Sydney Motorsport Park was brought to life over the weekend with Mitsubishi’s, BMW’s, Mazda’s, Honda’s, Renault’s, a couple of Ford Falcon’s, an Audi TT and even a Toyota 86 duking it out for the Australian Manufacturers Championship over a brutal 4 Hour endurance race. Held as part of the Shannon’s Nationals 5th round this weekend just gone. The 4 Hour was the final endurance round in the competition (following on from the Great Southern 4 Hour held at Phillip Island earlier in the year).
The 2013 Australian 4 Hour Champions Garry Holt and Stuart Kostera in the Eastern Creek Karting Mitsubishi Evo put themselves in the best position to go back to back, by claiming pole during Saturday’s Qualifying. Second fastest was Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey in there BMW 1M with the Mitsubishi Evo of Touring Car Great Glenn Seton, his son Aaron Seton (on debut) and Bob Pearson taking out third position.
The 4 hour kicked off to a relatively quiet start with Garry Holt (Mitsubishi Evo) taking the early lead with the rest of the field chasing him down. Early issues for the BMW 135i of David Ayres and Michael Sherrin forced them to park their 1 series at the end of the main straight in a plume of oil smoke after only 3 laps.
The race continued with out any interruptions, and it looked like it would be a duel between the two Mitsubishi Evo’s for the outright win, with a string of BMW’s to fight it out for the remaining podium position as well as Class B. Class C was tough battle between the Mazda 3 MPS, BMW 130i, Renault Megane, Ford Falcon however the latter two would ultimate fail to finish with mechanical issues. Class D was also hard fought with Toyota 86 in serious contention before losing control and ending up in the tyre wall. While the 86 Team tried to get back out on the track, the remaining two Honda Intregra’s were left to themselves to to fight it out.
With just an hour left to go the Mitsubishi Evo of Glenn Seton, Aaron Seton and Bob Pearson suffered a suspension failure forcing them to retire and handing the race lead over to Garry Holt and Stuart Kostera’s Mitsubishi Evo who completed the race to take both Group A and Outright honours. Second place fell to the BMW M1 of Beric Lynton & Tim Leahey and third place went to the Group B car BMW 135i of Grant Sherrin & Iain Sherrin (who in turn won there class). Class C went to the Mazda 3 MPS of Jake Camilleri & Scott Nicholas (5th outright), while the Honda Integra of Kevin Herbin & Luke King claimed Class D (6th outright) after the leading Integra of Jake Williams & Geoff Rands ran out of fuel with half a lap to go.
All in all the Australian 4 Hour as part of the Shannons Nationals was a great event and we look forward to next years event.
Story and Photos by Rhys Vandersyde