Brabham Wins The Bend Classic
THE ADELAIDE-BUILT Brabham BT62 Supercar has won its first trophy on home soil thanks to victory in the inaugural The Bend Classic, at The Bend Motorsport Park.
Driven by Supercars racer Ash Walsh, The BT62 Supercar triumphed in the Classic Shootout with a Bend West Circuit record lap of 1m15.0214s to beat a field of high-performance racing and sports cars in a one-lap dash Shootout.
Brenton Ramsay powered his Birrana Racing Reynard 94D to second overall in the shootout – and first in the Open Wheel / F1 class, while Paul Faulkner was just 0.5 seconds behind in third position in his ex-Alan Jones Williams FW07.
Today’s result was the Brabham’s second ever event victory following success in a Britcar Endurance Race at Brands Hatch recently – but the first for the brand on Aussie soil in the state where the car is being manufactured.
Walsh left nothing on the table with his flying lap that topped the end-of-day shootout that determined each Category winner this weekend.
“It was really cool to get out there and have a crack without anyone else around,” he said.
“It was the first time that I’ve done a Shootout style lap in the car. The car is just so fast so any lap you get to do in it, really, is pretty fun. It puts a big smile on your face.
“I missed the hairpin a little bit and dropped a bit of time – but it’s a fast car so we made it up and I was really happy with it in the end.”
Walsh said the significance of the result was not lost on the Brabham team.
“It’s great to get out here and be involved in the event – the first one at The Bend. It’s the first win for the car on Australian soil and it’s great to get the car out in front of everyone and get it amongst people to show what it’s about.
“It’s an impressive bit of machinery and I’m just happy to be part of it and show the car off.”
The Classic Shootout saw the top two cars from each class - based on points scored across three Super Sprint sessions held on each of The Bend’s three circuit layouts - progress to a one-lap dash to determine both the overall and class winners.
Brenton Ramsay and Paul Faulkner proved closely matched throughout the event in the open wheel / F1 category with the pair trading lap times throughout the day.
After persistent gearbox issues sidelined the Josh Kean-driven BMS Scuderia Dallara, the pair were left to battle for the fastest time in class in the shootout.
Ramsay’s 1m18.7189s flyer was only 0.5 seconds quicker than Faulkner’s best in the Williams.
Kevin Chapley won the Porsche Cup class in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car thanks to his 1m22.7143s best – good enough for fourth overall.
Todd Carruthers was fifth overall and first in the Time Attack Class in his Subaru WRX STi, while Mark Haig was sixth outright and first of the Touring Cars & Sports Sedan runners in his wild Datsun 510.
Ben Holt topped Modified Production and was seventh quickest in the Shootout, while Alistair Dow’s impressive Puma Clubman suited the West Circuit to perfection; winning his class and finishing ninth in the Shootout.
Adelaide Porsche specialist Mark Buik topped the Porsche Rennsport division in his Porsche 928GT.
The inaugural The Bend Classic attracted more than 45 entries in its debut year with competition in each class throughout the weekend.
“We’re very pleased with the first Classic event and we’re confident it has established something that we can build on into the future,” Said Michael Rossi, the Bend Motorsport Park Marketing Manager.
“We’d like to extend our thanks to the teams, drivers, entrants, guests and spectators who attended the first event and made it a success. We’re already working on plans for 2020 to make it bigger and better.”
A date for the 2020 The Bend Classic event will be announced in coming weeks.