National star claims AROCA supersprint

Tuesday 18 January, 2022
The Victorian section of Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia (AROCA) enjoyed a successful start to the year, with National Sports Sedan Series star Andrew Brown victorious in the club’s first supersprint of the year.
Taking place at the famous Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, more than 100 entrants took part in the supersprint, which saw competitors receive up to five 12-minute sessions over the course of the day. 
Proving to be in a league on his own, Brown claimed the event’s fastest lap of the day, with his rapid time of 1:39.90 remaining unbeaten. 
Despite being so dominant, Brown revealed that his important goal for the event was to get seat time in preparation for the 2022 National Sports Sedan Series, not necessarily going for the event win.  
“I guess it was nice to win, however I wasn’t there with the intention of doing that, I was there to put some mileage in our new engine and get some time in the seat,” Brown said.
“Because of COVID, we have been very restricted with the amount of racing we have been able to do, so we're taking every opportunity to get miles in the car, and with the supersprint taking place at Phillip Island, it was a great chance for another run.
“We also didn't have any major issues, which was good and so we were able to go pretty easy. The main priority was to get laps and seat time, which we did and I am really happy.
“However, the event was really well run and the officials did a fantastic job so I must say a big thank you to them and the club for putting it on.”
In outright second place, almost seven seconds off the pace was Audi TT RS driver Graham Bentley, whose 1:46.75 was enough to secure top honours in the event’s biggest class – the Associate 2000.

Bentley ended up posting his fastest time during the first session of the day, while the next best driver in Peter Caretti posted his fastest time on his final session of the day, but still fell short by one and half seconds.
Although outright first and second seemed quite a comfortable achievement for Brown and Bentley, the battle for third was far closer with Caretti edging out Ian Soklevski by just four tenths of a second.
Behind that tight fight was an even closer duel for a top five berth with only ninth hundredths the difference between Andrew Campbell and Darren Bishop – the former’s 1:49.7805 proving just good enough.
While the 40-car Associate 2000 class saw six drivers occupy the top seven spots, the eighth placed Paul Ledwith ended up winning the Mazda MX5 class, narrowly beating Ben Sale by less than a second. 
Other notable class results saw Eugene Comand and his Fiat Abarth 1.4T win the Associate 0-1999cc with a time of 1:55.49, while Justin Gioffre took out the final spot in the top and won the Standard 2000-2999cc class in the process. 
The club has a busy schedule over the next few months, with its next event being the Cliff Bills Memorial Drive on 23 January.  
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