Cherry blossoms in Tander trophy triumph

Tuesday 16 July, 2019
Photos: Beardy Snaps

More than 170 drivers have taken part in the WA Sporting Car Club’s latest race meeting at Barbagallo Raceway, with the prestigious GT Tander Trophy being run and won.  

With 11 categories each enjoying three races at the Wanneroo circuit, the GT Tander Trophy were headlining with 15 drivers going head-to-head across the weekend.

Despite a lot being on the line, it was Matt Cherry who ended the event with the trophy after putting on a perfect display of three wins from three races. 
Nick Mitic ended the round in second place with two thirds and a runner-up after Michael Sciorio failed to finish the final race – handing Mitic second and Reuben Romkes the final step on the podium. In the under 2000cc class, Randle Beavis came away with the win over Geoff Duckworth and Grant Gellan.
It was a tough day at the office for Mitic as he was unable to claim top honours in his other competing category, the Hyundai Excels. Alongside co-driver Dean Hill, the duo put on a gallant display but ultimately fell just short of round winners Ryan McNess and Thomas Benford.
With the category holding three sprints and one enduro race, the drivers were able to switch for each of the sprint races and get themselves warmed up for the enduro finale. 

Mitic got the ball rolling with a win in the first race, before Wayne Milburn and Robert Landsmeer steered their #53 Excel to the next two sprint race wins. 

However when it came to the biggest race of the weekend, it was McNess and Benford who won in dramatic fashion, crossing the line just two tenths of a second ahead of Hill and Mitic. 
As Brandon Sharpe and Luke Crutchley rounded out the podium, it was a day of heartbreak for Milburn who was the victim of a race incident after leading the whole race. On the 18th lap, he was knocked off the track, sending him to the back of the field. 

Some notable results in other categories saw Virgin Australia Supercars Championship driver Nick Percat claim a clean sweep over Adam Lisle and Stuart Kostera Jnr in the Formula F1000, while CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship graduate Aaron Love took out the Radical class.

Cherry and Percat weren’t the only ones to pick up perfect scores across the weekend with Marc Watkins winning in the HQ Holdens, Michael Henderson in the Formula Classics and Ron Moller the Sports Sedans. 

In Streets Cars and Formula Ford, two wins and a runner up were enough for Andrew Stevens and Thomas Hamlett to win their respective categories, as Nicholas Hanlob and Brad Boley each secured class in their Saloon cars classes with two wins of their own. 

As some categories saw drivers comfortably seal victory, other races came down to the final race, including Hanlon and Boley’s wins, with both drivers holding onto a top three finish in the final race to eventually win outright.

The Time Challenge was also a close encounter as Craig James enjoyed a tight victory over Garry Utterson and Jim Falconer.