Erebus Academy drivers Jobe Stewart, Bailey Sweeney and Harry Gray have seen mixed results across their weekend in Townsville, resulting in a number of changes to their Championship standings.
The street circuit saw plenty of carnage amongst the Toyota 86 field with all three races cut short due to Safety Cars, ultimately producing minimal race laps for the category.
Gray enjoyed the biggest points haul out of the three Academy drivers across the weekend, securing P13 in the first two races, followed by P8 in the final race.
“I really enjoy street circuits but they’re very unforgiving, you make one little mistake and you find the concrete wall which is exactly what happened in opening practice,” Gray said.
“The boys worked really hard across the weekend and we got better and better as time went on.
“I had expectations coming into the weekend to be sitting around that top five mark, especially considering we’re there in the championship but with only 14 green laps across race one to three, it’s hard to work your way up the field.”
For Stewart, his Townsville debut started off strong with a third place qualifying position, however it quickly unravelled as a clutch issue in race two resulted in his first DNF of the series.
“It was a disappointing weekend but although it was tough, I learnt a fair bit and being at the back of the pack in that last race helped with racing knowledge,” Stewart said.
“It was my first street circuit ever and it’s a super fun track. I loved the curbs and how close the walls are to the track and with it being such a short track so you get more laps compared to somewhere like Bathurst.
“Even with my DNF I still have a shot at top 3 in the championship which is still good, I would have liked to be higher but I definitely learnt a lot this weekend.”
Similarly, Sweeney began his weekend strong with top five finishes in both practice sessions but unfortunately was caught up in a multi-car pile up that saw him also record a DNF in race 1.
“It was definitely an average weekend. The car was really fast, we had pace but I didn’t put it together in some spots and we were also just unlucky to be in some crashes,” Sweeney said.
“Practice was definitely my highlight of the weekend, that’s where I saw my best results and we were only a tenth of the fastest drivers which proved to us that we had the pace.
“The track is a bit of a bull ring, it’s a tight pack and the walls are very close but it’s good fun battling around here.”
Following the event, Gray has now progressed to fourth in the Toyota 86 Championship standings while Stewart and Sweeney sit fifth and sixth respectively.
The Erebus Academy trio will be back on track for the Sandown SuperSprint next month, August 19 – 21.