasn’t looking back. Misuraca made a move on Michael Westaway into turn 1 also, but overshot the corner and ran off on the outside, giving Westaway the spot back, as well as dropping behind James. Rose was able to get ahead of Goddard to move up to 8th, while Winter moved back into the top 10th by passing Howe. Gallagher was moving through on his first race for the weekend also, passing Millar, and then Woods.

Misuraca moved back past James into Turn 1 the following lap to move back into 6th position, and then back into the top 5 passing Michael Westaway on lap 4 down the back straight. Goddard also made a move around Rose to get back into the 8th position, and then into the 7th spot the following lap, passing Pedr James. Rose was slipping back as his car problems resurfaced, dropping behind Winter into 10th on lap 5.

Up front Beller continued to pull away, with every lap bar one in the 1:25 second category. The only other car able to run a lap in the 1:25 second category was Misuraca as he pursued 4th position held by Taubitz. Lap 5 was the fastest laps for the pair, but Misuraca was able to close the gap and had a peek down the inside of Taubitz on lap 6 going into the esses at the end of the back straight, but chose to wait and make the pass into Turn 1 to start lap 7 and move into 4th position. Winter was able to pass James to elevate himself to 8th as Rose dropped out of the top 10, passed by Howe.

A ten second margin for Beller up front though when he crossed the chequered flag, ahead of a great tight battle between Miller and Westaway, the Westbon car unable to find a way past the White #3. Misuraca was 4th a few seconds back from Taubitz. Michael Westaway, John Goddard, Brad Winter, Pedr James and Dick Howe rounded out the back half of the top ten.

Gallagher was able to get into 12th position when he got past Catrina on lap 7, and ultimately finished in 11th when he past the ailing Rose, relegating car #38 to 12th, while Woods also passed Catrina on the last lap to get into 13th. Millar was 15th, only three seconds covering this tight 5 car battle across the finish line, with a little margin back to Rowland in 16th, and Marriner who completed his first race commendably, and managed to improve by a second on his qualifying time.

Could anyone catch or stop Beller in Race 3?? Only a few hours until Race 3 and we would find out…

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