Pither stars in SA Excel Enduro

Tuesday 22 November, 2022
Photos: Bob Taylor
The Misch's Excel Garage Excel Enduro was run and won with Repco Supercars Championship driver Chris Pither and Brad Vereker claiming the overall win.

With a star-studded field of 35 entries entered in the two, one-hour endurance races at The Bend Motorsport Park, it was Pither and Vereker who came away with top honours thanks to a runner-up finish in race one and a win in race two.

The duo was the only entry to finish both outings on the podium as many of the top contenders either two contrasting results or just missed out on a top three finish in one.

In race one, Nsracing’s Nick Scaife and Ethan Grigg-Gault rounded out the podium behind winners Ryan Casha and Rylan Gray in the Bean Machine Racing Excel and the second placed Pither and Vereker. 

Very little separated the top three after 35 laps with just three and half seconds separating all three crews – with Pither and Vereker two seconds behind the winners. 

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Click here to view race one results. 

The biggest shock of the opening race though was the downfall of Aaron Oliver and Joel Johnson after the duo had solid qualifying sessions.

As the headline act for the race for The Bend’s SA Motorsport Series Enduro, there were two Qualifying sessions and Johnson put the #5 Excel on pole for the opening race ahead of Casha in the first session.

Oliver didn’t go fastest in the second qualifying session, however still put in a decent stint to secure a top five spot, just seven tenths of Casha, who had posted the fastest time of Qualifying overall.

When it came to the opening race, Oliver had a rocky start after being hit from behind, forcing the car back into the pits to repair the exhaust damage. Coming out five and half minutes later and last in the field, the duo could only make it up to 32nd overall.

The strong pairing then bounced back in what was a dramatic second race, moving from fifth to second behind only Pither and Vereker.

Once again, there was a small gap between the top two entries, only this time, just half a second separated Pither with Oliver at the chequered flag. 



Rounding out the race two podium a further eight seconds behind was Hugo Simpson and Ben Grice, the duo edging out Grigg-Gault and Scaife by three seconds.

Click here to view race two results. 

The Misch's Excel Garage Excel Enduro wasn’t the only race held at the event, with the support card made up of the Miniature Race Cars Series, the SA Tin Tops and Junior Development Regularity.

Like the Excels, the SA Tin Tops enjoyed an endurance race and it was Mark Haig who comfortably guided his Datsun 510 to a 40 second victory over Wayne Williams in the Ford Falcon FG Ute, while Jason Palmer rounded out the podium.

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It was a similar story in the Miniature Race Cars Series with one driver in Daniel Price dominating the field to win all four races.

Jack Boyd and Cooper Brown were the other strongest drivers with the former picking up podiums in all four races, while Brown finished in the top three in three races.
  
In the Junior Development regularities, there were two standout performers with Lachlan Rees going fastest on two of the three regularity sessions, while Jacob Lengs went fastest in the second session and overall for the day. 
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