Pheasant Wood Circuit just outside Marulan hosted the opening round of the 2019 Small Car Cup. An impressive thirteen cars took to the circuit for qualifying with Phil Alexander taking outright and class B pole position in the Raceway N16 Nissan Pulsar, a 1:05.2780 best lap establishing the new lap record for class at the circuit. In Class A Nathan Senior put his Mazda 121 bubble car on pole with a 1:06.9170 best lap during the session.
While future events will see class A&B split for their respective heat races, for the opening round classes were combined, producing some great racing throughout the field. In the two heat races, Phil Alexander and Mike Behnke split the outright victories with the former receiving a drive through penalty in the second heat, dropping him to 10th outright for the race. In Class A, Nathan Senior continued to show that a bubble car was not making up the numbers, with a pair of class victories heading into the final.
Freezing temperature, 50km/h wind gusts, and a reverse grid format greeted competitors for the forty five minute final race of the weekend, giving these small cars a final race length which is considered endurance in many other levels of motorsport. Not only would time be a factor, but the twisty, ten-turn layout of the Pheasant Wood circuit would no doubt take its toll on competitors.
Starting from the rear, Mike Behnke passed his way through to the lead quickly, while Phil Alexander took his time working past the field. Once clear, Alexander set about closing Behnke’s lead down and by mid race distance the pair were together, the stage set for a great battle. Over half a dozen laps Behnke did all he could to hold the Raceway car behind, until just after the mid-point of the race when Alexander took the lead. Behnke did not allow a gap to open and shadowed Alexander to the flag, however never had enough to remount a challenge for the top spot. Behind, a spin for Gerry Frohriech in the second half of the race dropped him down the order, while Nathan Senior was able to hold on in the hotly contested Class A, with a five second victory over Andy Clarkson.
The Small Car Cup returns to Pheasant Wood Circuit on October 6th. Entries will be opening soon on the Drivetek website, so if you want to get involved make sure to get your hands on a small car and put an entry in!