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Aug 8, 2012

ROUND PREVIEW - QUEENSLAND RACEWAY

ROUND SIX of the Shannons Nationals presented by Hi-Tec Oils marks a return to Ipswich and Queensland Raceway for the first time in five years.

It also marks a blockbuster event that has everything for racing fans – from endurance events to sprints, night racing and a full eight action-packed race categories across three days.

The Shannons Nationals have visited Morgan Park, near Warwick, for the past three seasons however a return to Queensland Raceway has been met with a strong reaction from categories and competitors keen to get laps on the recently-resurfaced circuit.

The eight categories at one event is (equal to) a record for a Shannons Nationals round.

An undoubted highlight of the weekend will be the inclusion of night racing, the first of two, 200-km Australian Manufacturers Championship endurance races to commence at 18:30pm on Saturday evening and run well into the night.

Portable lighting will be brought into the circuit to help ‘light the night’ for the battle of production cars.

Lap records should be set aplenty, too – all eight categories on the program visiting the circuit for the first time since its new tarmac was laid down. In particular, the thundering Kerrick Sports Sedans will be ones to watch – they’ve set lap records at two of their three rounds contested to date this year.

The Kumho V8 Touring Car series makes it’s QR debut, offering local fans a chance for double the V8 action in the space of two weeks. The 17-car grid is headed by young star Josh Hunter and Holden driver Jim Pollicina – but watch for others including Justin & Nathan Garioch (from Mackay, QLD) and Bobby Jane to feature strongly. 

Adding to the excitement will be the Queensland Raceway debut of the Radical Australia Cup, plus a strong field of cars from the Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge Series making their QR debut.

The Hi-Tec Oils Swift Racing Series, Dial Before You Dig Saloon Cars add to the mix of cars this weekend.

There’s karts, too – the final round of the Australian Superkart Championship set to provide thrilling racing with a big field and incredible racing assured from these very brave drivers, sitting just a few centimetres from the bitumen and lapping as fast as the V8’s – if not quicker!

ROUND BREAKDOWN:

Round Number:
6 of 9. 52nd Shannons Nationals Round.
Location: Queensland Raceway, Ipswich (Third Shannons Nationals Round at this venue).  
Circuit Length: 3.1km (full circuit).  
Categories: 8 Entrants: 160+ (Anticipated)
Races: 24 races across two days.

Round 4, Kumho Tyres Australian V8 Touring Car Series
2x 12 Lap races, 1x 18 lap race

In Round 4 of the Kumho V8 Touring Cars, an evolving championship fight between Holden’s Jim Pollicina (ex-Jason Richards / Tasman Motorsport VZ Commodore) and young-gun, 17 year old Josh Hunter (in an Ex-FPR Falcon) will continue to be battled out in the series first visit to QR.

A field of 17 V8’s are set to race, one week after the ‘main game’ and development series fields will do battle at the same track – giving Queensland fans two weeks of V8 action!

Mackay’s Justin and Nathan Garioch will be keen for a strong home-track result after both posted promising performances at the most recent round, at Winton. Justin will step into the ex-Jason Richards, Team Dynamik VZ Commodore for the first time this weekend, set to race the car in its original livery.

Bobby Jane, the youngest son of Touring Car legend Bob Jane, will make his QR debut in his Falcon having continued his impressive learning curve this season, posting a series of strong performances.

Round 4 – Kerrick Sports Sedan National Series
3x 12 Lap Races

THE Four champions that make up the front of this years’ Kerrick Sports Sedan series field – Tony Ricciardello, Darren Hossack, Kerry Bailey and Des Wall, all had their time at the front of the field at the series’ most recent round in Sydney.

Bailey’s stunning Aston Martin DBR9 leads the championship but lap record pace from Ricciardello’s iconic Alfa and Hossack’s ever-present Audi in Sydney showed that they weren’t going to give up without a fight, and the fact the series hasn’t visited QR in several years should further level the playing field amongst Australia’s quickest tin-tops.

