By Daniel Powell
To say that Cameron Gessner had a mixed run throughout the three rounds of the Queensland Tri-City Shootout Sprintcar Series over the Easter Long Weekend would certainly be quite a large understatement. However, despite this, the CG Motorsport driver still managed to achieve some pleasing results.
The weekend got off to a good start for Gessner when he managed to top the time sheets in qualifying during the opening round at Maryborough Speedway on Easter Friday, but it all came crashing down, literally, for him in his opening heat race. Gessner was charging his way through the field only to come together with a rival and it resulted in him crashing out in jolting fashion so much that in the process it popped out his shoulder. After some hasty work in between heat races, the CG Motorsport team made it out for their second heat race after they had repaired the QLD # 68 Metalcorp / AUS Fuel supported J&J and they were rewarded with a third place finish. Gessner had managed to bank enough points to make the Top 6 Dash and in that event he had finished in fifth. For the feature race, starting out of position five, Gessner fought hard and at the completion of the 30-lap distance finished in second place. There was an element of luck for the CG Motorsport team, after Gessner had sat in third up until leader Robbie Farr suffered a flat tyre and it elevated him up second.
For the second round, Easter Saturday at Brisbane International Speedway, the CG Motorsport team had made further repairs to their car from the previous night’s crash, but the night started off slowly after they had qualified 26th fastest in time trials. Despite winning both heat races later that night, Gessner was unable to qualify directly into the feature race and had to go through the B-main. In what Gessner best described as a driver error and also a lack of patience, he came together with another rival early on in the B-main attempting to make his way to the front of the field and it resulted in his second crash within two nights which ended was what a horror night.
After the disappointment of the second night, the CG Motorsport were at a loss trying to pin-point the dramas that were hampering their performance, but they soldiered on for the third and final round at Toowoomba’s Charlton Raceway on Easter Sunday. The night started with Gessner placing 11th in time trials which he was happy with considering that he was in the first group of the session. After a sixth and a second place in the two heat races, Gessner had qualified in seventh for the feature race. He had actually started the 30-lap event out of position six due to a driver further up being unable to make the start. In a feature race that was brought to a premature end, four laps from the chequered flag due to a crash from another competitor, Gessner sat in third place. Despite some controversy with race officials he was awarded the position. They, the race officials, were going to take it off him, after he had sustained a flat tyre due to a coming together with a lapped car at the time the race was declared. However, Gessner and his team proved that they would have been able to restart after they had plugged the tyre.
In summing up his Easter Long Weekend, Gessner, who had finished eighth in the final point standings, said that it was one filled with mixed emotions.
“Our crash on the opening night caused quite a few headaches for the whole team, as we were chasing the setup with the car all weekend, as the chassis had sustained some damage during the first crash,” he explained. “In saying that, I was pleased with our fight back from both of our crashes and to finish two out of the three nights isn’t too bad, especially considering the tough competition that we were up against.”
The CG Motorsport team is now focused on the $10,000 to Win Australian Open at Brisbane International Speedway this Saturday and Sunday night (April 30 and May 1) and team owner, Peter Green, is confident that they can bounce back.
“The good thing about Speedway is that there is always next weekend, and, yes, we had a tough run last weekend, but we learnt quite a lot about our new car and I’m confident that we can put in a good showing this coming weekend,” he enthused. “Cameron [Gessner] is always strong around Brisbane and he’ll be right up there with the best of them at the Australian Open.”
For the 2010/11 season Gessner and the CG Motorsport team are proudly supported by Metalcorp, AUS Fuel, Titan Plant Hire, TC Drainage, Centastate Civil Contractors, Direct Haul, QLD Speedway Spares, Greenies Tippers, NRW Civil & Mining, Action Drill & Blast, and Inglis Race Engines.