Sprint Racing takes centre stage on Saturday, as the new season finally gets underway.
It feels like we’ve been waiting for an eternity, for season 2020 to begin, but the long wait is finally over, and this weekend, the 2020 MotorsportSales.com.au Queensland Production Car Championship will finally get underway, with the first of three visits to Queensland Raceway, in Willowbank.
Twenty-seven cars are lining up for this, the first of four one-day meetings, in the shortened 2020 season, which, while still spanning six rounds, will last just 113 days.
In what’s believed to be a category record, no less than TWELVE manufacturers are represented in this weekend’s field – a tremendous sign of the rapid growth this category has enjoyed, as it prepares for its fourth season of competition.
The multi-class series welcomes the introduction of a NEW class, for season 2020, with the addition of Class X.
Class X is for ultimate performance vehicles, including the BMW M4 of former series champion Karl Begg, and the BMW M3 of 2019 Bathurst 6 Hour winner Beric Lynton.
The addition of Class X is the only change to the class structure for 2020, and brings the category into line with changes made to the class structure of the annual Bathurst 6 Hour.
Joining the field this year, running the second of the Beric Lynton BMW M3 entries, will be Tristian and Dalton Ellery, the sons of former Supercar driver Steven Ellery.
While it’s expected that the Class X cars will now be fighting for outright honours, it adds a new dynamic to Classes A1 and A2, who’ve enjoyed that mantle for the last three years.
A fleet of Mitsubishi Evo’s make up Class A1, with Robert Gooley, Wade Scott and John Harris returning to the grid, as well as 2019 Track Attack Australia Excel Cup champion, Scott Green. The Scott’s Rods pilot has shifted gears for 2020, after opting to not defend his Excel Cup crown. He’s no stranger to the Production Car circuit, but this will be the first time he’s lined up for the season opener, in the short history of the MotorsportSales.com.au Queensland Production Car Championship.
Greg Symes, our favourite Inverell citizen, was scheduled to line up in his Mitsubishi Evo as well, but sadly won’t be able to join his fellow competitors this weekend, following the Queensland Government’s decision to close the border to New South Wales residents, for the second time this year, last Saturday.
That ongoing, unfolding situation, is likely to keep Symes off the grid, until the border is re-opened (again).
Class A2 will see the BMW M3 of Bradley Carr up against the Holden HSV of Daniel Clift, and the eleventh-hour entry of Colbey Cowham, in a car that the whole paddock will be keeping an eye on – the Ford Mustang GT. There’s certainly a level of interest and intrigue in seeing how that vehicle fairs, and it’s in the hands of one of the gun drivers in the category.
While there are no entries in Class B1, the B2 ranks is a three-way fight, between three dynamic drivers, in three completely different machines. 2017 Lakeside 300 winner Gerry Murphy – the outgoing QPC President – lines up in his Holden VF SSV Craig Lowndes special edition Commodore.
Joining Murph in Class B2 will be Tim McDonald in the BMW E36, and Patrick Navin, in the Nissan 370Z.
Five different manufacturers feature in Class C. Series regulars, Karlie and Paul Buccini return in their BMW 130i machines. Paul Hibberd lines up in his Mazda RX8, Paul Keefer returns in the Volkswagen, and Anthony Levitt returns, in his Renault Clio RS.
Also lining up in Class C, are two more former Track Attack Australia Excel Cup regulars, in Frank Mammarella and Tom Needham. Mammarella, a former QLD Series X3 Champion spent 2019 campaigning a Hyundai i30N in the Australian Production Car Series, and he’ll compete in that car this weekend, while Tom Needham, after making his production car racing debut last August, lines up in the Mazda 3 once more.
Be it in New South Wales or Queensland, Class D cars, while never being outright race contenders, have always been outright championship contenders.
This weekend, Lea Medhurst is behind the wheel of the trusty Toyota 86, Mark Lewis lines up in the Subaru BRZ, and former Formula Ford competitor Mitchell Maddren is on the grid, also in a Toyota 86. David Homer will steer the only Ford Fiesta in the field, just as he did in 2019.
In Class E, Damien Drew (BMW E46), Steve McHugh (Suzuki Swift) and Adam Talbert (Mazda 6) square off, in the compact class battle.
As this is the first hit-out of the season, it’s hard to know what to expect, but one thing is certain; any driver that runs into trouble here, and leaves Queensland Raceway with any form of structural or mechanical damage on their car, will be up against it, in their quest to have their car ready for the second round of the championship, which takes place at Morgan Park in Warwick, just 14 days after the opening round concludes.
The drivers have the option of completing unofficial practice from 1-4:30pm on Friday afternoon, while Saturday’s on-track action commences with Qualifying, from around 9:30am, ahead of four 10-lap races.
QPC Classes for the 2020 championship.
|Class X||Ultimate Performance|
|Class A1||Extreme Performance Forced Induction|
|Class A2||Extreme Performance Naturally Aspirated|
|Class B1||High Performance Forced Induction|
|Class B2||High Performance Naturally Aspirated|
2020 QLD Production Car Championship
|1||Saturday, August 15||QLD Raceway||QRDC||Sprint|
|2||August 29-30||Morgan Park||QLD MA Champ||Enduro|
|3||Saturday, September 26||QLD Raceway||QRDC||Sprint|
|4||Saturday, October 10||QLD Raceway||Willowbank 300||Enduro|
|5||November 21-22||Morgan Park||QLD MA Champ||Sprint|
|6||Saturday, December 5||Lakeside Park||Lakeside 300||Enduro|
The 2020 Queensland Production Car Championship is proudly presented by: MotorsportSales.com.au, MoComm Motorsport Communication, Massel Australia, B-Tuned Euro Specialist, Loc8te, Ultimate Diesel Tuning, BOSS Surveillance Systems, and Evoke Realty.