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Oliver opens OSCA season with round win


Tony Oliver has taken the early lead in the North Island PRINTSTOP OSCA Championship.

Untitled Document Tony Oliver has taken the early lead in the North Island PRINTSTOP OSCA Championship. Tony powered his Subaru WRX to two wins and a 3rd place in the opening round held at Taupo on Labour Weekend. Brett Stratton is second in his Sierra Cosworth RS500 with Geoffrey Nicholson and Paul Wieser tied for 3rd place.

The PRINTSTOP OSCA series continues to grow in popularity with 32 cars entered for the first round. Unfortunately pre-race testing issues meant that only 24 cars completed qualifying. Last year's championship runner-up Cameron Jones was rewarded for the work he had done in the off season with a Pole Position. Jones qualified his Turbo RX7 0.135 seconds ahead of Oliver's WRX. Nick Chester's Mitsubishi EVO 2 was a further 0.579 seconds back followed by Mike Thompson, Nissan Skyline, Tony Stewart RX7 Turbo and Graham Barnes' V8 Capri.

In Race 1 Bill Russell got an amazing start in his Turbo RX7 coming from 13th on the grid to be 5th in to the first turn behind Oliver, Jones, Thompson and Barnes. Cameron Jones' weekend ended on the first lap as he tried to pass Oliver down the long straight. He pulled is RX7 to the side of the track with what was later diagnosed as a broken crankshaft. This allowed Oliver to take the victory unchallenged. Behind Oliver, Tony Stewart picked off Russell, Barnes and Thompson to move his 20B Turbo RX7 to second place. Stewart, who was suffering from oil pressure problems, was unable to fend off a fast charging Mark Burgess who came from 9th on the grid to take second place on the 5th lap. Barnes was fourth followed by Stratton and Gray. Thompson slowed with engine problems to come 6th with Russell finishing 17th after a spin.

Race 2 on Sunday morning was a reverse grid which served up plenty of action as the faster cars moved through the big field. Mark Burgess broke the Diff in he RX7 Turbo on the warm up lap and did not make the start. Chris Coleman's race ended on lap 2 in a huge cloud of smoke when his Turbo failed in his Mazda Rotary powered Mini. Graham Barnes' new more powerful V8 engine proved to be too much for his gearbox which failed also on lap 2. The race was Red Flagged on lap 5 when Grant Hohaia's Toyota crashed in to a spinning Jeff Cooley in his Chev Nova. The finishing positions were taken as at the end of lap 4 with another win going to Oliver followed by Stratton, Kevin Hyde, Nicholson and Stewart.

The final race of the weekend was a handicap which was won by Paul Wieser in his TVR V8 with Gray second, Oliver third and Jon Telford 4th in his Toyota V8 powered Mitsubishi GTO. Bill Russell crashed heavily while in the lead when his accelerator jammed open. His accident caused one flag post to show a red flag by mistake. This delayed the progress of some of the faster cars who slowed as a result.

The South Island PRINTSTOP OSCA Super Saloon series has its first round at Levels Raceway, Timaru on 29th October.

North Island points after Round 1

1 Tony Oliver 111

2 Brett Stratton 97

3 Geoffrey Nicholson 94

3= Peter Wieser 94

5 Tony Stewart 91

6 Brian Gray 89

7 Jon Telford 86

8 Ashley Anderson 84

9 Kevin Hyde 80

10 Brett Harris 79

11 Mark Allan 76

12 Leicester Banfeild 66

13 Mark Burgess 64

14 Grant Hohaia 52

15 Bill Russell 50

16 Jeff Cooley 50

17 Neil Deighton 47

18 Brian Hillar 41

19 Graham Barnes 40

20 Mike Thompson 37

21 Chris Coleman 23

22 Cameron Jones 15

23 Nick Chester 15

24 Paul Smith 15

25 Rob Rathbone 15

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