Burns wins AUSF1000 championship in wet final round

©Richard Hussey

©Richard Hussey

 

Stewart Burns has won the inaugural Australian Formula 1000 championship at Barbagallo Raceway, winning the opening race and finishing on the podium in the next two.

Daniel Gate was the clear winner in two races while championship hopeful Ben Riley struggled for pace all day.

Qualifying:

Riley, who entered the final meeting one point behind Burns, took pole position in heavy rain, setting a lap 0.2619s quicker than Gate in second place.

Burns was 13 seconds slower than the pole time after struggling with a clutch slip issue.

Drivers later complained about poor visibility in the rain.

Riley took pole in the morning session.

Riley took pole in the morning session.

Jez Hammond failed to set a qualifying time, while 2014 regular Bruce Allen was forced to sit out every session without wet tyres.

Race 1

The cars took to the track for the opening race in rain that series Treasurer Tim Riley later said was the worst he’d seen at Barbagallo Raceway.

Jez Hammond stopped at Turn 6 of the formation lap and start was delayed he was pushed off the track.

As the lights went out, Riley led the three-car field off the line and through Turn 1 while Burns took second place from Gate.

Riley pushed ahead comfortably on the first lap, leading Burns by nearly 2.5s at the line.

He continued to stretch his lead and was three seconds quicker than the chasing pair on lap two.

Three laps later the pendulum swung to Burns and Gate, who closed in on the leader by more than two seconds and one-and-a-half seconds respectively.

Burns pulled away from Gate and moved onto challenging Riley, who quickly fell into his sights.

But a move from Burns wasn’t necessary to take the lead, as Riley slid off the track that lap at the final corner and into the gravel.

The mistake would end his race and put Burns on course for his first F1000 victory.

Riley's mistake cost him dearly.

Riley’s mistake cost him dearly.

With Riley out Burns continued ease away from Gate, who went off the next lap at Turn 4 and lost six seconds to the leader.

He crossed the line nearly ten seconds ahead of Gate, extending his championship lead to 26 points with 50 left available in the season.

After the race, Riley blamed himself for his accident.

“I pushed a little bit too hard . . . and went straight into the gravel, which did a bit of damage to the car,” he said.

Race 2

Hammond again joined Riley, Gate and Burns for the formation lap for Race 2 but was forced to abort the formation lap and enter the pits as the cars came to the grid.

As the lights went out Burns got off the line quickly and jumped from third to first to lead Gate and Riley through the first corner.

Hammond returned to the track after the cars had made it through the first corners.

Burns lead at the end of lap one, with Gate following closely and Riley behind.

A move up the inside at Turn 4 on lap two gave Gate the race lead, who went on to set a lap time more than five seconds quicker than Burns on the next tour.

On the same lap Hammond, who was circulating well behind the main pack, nearly copied Riley’s accident from Race 1, but was able to keep the car on track.

Burns spun at the final corner on lap three after accelerating too heavily in the damp conditions.

This gave Riley a chance at second place.

The two would race to the first corner, with Riley going deep around the outside and emerging ahead at the exit.

They continued to race closely until lap seven.

Riley was able to hold off Burns’ attacks until the final corner on the penultimate lap when a move won him back second place.

With the action taking place behind, Gate continued to extend his lead in front.

Gate took his first victories in the final race meeting.

Gate took his first victories in the final race meeting.

He crossed the line more than nine seconds ahead of Burns to record his first Australian Formula 1000 Championship victory.

Riley finished third.

With 25 points available in the final race and a 28 point lead for Burns, he had scored enough to secure the 2014 championship with a race to spare.

Race 3

Five cars took to the track for the start of Race 3, with Jez Hammond again joining the regular three drivers and Tony Rova making it to the grid for the final race of the year.

By this point the rain had eased for the final race and the track was drying.

With five cars on the grid, Gate lead into Turn 1 after the lights went out.

Burns, Hammond and Riley completed the top four through the first corner, with Rova a distant fifth early on.

Riley re-took third place from Hammond later in the first lap.

Burns stayed close to the race leader through the first laps but began to fall back from lap four, which allowed Riley a chance at taking second place.

Despite running deep at the final corner on lap five, Riley continued to catch the new champion.

The battle between the pair wasn’t as closely fought as in the previous race and Riley took second place at the first corner on lap seven.

