7 May 2020 | Featured

Wildcard upstages regulars in ARG Island double-header


Wildcard racer Cody Burcher made a strong debut in the carsales ARG eSport Cup at Phillip Island, taking the overall honours in the double header touring car and Formula 3 round.

With the round featuring a race each for the Audi RS 3 and the Dallara F3, Burcher finished second in the Audi before a dominant win in the F3 finale.

Burcher, a Formula Ford regular who recently tested a V8-powered S5000 race car at Winton, only qualified for the event through Wednesday night’s wildcard race, but made his mark once part of the main show.

While Burcher was fast, he could only manage second in the Audi Race 1, won by former Britsh Touring Car champion Ash Sutton.

That was saw a fantastic three-way, slipstreaming dice for the lead between Sutton, Burcher and New Zealander Jaden Ransley.

The dice at the front was intense, but it was a tough race for title leader Harley Haber. The V8 Touring Car driver was involved in early the incidents – one with front-row qualifier Garth Tander that resulted in a 30 second penalty, finishing with only 29th position to his name.

Sutton, who qualified sixth, was pleased with his Audi win.

“In qualifying we just didn’t quite get the lap we needed, so had to fight our way back through,” said Sutton.

“But after the melee at Turn 1 it was all good from there.”

Valvoline S5000 driver James Golding was fourth, while Ben Bargwanna fought his way from 17th on the grid all the way to a season-best fifth in the Burson Auto Parts entry.

In the F3 race, Burcher was unstoppable. He claimed pole and was untouchable throughout the second heat, quickly building a lead and never looking back. His final winning margin was a whopping 12.3s.

“That was good fun,” said Burcher.

“It’s a fun car, I love it. You’ve got to be on your game the whole time.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Formula Ford ion real life, hopefully we can get racing again soon.”

Trans-Am drivers Nic Carroll and Nathan Herne put on a brilliant battle for second, little separating the pair at any stage of the race.

Carroll managed to just hold on to second at the end, with Herne just 0.24s behind in third.

TCR Australia star Jordan Cox finished a distant fourth, with Haber making a strong comeback from another first-lap off to finish fifth.

Sutton, meanwhile, had been in touch with the leaders before an early excursion at Turn 1 dropped him down the field. He was only able to fight back as far as 15th.

The next round of the carsales ARG eSport Cup will be held at the now-defunct Oran Park Raceway. Now a thriving township in the western suburbs of Sydney, the famous grand old track will be the virtual playground for 40-plus Audi RS 3s.

Provisional points after Round 6

1 Harley Haber 337
2 Nathan Herne 318
3 Jaden Ransley 318
4 Dylan O’Keeffe 311
5 Ash Sutton 297
6 Jordan Cox 260
7 Garth Tander 232
8 James Golding 220
9 Tim Brook 215
10 Nic Carroll 214
11 Aaron Cameron 207
12 Tim Mcreynolds 203
13 Ben McMellan 189
14 Ben Bargwanna 185
15 Braydan Willmington 183
16 Thomas Randle 180
17 Aaron Seton 177
18 Brett Holdsworth 177
19 Jonathan Beikoff 175
20 Luca Giacomin 171
21 George Miedecke 162
22 Tom Alexander 151
23 John Martin 151
24 Jay Hanson 149
25 Chelsea Angelo 144
26 Ricky Capo 141
27 Tim Macrow 113
28 Barton Mawer 110
29 Declan Fraser 108
30 Michael Clemente 107
31 Nathan Morcom 99
32 Cody Burcher 96
33 Rhys Gould 95
34 Niels Langeveld 91
35 Jason Gomersall 86
36 Oscar Piastri 72
37 Cameron Mason 64
38 Trent Harrison 60
39 Mike Sinclair 58
40 Jack Milligan 45
41 Will Brown 44
42 Stan Van Oord 43
43 Matt Simmons 38
44 Rowan Shepherd 37
45 Jaxon Evans 37
46 Lachlan Mineeff 37
47 Steve Johnson 36
48 Luke King 33
49 Jett Johnson 31
50 Jeremy Gray 28
51 Tony D’Alberto 27
52 Aaron Borg 23
53 Lee Partridge 16
54 Sam Stratten 10
55 Peter Herd 10
56 Andrew Waite 7
57 Blake ‘Bilko’ Williams 4
58 Michael Caruso 4
59 Tim Dossett 3
60 Adam Garwood 2
61 Jason Bargwanna 1