Five-time champion Baily, on home turf, will be looking to extend his title lead with just two rounds remaining.

Queenslanders are also expected to feature strongly in the overall results at QR, with Jeff Barnes (Pontiac), Anthony Cox (SAAB), Chris Donnelly (Ford Falcon), Mark Bowen (Commodore) and Shane Bradford (Camaro) joining Baily and returning Phil Crompton – in his stunning new Trans AM Mustang – as the local contingent.

Round 5, 2012 Porsche Staff Solutions International GT3 Cup Challenge Australia Series
1x 40 Lap race, 2x 20-minute races

KANE ROSE has a vice-like grip at the top of the all-Porsche series, but his challengers are mounting heading into the series’ penultimate round, at Queensland Raceway.

Jeff Bobik is piecing together consistent race and round results this season and looks Roses’ closest challenger, but you can never count out the experience of John Goodacre or Jon Trende – who have also been speedy this season.

However it is the input of series newcomers who have really shaped this year’s ‘chase for Kane’. Brent Odgers, Michael Almond and Frasier Ross, in particular, have led the charge of the rookie brigade with all three posting impressive performances throughout the season.

QR will host the final of the three-round ‘Jim Richards Endurance Trophy’ series, with a near one-hour mini-enduro to be held in the Queensland twilight on Saturday afternoon, prior to a further two sprint races on Sunday.

Round 5, Radical Australia Cup
2x 10 Lap races, 1x50 Minute race.

NEALE MUSTON has dominated three of the four Radical Australia Cup rounds held so far this year – and he missed the other. The Sydneysider hasn’t travelled outside of New South Wales this season, but his wins one home turf has encouraged him to make the trek north to Queensland Raceway now he has a realistic shot at the title.

Muston sits just five points behind title leader Glyn Edis after four rounds, with Tony Palmer a further three points behind in what is looking like a fiercely competitive title battle.

The QR event marks the first time that the one-make Radical Australia Cup will have raced at QR, a track which should suit their lightweight, high-downforce sports racers.

Round 5, Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series
3x 9 Lap Races

REIGNING Champion Allan Jarvis was unseated from the lead of the Hi-Tec Oils Australian Swift Racing Series at Sydney Motorsport Park, series newcomer Reece Murphy jumping to lead by six points after the series’ fourth round.

Sydney provided the best look yet at the competitive one-make Suzuki series, the second race in Sydney featuring five different leaders and eight changes for the lead across just eight laps of racing – and QR should be even better. A larger, more competitive grid is set for round five, in the series home state, with the likes of Brooke Leech, Dale Corbett, Brett Stewart and the debut of Bronte Michael set to only add to the competition and the series’ largest field yet.

Round 4, Dial Before You Dig Australian Saloon Car Series
3x 10 Lap Races.

A COMMITMENT to contest the full Dial before You Dig Australian Saloon Car series from Victorian champion Simon Tabinor has resulted in a cracking title-fight as the series reaches its half way mark.

Tabinor trails reigning champion Matt Lovell (AU Falcon) by just seven points going into the series’ return to Queensland Raceway, the Holden-versus-Ford battle never more competitive however all that could change in Queensland with business commitments from Lovell keeping him away from the round.

Perhaps the biggest star of the year, however, is series’ newcomer Josh Keene – who burst onto the scene earlier this year and ended up taking a round win at Winton in June. Notably, series’ regular Geoff Brown misses his first national round since 2002 – taking time away to undergo a hip replacement.

Australian Superkarts
3x 8 Lap Races, 1x12 Lap Race.

DOING DOUBLE duty in his Audi Sports Sedan and an Anderson Superkart, Darren Hossack leads the Australian Superkart Championship heading into their final round at Queensland Raceway.

Hossack won round one at Phillip Island but a competitive field will be trying to unseat his 18-point championship lead at QR. Young Queenslander Russell Jamieson was close to beating Hossack at the Island and should be strong on home turf, whilst Gary Pegoraro and defending champion Warren McIlveen are always frontrunners in the exciting class.