The classic Oran Park circuit was the venue for Round 7 of the ARG eSports Cup, and it was a round where the title contenders endured contrasting fortunes. Here’s our analysis of the drivers who impressed and disappointed.
WORDS: Lachlan Mansell
IMAGES: Australian Racing Group
Thumbs Up – Harley Haber
He may have endured a tough round at Phillip Island last week, but Harley Haber bounced back in the best possible style at Oran Park.
After qualifying on pole by a decisive margin and driving to a comprehensive, eight second win in Race 1, Haber backed up with a stellar drive from 20th to fourth in the reverse-grid race, increasing his series lead to 20 points.
Thumbs Down – Nathan Herne
Lismore driver Nathan Herne has hovered around the top of the standings for much of the season, and was just nine points shy of the championship lead heading to Oran Park, but last night’s races dealt his title hopes a cruel blow.
He qualified a lowly 22nd, was unable to make any progress in Race 1, and finished down in 32nd in Race 2.
Herne is now 66 points behind series leader Haber and has fallen from a genuine title contender to an outside chance with three rounds remaining.
Thumbs Up – Lachlan Mineeff
The Southern Highlands driver has been a notable improver across a variety of categories in recent weeks, and last night he produced one of his finest performances.
After earning his wildcard entry with a dominant victory in Wednesday’s qualifying race, Mineeff was involved in some early skirmishes in Race 1, but recovered to finish 17th which scored him a second-row starting position for the reverse-grid race.
From there, he took the lead and was never headed; while the race format no doubt aided his chances, Mineeff’s race pace was just as good as the regular front-runners. The next area he needs to work on is his qualifying performances; if he can qualify closer to the front more often, he’ll be less vulnerable to the mid-pack shenanigans.
Thumbs Down – Brett Holdsworth
The elder Holdsworth brother has had mixed results in the ARG series so far, but last night he wasted his best chance at bringing home a big haul of points.
After qualifying fifth, Holdsworth was on target for a podium finish in Race 1 until he shunted in spectacular fashion at pit lane entry. A pair of 28th-place finishes represented a missed opportunity at a venue where Holdsworth had enjoyed previous real-life racing success in Commodore Cup.
Thumbs Up – Will Brown
Will Brown has struggled for consistency in the ARG series, but he has been spending more time in the sim recently and his practice program is starting to pay dividends; last night, he notched up a pair of top-10 finishes.
ARG eSports Cup – points after Round 7 of 10
- Harley Haber – 398
- Jaden Ransley – 378
- Dylan O’Keeffe – 354
- Ash Sutton – 343
- Nathan Herne – 332
- Jordan Cox – 309
- Garth Tander – 286
- James Golding – 279
- Tim Brook – 234
- Nic Carroll – 232