Targa Racing Heads to Goulburn in Big Numbers.

Targa Racing Heads to Goulburn in Big Numbers.

IMGP6127With the opening round of the Australian Endurance Championships comes the start of the new racing season for Targa Racing.

The operation, headed up by Chris Gough and Zane Al-Said, is Goulburn bound this weekend, and very well represented on the grid in the annual Valvoline Wakefield 300.

In recent years, the field has been split into two races, but for the first time since 2013, the 300 will be a one race affair, with a field of 50 taking the green flag at 12:30pm on Sunday afternoon, and that will make life busier than usual in pit lane for the Targa crew, who have had presence in both the outright and B-main races held at Wakefield Park in the last two years, winning the B-Main in 2014, with Adam Dodd and Terry Nightingale taking a Mazda MX5 to victory lane.

W300-1Four cars will line up from the Targa stable, including 2014 Modern Sports Car Champions, David and Rob Viner, and 2014 Australian Endurance Championship winners, Justin Ruggier and Mark Mackay.

Adam Dodd and Tony Bonanno were due to team up again, after winning their division in last year’s Wakefield 300.

Sadly, Bonanno is an eleventh hour withdrawal, after sustaining a foot injury in transit to Goulburn, which left Targa Racing on the search for a replacement driver. Thankfully, Targa’s own Brian Anderson answered the call, and he will team up with Dodd for the 2016 race.

They’ll race in one of Targa’s mighty VW Scirocco’s, and that’s a new car for both drivers. Anderson raced his BMW E46 M3 in the 2015 race, while Dodd was with Bonanno in a Turbo Diesel V6 Mazda.

Chris Gough won the opening Modern Sports Car race here in November, and this weekend Justin Ruggier and Mark Mackay will be hoping for the same sort of success, when they race the BMW Z3 that Gough raced to victory on that occasion.

IMGP0514The 2014 Australian Endurance Champions are back in a car that should be in the running for outright honours on Sunday. It was a difficult title defence for the pair in the Mazda MX5 last year, so they’ll be looking for redemption in 2016.

Another combination keen for redemption is the Father and Son team of David and Rob Viner. They’ll run their trusty Mazda MX5 that has brought them so much success in the past, except last year, when an engine failure ended their race while they were leading the way in the B-Main.

The 2014 Modern Sports Cars series champions have enjoyed great success in endurance races in the past, and will be looking for a clean, trouble free run on Sunday.

The final car running out of the Targa garage this weekend will be the Mazda MX5 of Paul Shacklady and Anthony Carter, who most recently teamed up for a fifth place finish in the Winton 300 B-Main of 2015.

As mentioned earlier, Event organisers have reverted back to the one race format for the 300, after running two races in 2014 and 2015, and that’s a move that will affect the overall finishing position of Carter and Shacklady, among others, as all seven division will be on the same grid for the first time since 2013.

The Australian Endurance Championship reverts to a two-event series for 2016, with the Winton 300 playing host to the finale on November 13.

Wakefield 300 Honour Roll
2008 Nathan Jess/Chris Clearihan Future Racer
2009 Nathan Jess/Jeff Davy Future Racer
2010 David Raddatz/Shane Otten Mazda MX5
2011 Stephen Anslow/Ric Shaw Mazda RX7
2012 Jake Shelley/Michael Shaw Mitsubishi Evo VIII
2013 Jake Shelley/Michael Shaw Mitsubishi Evo IX
2014 Andrew Macpherson/Brad Shiels Lotus Exige
2015 Steve Shelley/Jake Shelley Lotus Elise HPE

 

2016 Valvoline Wakefield 300
Laps 137 or 4:30pm AEDST + 1 Lap
Circuit Distance 2.2km
Direction Clockwise
Race Distance 301.4km

 

2016 Valvoline Wakefield 300 | On-Track Schedule
Saturday February 20
9:55am Practice 1 – Odd Numbers 30 Minutes
10:30am Practice 1 – Even Numbers 30 Minutes
12:30pm Practice 2 – Odd Numbers 30 Minutes
1:05pm Practice 2 – Even Numbers 30 Minutes
2:20pm Qualifying – Bottom 50% 20 Minutes
2:45pm Qualifying – Top 50% 20 Minutes
3:55pm Supashock Top Ten Shootout 1 Lap
Sunday February 21
9:30am Warm-Up 30 Minutes
12:30pm 2016 Valvoline Wakefield 300 137 Laps

 

Sunday’s action will be LIVE STREAMED from 9:30am AEDST, HERE.

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