Within hours of entries opening, the grid was fast filling up for the next round of the V8 Superlaps NSW Production Touring Car Championship, with no less than 14 cars entering in the first three hours – highlighting the incredible interest that the championship has enjoyed recently.
Slowly, the size of the field has grown, and 37 cars are entered for the MoComm Cup opener at Wakefield Park on July 2 and 3.
The size of the field has presented a problem for the series and event promoters. At 2.2km, the Wakefield Park circuit is the shortest on the calendar, and only has a track density of 36 cars, meaning the grid is already at capacity before entries have even closed.
After looking at several contingency plans, and ways to solve the issue, in a way that would allow all competitors the opportunity to race, Wakefield Park management worked with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport to come up with a winning solution – the strictness on track density has been loosened, with CAMS confirming that the grid could extend to 42 cars in the event of more than 36 entries being taken.
It’s a win-win solution – a win for a category that is enjoying record breaking numbers, and huge interest in 2016, and a win for the promoters playing host to the event, as they will have the opportunity to show just how strong state racing is in New South Wales at present.
It’s a busy time for the team at Pollicina Motorsports, with news recently that Michael Caine will pilot one of the V8’s in their stable in upcoming rounds of the Kumho V8 Touring Car series.
Zac Raddatz will make his series debut, as will Jimmy Vernon, who has featured prominently in Formula 4 and the Australian GT Trophy Series in recent times. Vernon will drive a Toyota 86 that he purchased from Triple Zero Racing’s two-time NSWPTC Champion, Chris Reeves.
Mark Caine, who teamed up with Reeves in the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, is back with us for this round of the series.
His last appearance in a championship round came in October at Sydney Motorsport Park. On that occasion, Caine was driving a CXC Global Racing Evo, and he managed to win a race throughout the weekend as well.
This weekend, Caine will drive the TLA Racing Commodore that Josh Muggleton piloted at Sydney Motorsport Park. Muggleton will jump ship, and team up with his mate Daniel Byron (in Byron’s Subaru), whose qualifying performance in Sydney exceeded everyone’s expectations – especially his own.
TLA Racing will run a second car at this round of the championship, with Kyle Austin teaming up with Duane West in the second HSV in the Trevor Mirabito stable. The entry of Austin and West will be one to watch – the drive was organised in conjunction with the Aussie Driver Search competition (run by Austin), with West the winner of the recent amateur contest, with the MoComm Cup enduro drive with Austin the prize.
You can read more about the Aussie Driver Search entry HERE.
In a race where teams have the option of running two drivers, just EIGHT cars field two drivers for the first of four one-hour races in the 2016 championship.
CXC Global Racing will again have four cars on the grid, as Dylan Thomas and Daniel Oosthuizen will look to continue the winning form they enjoyed at Sydney Motorsport Park – Jacques Oosthuizen and Jacob Andrews will complete the four-car assault for CXC Global Racing.
Mitsubishi has not been defeated in the seven championship races so far – Daniel Oosthuizen has won five of the seven races, and holds the championship leads. Greg Symes got his first win of the season on the opening day of the 2016 championship at Wakefield Park, while Dylan Thomas scored victory in the latest race at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Bathurst brothers Kyle and Blake Aubin will be back on the grid. Blake secured a class win last time out in his Holden, with Kyle steering the Renault Megane that the pair drove so well together at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
Another Bathurst driver, Brett McFarland, will have his first run in the series for 2016. McFarland previously drove his Subaru WRX with Peter Green Jnr in the Wakefield 300 and the Bathurst 6 Hour, but this will be his first outing in the NSWPTC Championship.
This round of the championship sees the return of Robert Coulthard and Steve Hodges to the grid. Hodges was recently involved in a rather nasty shunt at Phillip Island in practice for the Great Southern 4 Hour. Five weeks on, Hodges is ready to get back behind the wheel, and will team up with Coulthard, in Coulthard’s car across the weekend.
Also returning is Formula Vee racer, Matt Stubbs. Stubbs drove a BMW M3 in the opening sprint round in February, with very promising results. He’ll return to the wheel of that car this weekend with his old mate, Daniel Reynolds. The pair have previously run together in Modern Sports Cars and Australian Endurance Championship races.
It’s a big weekend of on-track activity for the NSWPTC, with practice on Friday, ahead of Qualifying sessions and a 7-Lap race for both Drivers A and B on Saturday, with the top-ten shootout to be run late Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday morning, a short 10-minute warm-up will precede the one-hour race.
That race will include compulsory pit-stops in the middle third of the race – a race that is shaping up to be an absolute cracker, with traffic navigation/management and strategy to be the talking points throughout.
Admission is $20 on Saturday and Sunday. Commentary will be provided by Lachlan Mansell and Zak Caban, and you can listen to their call on 87.8FM. If you can’t be trackside, 2MCE Sport will have a FULL REPLAY of the enduro from 11pm AEST on Monday, July 11.
|2016 V8 Superlaps NSW Production Touring Car Championship
State Points after Round 2
|2016 V8 Superlaps NSW Production Touring Car Championship
Club Points after Round 2