Finale Weekend: Two Races and Two Titles on the Line.

Finale Weekend: Two Races and Two Titles on the Line.

13549092_10154347409829511_1434029114_oThe 2016 Production Touring Championship has reached its finale, and it’s a trip interstate to Winton Motor Raceway, for the 2016 West End Performance Winton Double Crown this weekend.

It’s the biggest weekend of the championship season, with the most on-track running the drivers have had at any event across the season, which is an appropriate way to conclude the biggest season in championship history, and at the end, we crown our Club Champion and MoComm Cup winner for 2016.

West End Performance have join the series as the naming rights sponsor for this round, and cars will carry West End Performance signage on thier windscreen across the weekend.

13313350_10154248386204511_985694363_oThe big news coming into this event, is that Anthony Soole, second in the championship and leading Class B2, will MISS the round.

Soole has sold the BMW he has driven to great success in the first six rounds of 2016, and in the process of getting a brand new BMW ready for a crack at the title in 2017.

For Daniel Oosthuizen, not having Soole on the grid makes the task at hand a tad easier. He leads Matthew Holt by 67 points in the Club Championship battle, coming into the final races of the season.

Theoretically, he should secure the 2016 Club Championship on Sunday afternoon, but if he fails to finish, Matthew Holt will be there to pounce, and could claim the treble.

13324280_10154248386629511_1785406767_oHolt has already won the CAMS State Championship, and currently leads the MoComm Cup, by just three points, from Josh Muggleton and Jimmy Vernon coming into this round.

Muggleton will miss this round, and Vernon’s points score will be compromised by the small entry numbers in Class D, leaving Jim Pollicina and Michael Caine as the biggest threat in Holt’s quest for the MoComm Cup.

Debuting a new car this weekend, Holt will team up with Mark Caine, in his quest to secure his second piece of silverware for 2016.

13570348_10154344318934511_2092165802_oFor Mark Caine, it’s a return to the Production Touring Car Championship for the first time since Round 3 in Goulburn – On that occasion, Caine was driving for the TLA Racing squad.

Since then, he’s spent a bit of time in a Toyota 86, as he prepares to team-up with Jimmy Vernon in the 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour. The pair claimed class victory in the recent 4 Hour race at Sydney Motorsport Park.

While he enjoys driving the 86, Caine is really excited about getting back behind the wheel of a V8 this weekend.

Jim Pollicina and Michael Caine will go into this weekend as the car to beat.

13570295_10154344312859511_1615729499_oThe pair will drive the only Mitsubishi Evo X in the field, and have so far scored two podium finishes in their MoComm Cup campaign – they won the round in Goulburn, before scoring second in class, third outright, at Sydney Motorsport Park, in what was a rather wet and sodden affair.

CXC Global Racing will field two entries this weekend. Dylan Thomas will drive solo in the car he and Jacob Andrews shared in the last round at Sydney Motorsport Park, and going on from their success there, Daniel and Jacques Oosthuizen will team-up once more.

12779046_666918226780699_2934437808715621697_oGerry Murphy will team up with Brett Heeley in Heeley’s Holden, that is making just its third appearance in a championship round this season.

Elsewhere, Jonathon Fishburn returns to the series. He too has changed machinery for this round – now running a Class B2 Holden V8.

Class D sees the usual suspects in their ’86 Club’, Messrs Reeves, Vernon, Heath and Bailey.

In total, 22 cars will take to the circuit for practice tomorrow morning, which leads into a 30-minute Qualifying session, ahead of two 6-lap races and the first of two one-hour races tomorrow afternoon.

12779247_667519483387240_8065189615936703191_oOn Sunday, the process will be repeated, with the exception of the morning practice session. Qualifying will be contested for 30-minutes, with the two sprint races and the final enduro of season 2016 to follow.

Compulsory pit-stops will again feature in both one-hour races, but there will be no tyre changes taking place, in a change to the rules for this event only.

There have been 19 races throughout season 2016 to this point, all of which have been won by Mitsubishi Evo entries, and with only six to go, no one can better the dominance of CXC Global Racing, who’ve won 14 races so far in 2016, to Pollicina Motorsport’s 4, while Greg Symes’ victory at Wakefield Park way back in Race 2 of Round 1 remains the only race win by a non-factory team/driver in this championship.

13555862_10154347373209511_518288985_oThis weekend, the Production Touring Car Championship will welcome members of the Soldier On Family once more, who will be integrated into the paddock, assisting the teams, drivers, technical team and media with everything they do, and we welcome them aboard again, after a successful weekend in Sydney ten weeks ago.

Entry to Winton Motor Raceway is FREE right across the weekend. Our Zak Caban will be calling all the action trackside, and you can listen to the commentary on 87.6FM, and if you can’t be trackside, make sure you catch the full replay on 2MCE Sport next Wednesday and Thursday from 10pm-12am AEDST.

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