On his Saloon Car debut, two-time Queensland HQ Holden Series champion Jamie Furness claimed the spoils at the first round of the 2017 Queensland Saloon Car Series at the 2 Days of Thunder at Queensland Raceway.
The Warwick driver secured two wins alongside a second and a third to cap off a stellar debut in the ex-Jarvis Family AU Falcon.
John McCleverty (Falcon) secured the first pole position for the 2017 series, topping the qualifying session by five tenths of a second ahead of John Carter (Falcon) and Furness. 2015 Queensland HQ Holden champion Brock Mitchell (Falcon) qualified in fifth for his Saloon Cars debut.
Starting from sixth, three-time Queensland Saloon Car champion Lindsay Kearns (Falcon) won the first race of the weekend after a thrilling battle with McCleverty, Furness and Shayne Hine (Falcon) in the closing stages. Martin Deckert (Commodore) finished sixth on his series return after a race-long battle with Brad Carr (Falcon) and Dion Jarvis (Falcon).
Kearns, Furness and Carter lead from the outset in race two as the trio couldn’t be separated for the entire 12 lap encounter. Kearns fended off Furness until a brake lock-up at turn six on the penultimate lap as Furness took the lead into turn one and was never headed from there. Jamie Kielly (Falcon) meanwhile stormed from the rear of the grid to fifth place after he failed to finish in the first race.
Kearns and Furness reinvigorated their battle in race three as Furness held Kearns off until the final lap. Kearns stayed on the outside of Furness through turns four and five, and with the preferred line into turn six he took the lead heading to the chequered flag. Kearns took the win ahead of Furness and McCleverty followed by an intense five-way battle between Hine, Kielly, Mitchell, Tony Shanks (Falcon) and Jarvis.
The twenty-lap final race was paused at the halfway mark after Deckert spun into the turn three gravel trap. Kearns lead the race as the field was called in to pit lane until Deckert’s Commodore was recovered, however an alternator failure meant he could not rejoin the race leaving Furness to take the race and round win ahead of McCleverty and Jarvis.
Furness was overjoyed to come away with the round win on his Saloon Cars debut.
“I didn’t expect to go as well as I did,” said Furness.
“There was a little bit of luck involved in the last race with Lindsay having his drama but i’m absolutely wrapped and glad I made the move into Saloon Cars.
“Thanks to Zooma Signs, Mal Wood Automotive, my family as well as Lighthouse Electrical and the Jarvis Family for assisting me with the car across the weekend.”
The Queensland Saloon Car Series returns to Morgan Park Raceway for round two at the CAMS State Championships on September 2-3.