After a very busy pre-season of preparation and testing, Round One of the WA F1000 Championship kicked off on March 18. There were some fresh faces, some returning drivers and some grey skies all looming on the track for qualifying. It was the two Arise Racing rookie drivers that stood out though in what was to be a wet session.
New recruit Sam Dicker took pole position and right behind him was Arise Racing rookie Aaron Love. Sitting in 4th was defending champion Alex Barboutis who was only 1 tenth in front of Adam Lisle. Chris Ratty and Mike Folwell took a little time to adapt to the conditions sitting in 8th and 9th respectively.
Race one was run on a dry but slippery circuit and saw an epic battle starting to form between our defending champion Alex Barboutis and our new recruit, WA Formula Ford champion, Sam Dicker. After a tight battle, race one went in Sam’s favour, ahead of Alex. Chris Ratty came to life and moved up to 5th, just in front of Adam Lisle and Mike Folwell sitting 6th and 7th respectively. Unfortunately contact from another car ended Aaron’s race early.
Race two was marred by a little incident involving Chris Ratty and another competitor, causing a DNF in turn one. Unfortunately, Aaron had no room and was also involved.
This did not stop the Dicker and Barboutis battle getting underway. After many passes, race two went the way of Alex bringing it to 1-1 for the two young guys. Adam had a strong race moving up to 3rd and Mike also moved forward finishing 6th.
Race three was held in the twilight conditions but it certainly was set to shine with the battle for the lead. Sam and Alex again went toe to toe. This time though Alex held the lead and although shadowed by Sam every inch of the way, Alex took line honours and round honours from a fast finishing Sam. Adam Lisle again chased the two youngsters home for 3rd place. Aaron had a good recovery finishing 5th after a rear of field start and Mike came home in 6th place.
Everyone was excited to get the season underway and are already looking forward to round 2 on the 22nd/23rd of April.