Gate crossed the line more than five seconds ahead of Riley, who held off a final-lap comeback from Burns.

Hammond finished fourth, with Rova crossing the line two laps down.

Jez Hammond got his first running of 2014 in the final races. ©Richard Hussey

Jez Hammond got his first running of 2014 in the final races. ©Richard Hussey

Post-race Burns said he wasn’t certain where he would finish in any of the three races.

“Ben ended up in the sand one race, I could easily have been there and we would’ve been the other way around,” he said.

“Conditions were very changeable and even right to the last race there we were guessing.

“I would’ve preferred it had been dry so we could battle it out in more usual conditions, but it’s good to have the championship and to win our first race.”

Riley, who won the season’s first six races, said he was disappointed to miss out on the championship.

“To be honest [I’m] really disappointed, we came here hoping we could pull ahead in the championship but Stewart raced really well today – I couldn’t compete with him in the wet,” he said.

“We just didn’t have the pace today.

“[The] season was great to begin with. I had an awesome start, the car was getting faster and faster. Unfortunately the last two race meetings had a few dramas . . . which put us behind in the championship and unfortunately today we didn’t quite have the speed.

“Well done Stewart Burns, inaugural champion for the F1000s. Great racing, the last race was a corker.”

 

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

  1. Stewart Burns – 232 points
  2. Ben Riley – 206 points
  3. Daniel Gate – 124 points
  4. Bruce Allen – 107 points
  5. Leanne Tander – 70 points
  6. Adam Proctor – 65 points
  7. Jez Hammond – 34 points
  8. Tony Rova – 16 points

 

Stewart Burns receives his trophy for the weekend.

Stewart Burns receives his trophy for the weekend.

Stewart Burns. ©Richard Hussey

Stewart Burns. ©Richard Hussey

 

Burns leads Gate and Riley.

Burns leads Gate and Riley.

Gate in qualifying. ©Richard Hussey

Gate in qualifying. ©Richard Hussey

Gate on the way to his second victory of the meeting.

Gate on the way to his second victory of the meeting.

Riley in qualifying. ©Richard Hussey

Riley in qualifying. ©Richard Hussey

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Riley continues to lead AUSF1000 field at Barbagallo

Ben Riley in April

Ben Riley in April.

 

Ben Riley continued his run of victories in the 2014 CAMS WA AUS F1000 Championship, winning all three races in the second race meeting of the season at Barbagallo Raceway.

Stewart Burns was quickest in the morning qualifying session, setting a 0:59.368s lap.

Despite being good enough for pole, it was more than one second slower than April’s quickest qualifying time.

Fastlane Racing’s Daniel Gate was second fastest, just over half-a-second down on Burns.

Stewart Burns was quickest in qualifying.

Stewart Burns was quickest in qualifying.

Ben Riley was unable to set a time to challenge for pole before a front wing mount failure saw him black-flagged from the session.

RACE 1
Despite starting third, Riley passed second-placed Daniel Gate on the opening lap.

The championship leader then took the race lead the next time around.

But the race win was far from certain, with Burns pushing the championship leader all the way to the flag.

He eventually finished less than 1.5s behind the winner.

Consistency over the race’s eight laps was the key to victory and a run of five laps from Riley toward the end of the race all within 0.850s of each other rewarded him with victory.

Despite not winning, Burns’ overall pace was strong and his quickest lap was only 0.029s short of the race’s fastest.

His improved pace toward the end of the race saw him cut the gap to Riley in the final laps.

The race winner later said the pain from a shoulder dislocation two days prior meant he struggled for pace late in the race.

Daniel Gate finished the race third, more than eight seconds behind the winner.

RACE 2
The day’s second race saw Riley lead lights to flag unopposed, recording a lap over 0.650s quicker than the pole time on his way to victory.

Riley set an unchallenged pace from the start of the race, entering the mid-58s four times in the eight-lap event.

Burns again showed excellent consistency, lapping within seven tenths of his quickest lap on six consecutive occasions.

Daniel Gate showed too how consistently drivers can lap in F1000 cars, also consistently lapping close to his personal best.

But despite mature drives from both Burns and Gate, Riley again emerged victorious.

After eight laps the difference between first and second at the chequered flag was 1.5s.

