The Holden HQ Nationals has lived up to all expectations as the headline act during the recent CAMS South Australian Motor Race Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park.
With 60 entries taking part in the national event, it was local Joel Heinrich who came away with the victory after dominating the field across all weekend’s heats and qualifying sessions.
The category held six heats, giving a number of drivers multiple chances to cement their order in the final grid, Heinrich proved too strong for his competitors winning each of his heat.
While Heinrich was winning his races, the other dominant figure was Brett Osborn – the New South Welshman winning two of his three races with only Heinrich beating him.
When it came to the final race of the round, Osborn managed to pass Heinrich in the early stages but lost top spot to Heinrich after just two laps, while Victorian Andrew Magilton managed to work his way up from fifth to steal second from Osborn.
After taking top spot, Heinrich never looked like losing it again and Magilton was too good for Osborn on the 10th lap onwards, therefore the top three remained the same in what was a thrilling final.
“It’s fantastic to be able to get the win at my home track. I‘ve been chasing it for a few years now so it was good to show some pretty good speed over the weekend,” Heinrich said.
“There were about 60 cars involved throughout the whole weekend but I would say that there were close to 10 cars who could have won.
“It was a big meeting but I didn’t feel any pressure and I tried not worry about about anything too much apart from myself until the final.
“We didn’t think it was going to be easy but qualifying in pole really set us up for the weekend and I am just really happy to have won.”
Outside of the HQ Nationals, there were a number of other categories that were part of the weekend with multiple sharing the grid to gain valuable track time.
Usually the headline act at South Australian race meetings, the Wynn's Hyundai Excel Cup shared the spotlight, but still provided quite an entertaining show as Benjamin Grice cemented himself as the new kid on the block with five wins from five races.
With the reigning champion Michael Clemente and Asher Johnston dominating the competition in recent times, surprise packet Grice managed to comfortably surpass the pair in all races as Clemente finished the weekend in second.
Formula Ford, Formula Vee and Historic Racing cars were one of two mixed categories to share their grid, but it was Andrew Ford who came away with top honours, guiding his Lola T460 to one win and three runners-up.
The other mixed category saw 20 Improved Production and Saloon cars compete at the same time. Adam Poole was crowned champion of the round after securing four victories over Robert Braune who ended the weekend with three second places.
The final category of the weekend saw Sports Cars tear up the popular Tailem Bend circuit with a number of competitors from the Australian Prototype Series also taking part.
Just like his recent rise up the ranks in the APS, Daniel Gonzalez was too good for his category rivals, winning four of the five available races across the weekend. Coming in as a runner-up for the category was Gonzalez’s Jam Motorsport teammate Mark Laucke with the veteran picking up a consolation win in the fifth race.