JORDAN CARUSO extended his points lead in the second round of the National Sports Sedans series with two race victories at Winton Raceway.
As has been the case in recent times, it was Caruso and his Audi A4 battling fiercely
against fellow front runner Steve Tamasi in his Holden Calibra, the latter taking out the opener at Winton before Caruso struck back with consecutive wins.
“Awesome weekend at Winton bringing home the round win,” Caruso said.
“We lead the championship heading into Round 3 but it’s close, there’s still work to do. “Massive thanks to John, Ian and Sheng for their consistently huge effort to keep us going. “Looking forward to Tailem Bend.”
Race 1 saw Tamasi win with a broken sway bar, finishing over 12s clear of Caruso.
Caruso was forced to start from the rear after an electrical problem on Friday, charging through the field to finish a lonely second.
Alex Williams was 21s further back, completing the podium in his Mazda RX7.
Dean Lillie and Shane Bradford weren’t far off podium pace, finishing fourth and
fifth in Ford Falcon and Chevrolet Camaro machinery, respectively.
On category debut, young son of a gun Mason Kelly finished eighth in a MARC
Mazda 3. The two titans of Sports Sedans started off the front row again for Race 2, Tamasi taking an early leading through Turn 1.
That left Williams and Caruso to battle for second in the early stages, Williams
momentarily winning the tussle in his bright red Mazda.
It did not take long for the championship leader to bounce back though, Caruso slotting into second on lap 2 before setting his sights on Tamasi 2s up the road.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, Caruso made up ground quickly and was met with little resistance in taking the lead at Turn 8 on lap 4.
There was plenty of competition for places further back though, as a tussle emerged for positions four to seven. Lillie was swamped by Bradford, Daniel
Crompton and Ryan Humfrey, dropping from fifth to eighth in a matter of moments.
Things got worse for Lillie shortly after, the BA Ford Falcon driver forced to retire with a mechanical issue.
The racing was relatively clean throughout, although Ranald Maclurkin Snr steered his Aston Martin Vantage off the track at Turn 4. Off track excursions were not limited
to those at the rear of the field – Tamasi left the tarmac on the final lap falling way
behind Caruso. The final margin between the two title contenders was 20s, while Williams finished third again.
Michael Robinson scored a fourth-place finish in his Holden Monaro and Humfrey was fifth. A slightly reduced field rolled out for Race 3, with Scott Cameron and Maclurkin Snr failing to start the final encounter.
Tamasi got the best start, however it took just a couple of corners for Caruso to take the ascendency again. Keven Stoopman’s weekend came to a premature end after just four laps, the Victorian pulling his Mitsubishi Evo 8 into pitlane and out of the race.
The final race of the weekend ran to a similar narrative as the first couple, with an
entertaining group vying for positions behind the dominant front three. Caruso won from Tamasi by just 2.771s this time around, with Williams third over 40s back.
Robinson, Humfrey and Woodman jostled to make P4 their own, Humfrey emerging with the position at the finish. Robinson was fifth, Crompton and Woodman running close behind. Josh Nevett
1 Caruso 266
2 Tamasi 256
3 Woodman 192
4 Crompton 186
5 Robinson 164
Tamasi took a win and a pair of second places in his Holden Calibra. Outright winner Caruso (Audi A4) heads the RX7 of Alex Williams, which finished third in all three races. Mason Kelly ran mostly in the top ten in his MARC Mazda.