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Date : 28th June 2010 Comments : 0 Author : Octane Alley Category : Octane Alley

Beechey and Crosswell Claim 2010 CCUP Enduro

Donut King Racing Commodore Cup driver Adam Beechey and his co-driver Dean Crosswell have taken out the 2010 Commodore Cup Endurance Challenge at Winton on the weekend, finishing first and third in the two 45-minute races.

Beechey and Crosswell were both awarded the prestigious Ashley Cooper Memorial Trophy and Beechey now leads the Commodore Cup national series by 49 points with two rounds remaining, while Crosswell has become the most successful driver in Commodore Cup Endurance Challenge history (having won two of the three events and three of the six races that have taken place since 2008). Team-owner Kenton Ferguson can also claim a lot of the credit, having prepared the car for all of Crosswell's endurance victories.

The weekend started off with wet conditions for Friday practice. Beechey drove the car in the first session, Crosswell ran in the second session, and both drivers shared the car in the third session. They were third-fastest (of the cars with timing systems installed) in all three sessions.

"The car was pretty fast in the wet," Beechey reported after the sessions. The conditions for qualifying were much better than they were for the practice sessions. Each driver contested a 20-minute session, with the times added together to determine the grid positions for the opening race. Beechey drove the car in the first session, but was not happy with the handling of
the Donut King Commodore and ended the session ninth fastest.

"The car was very taily on the exit of corners," he said.

Dean Crosswell drove the car for the second session and set an almost identical lap-time to Beechey, but actually ended up third-fastest due to the times being slower overall.

"We're still not happy with the car coming off the turns," he said. The good news is that Adam and I are both very evenly matched in our lap speed, and once we make some changes, I think we'll get the car going well for theraces."  The combined times gave Beechey and Crosswell a starting position of fifth for the opening race.

Beechey started the race and made a good start to hold his position for the opening lap. Back in the pack, his main title rival, Scott Andrews, suffered a major setback when his co-driver Tim Shaw was involved in a first-corner incident with Ross McGregor.

Beechey overtook Matt Chick on Lap 4 and then held his position until Chris Stevenson crashed out of the race on Lap 8. The safety-car was deployed immediately and a large number of teams dived into the pits, but Kenton Ferguson intelligently instructed Adam to stay out on the circuit for an extra lap. The decision paid dividends when the officials decided to close
the pit-lane exit, with Beechey gaining almost a lap on those who pitted immediately.

After taking his first pit-stop for the compulsory wheel change, Beechey pitted two laps later, still under safety-car conditions, to hand the car over to Crosswell for the run home.

Crosswell rejoined the race in fourth position behind the cars of Marcus Zukanovic / Gerrard McLeod, Steven Ling / Richard Whyte and Adam Lloyd / Ryan McLeod. When the race restarted, Crosswell was able to overtake the Ling / Whyte and Zukanovic / McLeod cars, and a lap later, Ryan McLeod made a mistake, allowing Crosswell to take the lead. From there, he was never headed, and took a memorable victory.

"Our strategy worked perfectly," Beechey said after the race. "It was a gamble staying on the track for an extra lap once the safety car came out, but it paid off and this is a great result for my championship."

The team reversed their strategy for Race 2, with Dean Crosswell starting the race from pole position. He was beaten off the line by Adam Lloyd, but recaptured the position before the first lap had even been completed.

After a few laps, Dean found himself coming under pressure from the hard-charging Brett Holdsworth, but managed to keep the Holdsworth car at bay before it headed pitside for its first pit-stop.

Crosswell came into the pits the next time around, with Kenton Ferguson and the team executing a lightning tyre-change to give Crosswell a buffer over the Holdsworth car when he rejoined the race.

Crosswell stayed in the car for another few laps before handing the car over to Beechey for the final stint. Once all the pit-stops were complete, he emerged in third position behind Lee Holdsworth and Steve Owen.  "I knew at that stage that the two cars in front of me weren't a threat to our championship," Beechey said.

"I also knew that third place was good enough for us to win the round, so I concentrated on setting some solid laps
and bringing the car home in one piece."

In the final stint, Beechey was also able to hold off, and even pull away from the five-time Commodore Cup Geoff Emery, who was co-driving with Tony Bates.

 "Batesy is one of my main championship rivals, so I really wanted to stay ahead of his car. I was really happy that I was able to pull away from Emery given his success in Commodore Cup."

Adam Beechey / Dean Crosswell - Round Results Summary
Qualifying: 5th
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 3rdOverall: 1st (137 points)

Commodore Cup national series - top-10 pointscore (after 4 of 6 rounds)
1. Adam Beechey - 518
2. Scott Andrews - 469
3. Tony Bates - 449
4. Nick Parker - 434
5. Ross McGregor - 399
6. Josh Hughes - 390
7. Matt Chick - 360
8. Chris Stevenson - 320
9. Adam Lloyd - 319
10. Matt Hayes - 311