After a difficult weekend over Easter at Mount Panorama, the NSW Production Touring Car side of the CXC Global Racing stable has regrouped, and is ready for action at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.
CXC will field four entries, in what is the biggest field the series has ever seen for a sprint round.
Dylan Thomas will lead the CXC charge, which also consists of Jacob Andrews, as well as Daniel and Jacques Oosthuizen.
Daniel Oosthuizen leads the NSWPTC Club Championship after a dominant display in the opening round at Wakefield Park, where he won three of the four races, and finished second in the one he lost to Greg Symes.
Oosthuizen stole two round victories from his boss in 2015 – winning both the trophies races in Round 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park, and Round 3 at Wakefield Park, but mechanical dramas in the final round of the season cost him a crack at the championship, which was won by the 2014 champion, Chris Reeves.
Oosthuizen joined brother Jack for the recent Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour at Mount Panorama. Sadly, the day didn’t go to plan for the duo, with an engine drama on Saturday afternoon in Qualifying, and further mechanical issues forcing them out of the race very early on.
Chris Reeves and Dylan Thomas opted to sit out the opening round of the season, as they continued preparation for the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour. That move has given Daniel Oosthuizen a handy buffer in the club points standings – a buffer that may be difficult to erase across the remaining 13 races in 2016, but it won’t stop Reeves or Thomas trying. The catch-up quest begins this weekend.
While Oosthuizen enjoys that lead in the Club points standings, this round marks the start of the State Championship, which means it’s an even playing field in that points score, and Oosthuizen will go into the round knowing that he’ll face stiff competition from Reeves and Thomas in the fight to be crowned State Champion in 2016.
Jacob Andrews will be hoping for better luck on this trip to Sydney Motorsport Park than what he had last September. Things were going smoothly for the #83 entry, until a wheel parted company with the Mitsubishi Evo, forcing him into early retirement.
This will be his first race since the 2015 Winton 300 – a race where he teamed up with Dylan Thomas, but unfortunately failed to make it to the chequered flag.
You’ll do well to find a busier man in the Sydney Motorsport Park paddock than Dylan Thomas. The main man at CXC Global Racing spearheads campaigns in both NSWPTC and New South Wales Formula Vee, and since the recent Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, he’s also had a run in Carrera Cup, too.
Recent ventures to Sydney Motorsport Park have been rather successful for Thomas – podium finishes in Formula Vee, as well as the Carrera Cup Pro-Am, and most notably, victory in the Australian Manufacturer’s Championship finale in November, but the finale of last year’s Production Touring Car Championship wasn’t so successful.
Mechanical dramas in the opening race saw Thomas start from the back of the field for Race 2. He would charge through to finish on the podium, before going on to win the final race of the season, but it was the retirement, and subsequent zero points score that cost him the 2015 championship.
Thomas will be looking to go one better in 2016.
It’s Round 3 of the Formula Vee state series, which is currently being led by Ryan Reynolds from Thomas, and that’s exactly the way they finished the last time they were here at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Reynolds missed the recent club round at Wakefield Park, where Thomas and Daniel Stein engaged in a weekend long battle that was won by Stein, but Thomas walked away with the Club Championship lead.
CXC will field five entries in this weekend’s Formula Vee field, with four coming from the Team Stinger side of the garage, as well as the CXC Global entry of Thomas.
Stephen Butcher will lead Team Stinger’s assault on this round. Andrew and Sage Murdoch will both be in the field, as will Michael Cooke. While Butcher is a seasoned Formula Vee veteran, the above mentioned drivers are still finding their feet in the category, and it will be interesting to monitor their progress across the weekend.
It’s a three-race weekend for both categories. Qualifying commences at 9am AEST on Saturday morning for Production Touring. The Formula Vee session is third on the schedule.
Racing will commence at 12:30pm on Saturday, and continue from 8:30am on Sunday.