Production Touring – Coming to Queensland in 2017.

Production Touring – Coming to Queensland in 2017.

1S0A2878It’s been a tried and true formula in New South Wales for many seasons now, and in 2017, Queensland will launch its very own version of the Production Touring Car Championship.

The launch of a Queensland series has been spear-headed by Gerry Murphy.

Murphy, who now resides in Queensland, is the former president of the NSWPTC committee. In his five years overseeing the operation of that series, it’s grown from strength-to-strength, with season 2016 bringing record numbers to grids at Wakefield Park and Sydney Motorsport Park.

That growth, success and interest led Murphy to believe that this formula would work in the Queensland Motorsport landscape, and it wasn’t too long before he was talking to John Tetley, and the ball was rolling for a series launch in 2017.

gm5The premise of the Queensland series will be the same as its New South Wales counterpart – to give competitors a cost effective, sustainable category race in, where the track time is very good value for dollar.

Queensland Raceways will host all three rounds in the inaugural season, with the iconic Lakeside Raceway playing host to the opening two rounds, in April and June, before Queensland Raceway plays host to a two-race third and final round, at the Ipswich Classic, in October.

The NSW series boasts three different championships, across CAMS and AASA sanctioned events, with a good mix of sprint and endurance racing, but the first season of the Queensland series will be for the endurance experts, with all four races to be 1-hour in length.

1s0a8145The endurance format has proven to be very popular, with drivers enjoying the longer races for that extended time behind the wheel, that you don’t get in other categories.

The one-hour races also give the competitors options in relation to strategy, or whether to run the race solo, or bring in a co-driver.

The same choices await those who’ll line up for the inaugural QLDPTC season.

All races will, like the NSW Championship, include a compulsory pit-stop in the second third of the race.

The Queensland series commences on April 1 at Lakeside, and the final two events of the season will count towards the NSW Championship as well, with the races counting towards the Club points and the MoComm Endurance Cup.

13588884_10154347373159511_896727567_oRound 2 will be contested at Lakeside, again, this time on the 3rd and 4th of June, before a four-month wait for the double-header at Queensland Raceway, including a Saturday NIGHT affair, on October 28 and 29.

There’s already plenty of interest in the series, with Queensland drivers embracing the opportunity to race in a new category, and that interest has slowly increased as we edge closer to the series launch on the first Saturday in April.

13575550_10154347406024511_787484607_oWhat makes this series so appealing, is the wide variety of cars makes and models we see on the grid. In the New South Wales series alone in 2016, there were no less than eight different manufacturers across the eight classes – everything from Renault to Subaru, Holden to Toyota, Mitsubishi to Honda, and Mazda to BMW, with Josh Muggleton set to run a Volkswagen in 2017 – taking the count to nine.

The other major appeal to competitors, is that this is CLASS racing. While the race to the chequered flag is predominantly won by those aboard a Class A1 entry, any class can win the outright championship – you just need two key components, class numbers and consistent results.

Last year’s State Championship went down to the wire, with three cars from three different class separated by just 6 points going into the final round at Sydney Motorsport Park. We saw a Holden Commodore (Matthew Holt – Class A2) going head-to-head with a Holden Astra (Blake Aubin – Class C) and a Toyota 86 (Chris Reeves – Class D) for the title.

13555862_10154347373209511_518288985_oWhile Holt may have won the title, outright success for the bigger cars isn’t common. In 2014 and 2015, mid-field runner, Chris Reeves claimed the championship at the final hurdle, taking the Class D Toyota 86 to victory lane, and while the defending two-time champion couldn’t complete the hat-trick, he still finished in the outright top three, reminding everybody that the car (and driver) remains a threat in 2017.

The reason the likes of Reeves and Aubin were in championship contention was, not only consistency, but also, class numbers – the points structure rewards classes with higher numbers of entries, something which did affect Blake Aubin, in Class C, during the final round at Sydney Motorsport Park.

13324270_10154248728654511_128080570_oIf your class is eligible for maximum points, and you can score consistent results across the weekend, you’re going to find yourself in a good outright position at the end of the round. The trick is stringing those results together across every round of the season, because one retirement will certainly cripple your chances of outright supremacy, and will hamper your ambitions of a Class Championship victory as well, for you get zero points for a retirement in this series.

There are 8 classes – A1, A2, B1, B2, C, D, E and S, with A2, D and A1 proving to be the most popular in recent times.

From the Evo’s of Class A1,to the ever growing field of Toyota 86’s in Class D and the famous Australian Commodores in Class B2, there’s something for everyone.

13313390_10154248385999511_1102508628_oThe move into Queensland has triggered interest from those south of the Tweed as well, with many keen to contest both the New South Wales and Queensland championship – however, the 2017 NSW Championship commences on the same weekend as the Queensland series, and that means the first round of the all new QLDPTC will be strictly a Queensland affair.

Following such positive feedback to the announcement that the second round at Lakeside (June 2-4) would count towards both championships, the NSW committee furthered their presence in Queensland for 2017,  by announcing that the final Queensland round at ‘The Paperclip’ would be added to the New South Wales schedule, as the final round of the year.

13324280_10154248386629511_1785406767_oQueensland’s Series President, Gerry Murphy, has wasted no time in establishing a committee to get the series off the ground in the Sunshine State, with the intention of seeing it grow, build and expand in the way the NSW series has done in recent times.

Karl Begg and Mike O’Dea were the first two committee members to join the series, with Mike O’Dea to take on the role of technical director.

This series will grow further, on and off the circuit, before we get to Lakeside on April 1 – we can hardly wait to see Production Touring launch in Queensland, adding to the already vast Queensland motorsport landscape.

For more information: www.productiontouringcars.com.au | ‘LIKE’ Production Touring Cars on Facebook, or join the QLD Production Touring Cars group page.13287867_10154248732669511_1608182158_o

(Some of the) Eligible Cars
Mitsubishi Evo
Toyota 86, Camry
BMW 130i, E92 M3, E46 M3, 335i
Holden HSV GTS, Commodore, Astra
Subaru WRX
Mazda 3, Astina
Honda Integra
Renault Megane
Suzuki Swift
Hyundai Getz
Volkswagen Golf
Nissan Pulsar
Saloon Cars

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Breakdown of Production Touring Classes
Class A1 Extreme Performance Forced Induction Cars
Class A2 Extreme Performance Naturally Aspirated Cars
Class B1 High Performance Forced Induction Cars
Class B2 High Performance Naturally Aspirated Cars
Class C Performance Cars
Class D Four-Cylinder Production Cars
Class E Compact Cars
Class S Saloon Cars

 

2017 QLDPTC Championship Calendar
April 1 1 Hour Enduro Lakeside Park
June 3-4 1 Hour Enduro Lakeside Park
October 28-29 2 x 1 Hour Enduro’s Queensland Raceway

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