Double win by Pain highlighted Western Australia EP Off Road Interclub series opener
Wednesday, Feb 8, 2017 09:51pm
By Aaron Waldron
Race report by Chris Mitchell
Photos by Chris Mitchell and Ian Silfo
Sunday saw the first round of the new season in the WA EP Off Road Interclub series, for the first time ever being held at the Radio Rally Club's 'pop up' grass track. The racers started arriving early to set up a fresh track on the grass in canning vale, after setting up and a very short amount of practice, racing got underway by 10am. with 65 racers from the local area competing in 5 classes on the grass, the day was set to be a great event to kick off the new year.
As qualifying started, Josh Pain returned to normal form after a break over the new year, setting the fastest times in both Qualifying rounds for 2WD and 4WD modified to take TQ ahead of Chris Mitchell in 2WD, and Fabio Silvi in 4WD. In the Ep8 Buggy class Fabio Silvi didn't have the pace in round 1 however shot to the top with the only 14 lap run to TQ in round 2 ahead of Brayden Miller. 4WD Stock saw Miller set a fast enough time in round 1 to hold down the TQ ahead of Kai Jaeger in 2nd. In Ep8 Truggy, Belmont local Richard Cook set the fastest time in round 2, just missing out on the 14th lap to take TQ heading into the triple A finals.
During the lunch break, a 'last chance main' was run for the EP8 class, with the highest entries of the event, the top 7 qualifiers has made it directly into the A finals, but the next 10 drivers would race it out over 5 minutes, with the top 3 making up the back of the A finals grid. Immediately the 8th Qualifier, Joel Richardson broke away to an early lead, with Joe Capone snapping at his heels early on, but unable to maintain the pace. The battle for 3rd was on for young and old, as the last remaining transfer spot was fought out by Alex Yapp, Bailey Leslie and Joel Lewis, ultimately Yapp held out for 3rd to take the last spot in the A main.
For the mains, the organisers opted to run Stock and Modified classes as larger A mains, rather than running 2 or 3 car B finals to reduce time, stacked fields of 12 and 13 cars lined up for each A main start. In Ep8 Buggy Silvi and Miller battled early, as Silvi stretched a small lead it looked in the bag for A1, but a late crash handed the lead to Miller who held out the last 45 seconds to take the win, backing it up in A2 with another win in similar fashion to take the overall ahead of Silvi in 2nd and Tim Kenny in 3rd.
Ep8 Truggy looked to be an upset, with Tim Kenny recovering from 4th on the grid to win A1, but the next 2 mains were all about top qualifier Richard Cook, who won convincingly in A2 and A3 to take the overall ahead of Tim Kenny and Ben Hughes.
In 4WD Modified Josh Pain led out early and never looked back, with dominant wins in all 3 finals to win the overall ahead of Fabio Silvi and Mark Hawkins, Mitchell struggling to keep the car rubber side down slipping to 4th overall.
2WD Modified was a slightly different scenario, an early mistake from Pain put him deep in the back and fighting with traffic, which allowed Chris Mitchell to clear out and win A1 by 8 seconds, but pain charged back to form with wins in A2 and A3 for the overall win ahead of Mitchell in 2nd and Mark Hawkins in 3rd.
4WD Stock was all about Brayden Miller, looking to take a double win he swept all 3 mains by over half a lap each to take the overall ahead of Kai Jaeger in 2nd and Alex Yapp sneaking into 3rd.
The Radio Rally Club put on a great fun event on the grass track, with a fast and fun layout for the racers to enjoy, the 2nd round of the WA EP Interclub Series heads to the Astroturf at Belmont BSRC on March 5!