As the cars gridded up for Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, the field was reduced down to 12 as Pedr James encountered issues with the ECU in his car and he stopped out on track as the rest of the field completed their warm-up lap – gut wrenching after securing his highest qualifying position of his career.
When the lights went out it was Cameron Beller who got the best start as he led into the first corner, ahead of Vince Misuraca in second position with Chris Lewis-Williams in third place.
Tony Westaway slotted into fourth from Dick Howe in fifth, Michael Westaway in sixth and Lyndon Watson in seventh.
Codey West dropped down to eighth from his second row start position, ahead of Sam Rofe and Keith Marriner rounding out the top ten, in front of Jim Mitchell and John Vainoras.
As the field came to the end of the first lap, disaster struck for Lewis-Williams, with a major engine failure ending his race, and his weekend prematurely. With the points so close this would put a major dent in his State Series Title aspirations for this season.
Howe unfortunately also stopped on lap 2 as the third retirement from the race, allowing Michael Westaway up to fourth, ahead of West, who also overtook Watson to move into fifth position, with Watson sixth, then Rofe, Marriner, Vainoras and Mitchell – who would also retire on the next lap with some gearshift issues.
The remainder of the race was a relatively straight forward affair, as Beller was able to hold the lead for the duration of the eight laps to record his fifth win of the season, ahead of Vince Misuraca, who was able to take some consolation in securing the Lap record as he ran a 1:33.9848 on the fifth lap to take the lap record away from Beller.
Unable to keep up with the top two was Tony Westaway, but delighted with a third place finish for the race in the Westbon Porsche, finishing ahead of Michael Westaway in fourth position a couple of seconds adrift of his brother.
Rounding out the top 5 in his first 944 Challenge race was the impressive Codey West, right behind Michael Westaway but unable to find a way past.
Watson was next in a relatively lonely race on his way to sixth position, after West past him Watson consolidated the spot with a large gap either side of him to the finish.
Seventh was Sam Rofe in his return race with a gap back behind Watson, with Keith Marriner finishing in eighth position a few seconds adrift on Rofe.
The ninth and final finisher of the race was John Vainoras, in a relatively lonely race also on his way to his best position to date.
Would the attrition keep up over the two Sunday races? An early start for a quick 7 laps on Sunday at 9am!