Daniel Gate finished over eight seconds behind.

RACE 3

The meet’s final race saw the closest finish of the day, with the three cars being separated by less than seven seconds at the finish line.

Taking a hat trick of victories, Ben Riley finished ahead of Stewart Burns and Daniel Gate.

But the final positions weren’t as clear as in races one and two, with Gate trailing Burns by only two seconds after eight laps.

The three drivers’ quickest race lap times were separated by only 0.7s.

Daniel Gate narrowly missed out on a season best second place.

Daniel Gate narrowly missed out on a season best second place.

Burns’ challenge for the race lead lasted until the final lap, when a fuel starvation issue meant he was forced to nurse the car to the finish line.

A personal best lap time by Gate closed the gap by 3.5s on the final tour, but it was not enough to secure Fastlane Racing’s best result in the 2014 season.

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Race 3

Lap record for current WA open-wheel series

Riley (left) and Burns jostle for position heading into the main straight.

F1000 cars set times around Barbagallo Raceway quicker than any current open-wheel series in the state.

 

Formula 1000, Western Australia’s newest open-wheel motor racing series, smashed the Formula Ford lap record around Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway last month, beating the fastest ever recorded Formula Ford time at the track by more than a second.

Ben Riley, who won the three races on April 26 from pole, set a 58.327s lap around the 2.41km lap at an average of 148.809km/h.

His time was nine seconds quicker than any other series on the day.

Riley said the new car was perfect.

“The handling is really good [and] the setup is absolutely fantastic. We went out there and did everything we wanted to do.”

Five cars were expected to participate in the series’ inaugural race meet, but two were sidelined with mechanical issues.

Ben Riley in qualifying

Ben Riley in qualifying

AUSF1000 Series President Derek Burns said the meeting was a success.

“The guys put on a good show,” Mr Burns said.

“It was clean, close racing and those that know their racing can appreciate it and would really know how hard [the drivers] were working.”

The cars will be at Barbagallo for a demonstration run during the V8 Supercar Perth 400 on May 18.

The next F1000 race meet will be at Barbagallo Raceway on June 7.

Nightmasters Race Meeting, Barbagallo Raceway (22/03/2014)

Peter Major, Wheels World

Peter Major, Wheels World

Shaydan Penniment, Matsos Brewery

Shaydan Penniment, Matso’s Brewery

Homan Ho

Homan Ho

(Left to right) Anthony Martin, Fleetcare and Fastlane Racing, and Peter Major, Wheels World

(Left to right) Anthony Martin, Fleetcare and Fastlane Racing, and Peter Major, Wheels World

Shaun Mulquiney, SBM Financial Services

Shaun Mulquiney, SBM Financial Services

(Left to right) Marc Watkins, Beach Road Tyers and Breaks, and Grant Ord, Hasties Limestone

(Left to right) Marc Watkins, Beach Road Tyers and Breaks, and Grant Ord, Hasties Limestone

(Left to right) John Harwood, and Graeme Dawson, J and J Automotive

(Left to right) John Harwood, and Graeme Dawson, J and J Automotive

David Ward

David Ward

23

Glenn Badger, Ulster Kennel

Glenn Badger, Ulster Kennel

Terry Mason, T and N Sheetmetal

Terry Mason, T and N Sheetmetal

Claude Giorgi, Giorgi Exclusive Homes and Bar

Claude Giorgi, Giorgi Exclusive Homes and Bar

(Left to right)  Kim Ledger, LF Performance, and Brad Cuss

(Left to right) Kim Ledger, LF Performance, and Brad Cuss

Claude Giorgi, Giorgi Exclusive Homes and Bar

Claude Giorgi, Giorgi Exclusive Homes and Bar

Wayne Chrystal, Onsite Rental Group

Wayne Chrystal, Onsite Rental Group

Troy Harper

Troy Harper

Shane Attwell, KTEC

Shane Attwell, KTEC

(Left to right) Bill Meeke, and Mark Jones, Widdesons Hire

(Left to right) Bill Meeke, and Mark Jones, Widdesons Hire

Bill Meeke

Bill Meeke

David Ward

David Ward

Mark Jones, Widdesons Hire

Mark Jones, Widdesons Hire

Troy Harper

Troy Harper

Frank Panizza

Frank Panizza

11