2015 Round 2 – Review

WARWICK local Gary Beggs continued his impressive start to the season with a clean sweep at round two of the 2015 PJT Accountants & Business Advisors Queensland Saloon Car series at the Queensland Racing Drivers Association (QRDA) promoted meeting at his home track of Morgan Park.

There was a number of new and returning faces on the 11 car grid including Wayne Cook’s brother Stephen Cook, debuting an AU Falcon from Western Australia, while Shayne Hine returned in his Spray Tech AU Falcon, and Jay Wilson returned in an EA Falcon that previously sat idle for two years.

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Round two saw the Morgan Park circuit shortened with a sharp right hand turn immediately after the bridge which kept drivers on their toes throughout the weekend.

Beggs put his Coates Hire backed VT Holden Commodore on pole with a 1:06.23 in a hotly contested qualifying session, which saw the top four all lap the 2.376km ‘H’ layout of Morgan Park within six tenths of each other. Lindsay Kearns in the Scott’s Rods AU Ford Falcon claimed a front row start with a 1:06.65 while Dunlop Series rookie and Prodrive Racing Academy driver Bryce Fullwood impressing with a 1:06.76 in the Coates Hire AU Falcon.

An action-packed race one saw Kearns lead from the green flag, but Beggs clawed his way back past Kearns to receive the chequered flag by over a second. Kearns fell back and became part of a great battle for second and third between the AU Falcons of Coleby Cowham, Fullwood and Jonathan Fishburn’s VT Commodore. A close exchange between Kearns and Fullwood saw the latter spin into the grass exiting turn ten. Kearns managed second place followed by Fishburn in the Toronto Head & Engine Commodore in third, who secured his career-best finish after managing to squeeze past Cowham and almost Kearns as the trio went three wide into turn one.

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Beggs lead from start to finish ahead of Kearns and Cowham in a safety car marred Race Two. After being spun around in race one, Fullwood experienced a drive belt failure with his AU Falcon and pulled off immediately to the side of the track. A miraculous display by the Morgan Park emergency officials and flag marshals saw the stranded car retrieved within a lap of a safety car, and the field was condensed for a two lap dash for the chequered flag. Beggs held off the hard-charging Kearns in the Scotts Rods Falcon and the Escape Energy Falcon of Cowham.

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Kearns took the lead in Race Three and controlled the proceedings for most of the race, with Beggs and Cowham tussling for position close behind. Beggs completed a flawless weekend after a late pass on Kearns through the right hand sweeper and staked his claim for the championship title.  Beggs, Kearns and Cowham completed the podium for round three and the round. Fullwood impressed in the final race, finishing fourth after starting rear of grid.

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Beggs said his consistency throughout the meeting attributed to the round win.

“It was good, hard racing this weekend and it was closer than ever before as the shorter track brings the field together. Lindsay [Kearns] was going well this weekend and it was good to race with him and Coleby [Cowham]. Lindsay was quick off the start in the final race and started to get away from me, but luckily I was able to catch him,” said Beggs.

Beggs leads the Queensland Saloon Car series over Kearns by a 25 point margin heading into round three on September 5 and 6 again at Morgan Park.

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