SUNDAY'S circuit racing season opener at JamWest Speedway in Westmoreland saw a resounding return by Douglas Gore and his Audi TT-R DTM.
Gore and his revamped race car smashed the track record during qualifications to 1:08:396 minutes. The previous record was 1:10.767 minutes set by Peter Rae in 2012.
Rae would come close during the first race with a time of 1:08.450 minutes, but Gore would reset the record after the day's second race with a lap time of 1:06.946 minutes.
"The car was loose during our testing. During qualifying, we went the other direction with a tighter set-up and then worked our way back from there," Gore told Auto.
The final race of the day presented the most drama as the organisers opted for a staggered start. The cars were sent off individually, using the time difference between their fastest laps for the day. The crowd responded well to what should have been a chase to the end. However, Rae would crash out.
"The brakes began to bind, then all of a sudden the steering wheel came loose in my hands. I couldn't turn," Rae said.
The race went to Nigel Edwards in his VW Rabbit.
"To win the first race of this type is a great feeling," Edwards said.
ATL-sponsored Natasha Chang, despite gearbox problems, managed to win her Modified Production 1 class in races one and two. She placed second overall in the final race ahead of teammate Gore.
"I had problems shifting. It wouldn't stay in gear," she said.
While the number of drivers in attendance were fewer than expected, good use was made of JamWest's drag strip. It was used during breaks between the racing to treat fans with exhibitions runs from both motorcycles and drag racers.
The next event on the circuit racing calendar is Dover Raceway's Carnival of Speed on April 1.