The 2023 Shannons Insurance NTESERIES is underway.
The Shannons Insurance NTESERIES kicked off on Sunday night at Sandown International Circuit with 41 cars taking to the grid to take on the first round.
With a change in format for the 2023 season, qualifying was done in a lone session with each driver only getting three laps to set a time, this caught out a few drivers which mixed up the starting order a little.
Blake Worboys claimed pole position with a lap time of 1:06.708, with the Victorian driver picking up where he finished off after claiming the Shannons Insurance NT Endurance Series. David Coleman was next in line 0.150 seconds off the pace with a 1:06.858, he had Connor Nixon right behind him with a 1:06.884.
The top ten were only separated by 0.833 seconds, showing the class of drivers that are taking part in this years series.
It was a chaotic start to the race with David Coleman getting a better start off the line to hold out the #63 of Worboys to lead the first lap. Several drivers were caught out with a spin at turn one which ended a few drivers chances of getting a good result in the opening round.
Coleman and Worboys fought it out during the opening laps until a small mistake by Coleman allowed Worboys to make a great pass around the outside into turn 11 and made the pass to take the lead. The leaders were putting in some great lap times and within the first 10 mins of the race, Worboys and Coleman were out to a 4.2 second lead over the rest of the field.
The well know Dandenong road was catching out a lot of drivers this race with it being the scene of several racing incidents. With 25mins to go to the lead drivers were taking their compulsory pit stop for the race, Worboys pitted from the lead on lap 13, while Coleman in the #640 Holden Commodore stayed out for another lap and performed the overcut when he exited the pits in front of the #63.
Worboys kept on the back bumper of Coleman and capitalised on a small mistake to retake the lead, which was not without its own drama, as the #63 of Worboys took the lead, he made contact with the spinning #3 of Kevin Norman who was trying to turn his car back around after being tagged and spun.
With 11 mins remaining for Race one, the Safety Car was deployed, bunching the field up shrinking the three second gap that Worboys had managed to get over Coleman. With the field bunched up and only 5 mins left on the clock, it was a sprint to the end. Coleman gave it his best as he pushed Worboys right to the end, but was unable to make the pass and allowed Worboys to take the win for the opening round of the 2023 season.
Round one Top 10 were:
The next round of the Shannons Insurance NTESERIES is taking place under lights, State Side at the Daytona International Raceway on the 26th of March. This will also see the return of Jack Widdas, the defending champion as he missed the first round of the series.
You can catch all the action on the Shannons Insurance NTESERIES Facebook page or on the SimSpeed TV YouTube Channel.