He fell an agonising half-a-second short of claiming a circuit record, however Yasser Shahin still claimed the 2021 The Bend Classic event with a weekend-fastest time in today’s top-10 shootout.
Though his potential rivals for the event victory had fallen by the wayside with mechanical issues by the time the Shootout arrived, Shahin was still keen to trump the existing record set last year by former Supercars racer, Josh Kean.
Gunning the 1m10.08s benchmark, Shahin threw everything at his Shootout lap aboard his screaming Formula Renault 3.5 V8.
Despite single-digit ambient temperatures, wind and 16-degree track temps, his 1m10.540s flyer was his best lap of the entire weekend - however fell narrowly short of the record he was chasing.
Still, he claimed the perpetual Classic trophy thanks to topping the runoff ahead of Sebastien Amadio’s S5000 and JP Drake’s Wolf Mistral Sports Car.
It remains the second-fastest lap recorded on the 3.4km circuit, with the first sub-70 second lap seemingly not far away.
“It was pretty hairy coming onto the straight and I had another moment at Turn three.. I was really pushing!” Shahin said.
“It was a great lap, great fun, but just not quite enough so the record will have to wait for another year.
“We’ve got big plans to come back and give it a shake again. This is a great format, we love it and It’s been a sensational weekend.”
17-year-old Sebastien Amadio was second overall on his first Shootout experience, hustling his Team BRM S5000 past Drake’s Wolf on the leaderboard as the second-last car to run.
Drake, who missed Saturday’s commitments, was third fastest on his one lap dash aboard his still new Wolf, while Chris Slusarski was fourth aboard the first of the Formula Toyota FT-50s.
Tim Cook’s Wolf was fifth, Mark Rosser placed his Audi R8 GT3 in sixth position while Dan Day’s Time Attack Subaru WRX was seventh.
Mark Rundle’s Evo was eighth while Ben Cheney (West WX10) and Matt Roseler (Toyota) completed the Top-10.
Unfortunately, Craig Lowndes’ chance of a Shootout berth came undone when his Dallara F189 Cosworth broke a gearbox during the morning session.
After developing fuelling issues on Saturday, Sam Shahin’s Benneton B198 was also left to static display duties however will return next year.
The six category competitions were decided across a regularity format – emphasizing consistency across each session - and provided close competition throughout the weekend.
Phillip Carter (MGB) won the Vintage class while notable SA competitor Jim Doig claimed the Open Sports & Racing in his Motorlab ASP.
Mark Haig (Datsun 510) won the Classic Sports Sedans class while Tim Cook’s consistency saw him claim Classic Open Wheel and F1.
Peter Gazzard’s impressive GR Yaris claimed the Classic Production category while Hillclimb and Time Attack champion Dan Day won the Modern Sports class aboard his fire-breathing Subaru.
The Bend Classic will return in 2022 with a date to be advised.
Yasser Shahin (Formula Renault 3.5V8) 1m10.540s
Sebastien Amadio (Rogers AF01/V8 S5000) 1m16.220s
JP Drake (Wolf F1 Mistral) 1m17.429s
Chris Slusarsrki (Formula Toyota FT-50) 1m18.785s
Tim Cook (Wolf Thunder) 1m19.087s
Mark Rosser (Audi R8 LMS) 1m19.121s
Dan Day (Subaru Impreza STi) 1m19.601s
Mark Rundle (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8) 1m21.730s
Ben Cheney (West WX10) 1m2.469s
Matt Roseler (Formula Toyota FT-50) 1m23.985s
Vintage – Philip Carter
Open Sports & Racing Jim Doig
Historic Sports Sedans – Mark Haig
Classic Open Wheel & F1 – Tim Cook
Classic Production – Peter Gazzard
Modern Sports – Dan Day Words: Richard Craill