The 15th season of the Heusinkveld MX-5 World Tour started on the 18th of February at Philip Island. The series had many new competitors all vying for the same prize, their class championship, this resulted in a 50 car strong grid that made racing an un-resistible form of entertainment for any spectators.

The race saw Eero Nõmm on pole by just 69 thousandths of a second to Robert Hartley, with the season 14 champion, Sonny Kanchin in third in front of Gene Fiddes. Last seasons AM champion, Gianni Quintelier started in 18th for his new team, Torque Freak Racing.

The 50 car strong grid came hurtling into turn one on the first lap of the new season


When the red lights went out it was a clean start for all, but on the exit of turn 1 and the entry of turn 2 a car got spun around in the middle pack, and got collect by three cars, two of which got taken out and were not able to resume in the race. But at the front Nõmm was still in the lead and leading the leading pack. However Kanchin lost positions and went down to 5th on the first lap, but he was in a prime position to save fuel and get a shorter stop than everyone else, something that Sonny is the best at. Just a few laps later Sonny made his move, after slowly making moves to get up to third, he went for an overtake into turn 1, getting past Nõmm and Hartley. On lap nine Hartley made a move for first on Kanchin on the main straight, making the move stick.

In the lead pack in the AM class there was some great battling, going three wide into turn one without any contact in a ten car train, all whilst Kanchin got the lead back from Hartley. At the end of the lap it was Quintelier and Dexter Castro making the move to pit in an attempt to jump the battling pack. Next time around Jason Cooper and Nick Thissen came in to pit. Then from the lead pack Robert Hartley was the first to pit, leaving Kanchin to run away whilst the leading AM driver Artem Khorolsky battled for position with Nõmm. At the end of the lap all of the drivers in the leading pack came in to see were they would come out compared to Hartley. Its was Hartley that beat everyone in the pitstops. But the main story of the pitstops was Sonny Kanchin, who after the race said,”I took four laps of extra fuel, that was crazy, it was the first time I did something like that,” gradually all of the remaining cars came into the pits with no major issues. As the laps went on Kanchin was gradually gaining on the leading pack. With seven laps to go Hartley was caught and overtaken by three of the five cars in the leading pack (including Kanchin) all on the main straight leaving Travis Schwenke, but a lap later Nõmm got past Schwenke.

It was an 11 car train in the leading AM pack


The battle in the leading AM pack was still going on with some crazy, but clean racing. Whilst Kanchin got into the lead with five laps to go. Then with three laps to go Nick Thissen got spun around at turn two in the AM pack. But in the lead pack Gene Fiddes was trying to get past Schwenke, moving into third. With Kanchin still in the lead, on the final lap Hartley got into 4th but ran wide a corner later and lost the position to Schwenke. In the fourth to last corner Fiddes got spun around whislt battling with Nomm for second. All whilst Sonny Kanchin pulled away to take the first win of the season, and his first win at Phillip Island in MWT, picking up where he left off in season 14.

The next race is at the famous Silverstone, running the full Grand Prix layout for another 19 laps of thrilling racing.

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