Qld Super Sprints – Round 1, 2016

By Garry Pitt. Photos Gloria Wade

Round One of the B Series Queensland Super Sprints saw almost 140 cars entered, the largest I’ve seen in the 10 years since we’ve been traveling to the very exciting Morgan Park race track located 2½ hours west of Brisbane in Warwick Qld.

The first round was raced over the 3.0km circuit for 3 laps. The format for the Super Sprints is a standing start and 3 laps of the circuit with all 3 laps making up your time for the run. This is a challenging format for sprints as every gear change, corner, braking point has to be spot on to maximise your time. Also set-up and tyre pressures are critical, you cannot just wait for everything to come on then give it your best shot. You have to manage the tyres from cold (aside from the warm up lap) at the start through to the last lap.

Friday practice was clear and dry but with a number of breakdowns it was a bit stop-start, including the eventual winner Geoff Noble, who suffered from a broken ball joint. As always Geoff has a spare and it was fixed ready for racing on Saturday. Mick Cullum and Matt Plowman also suffered car troubles that put them out for the weekend.

Saturday dawned fine and we looked set to get the maximum number of runs in for the day until around 3pm when the heavens opened and we received 40mm in around 40 minutes at the track, while the town of Warwick, five minutes away, got next to none. There was so much rain that the racing was called off as we had streams flowing over the track and through the pits!  
Sunday the rain stayed away. The track was a bit damp and slippery first up, but really improved as the day wore on, with a number of PBs set within the Lotus crowd.  

The Top 10 Results:

  1. GEOFF NOBLE – 03:58.669 – Supercharged Honda Elise

  2. VIKKI PAXTON – 04:10.585 – Modified F3 (running a V8)
  3. LUKE BROWN – 04:12.563 – Another open wheeler (Condor I think)

  4. BILL NORTON – 04:20.273 – Another F3
  5. GARRY PITT – 04:23.189 – Honda Elise
  6. MARTIN O’BRIEN – 04:24.206 – Elise S

  7. DARRYL RINGUET – 04:24.528 – Supercharged Exige

  8. GERRY WHITE – 04:25.316 – Raw Fulcrum race car

  9. DAN McCARTHY – 04:27.094 – Elfin 622 Open wheeler
  10. GARY LANGE – 04:27.232 – HSV Maloo

If not for Jason’s brake issues, the mighty little Lotus cars would have made half of the top ten, all road registered and a couple of daily drivers in there to boot, when you look at the list of cars competing it really is outstanding how these little cars perform.

Lotus Club Member’s times:

Geoff Noble – 3:58:669 – Somebody stop me!
Garry Pitt – 4:23:189 – Things go better with cable ties
Martin O’Brien – 4:24:206 – Fully Slick mate
Darryl Ringuet – 4:24:528 – The Saturday specialist
Jason Patullo – 4:35:336 – Give the poor man a break / Brakes
Greg Bray – 4:35:456 – Hysterically hold the historical banner
Clive Wade – 4:41:971 – Clearly this man needs more HP
Rob Stevens – 4:47:288 – Back from a mid career racing break
Mike Goodfellow – 5:20:864 – Enjoying the drive