Apr 22, 2014
AS SPORTS RACER SERIES FIRES UP IN 2014, LOCAL RACER LOOKS FOR HOME TRACK ADVANTAGE
When the Australian Sports Racer Series fires up at Mallala Motorsport Park for its first round of 2014 this weekend (25-27 April), 63 year old Mark Laucke of Strathalbyn will be looking for the home track advantage.
Laucke – Managing Director of Laucke Flour Mills and driver for the Knead for Speed team – will be one of 12 racers lining up for the first round of the Series, which in 2014 joins the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals for the first time.
“I came third outright last year and with the last round at Mallala in 2013 my home track advantage there definitely helped me finish the year on a high,” said Laucke.
“Mallala is one of those tracks where a home track advantage can be extremely helpful, the track is quite difficult and not especially suited to the Sports Racers due to its layout, so knowledge and preparation can definitely find an edge over straight natural talent at this venue.
“While it might be difficult, as my home track I certainly love racing there and I can’t wait to get on track for the first round of the Australian sports Racer Series this weekend.”
Laucke’s current Sports Racer career comes after a long involvement in various motorsport categories including tarmac rallies and hill climbs.
“I have always been interested in motorsport, involved in car clubs and so on as a teenager before business commitments got in the way
“In the mid-nineties I had one of those moments after a health scare where I thought I had to get back into it as I love it so much, and a few years later I saw a sports racer on display at a Sporting Car Club of South Australia dinner I was attending.
“It was the first West imported into Australia and as soon as I looked at it I knew it was my dream car, I could already see what its strengths were.
“I started making enquiries and it wasn’t too long before I was driving my own Sports Racer, debuting in the 2006 Australian Sports Racer Series.
“I just love driving the car, it is the most ‘purpose-built’ race car I have ever driven, it is very forgiving and easy to drive, allowing tight competition even between professional racers and motorsport enthusiasts like me. They are simple, extremely responsive, superbly engineered out of the highest quality components, very safe and really, really fast. All in all, they are great fun to drive!”
Laucke is looking forward to seeing his beloved Sports Racer bracket start on the Shannons Motor Racing Nationals program in 2014.
“It takes all categories a while to get to that critical mass of racers on the race track, it takes a lot of faith and investment from everyone involved including the racers and I think with the Series joining the Shannons Nationals it is a great new step for the category,” said Laucke.
“This category is a favourite not only for the racers thanks to its bang for buck appeal, but to spectators as well – when we competed at Clipsal a few years ago I heard anecdotal evidence from a spectator survey that the Sports Racer bracket was consistently rated as most exciting by survey respondents.”
Laucke says the social aspect of the Series is a unique aspect that keeps him coming back.
“I don’t know of any other racing categories that has the social culture that we have in Sports Racer,” said Laucke.
“We all compete, but we all help each other, and that is unusual. If someone breaks something we are all in there helping to get them back on the race track so we can all go racing.
“You don’t often see that, and I think that is another real draw of this category in addition to all the perks of the car.”
2014 will be a year of change for the Australian Sports Racing Series, as it steps up to a truly National level for the first time. With spiritual links to the hugely popular sports car racing scene of the 70s and 80s, these LeMans prototype style sports cars offer scintillating performance, amazing dynamics and spectacularly close racing.
All cars are designed to maximise aerodynamic performance, weighing just 400kg, with various marques powered by high-tech production-based motorcycle engines revving to 13,500 RPM; allowing them to lap circuits at V8 Supercar times.
In 2014, the Australian Sports Racer Series will take in five rounds:
· Round One – Mallala Motorsport Park – 25-27 April 2014
· Round Two – Winton – 13-15 June 2014
· Round Three – Sydney Motorsport Park – 11-13 July 2014
· Round Four – Phillip Island – 19-21 September 2014
· Round Five – Wakefield Park – 17-19 October 2014
For more information on the Australian Sports Racer Series, go to www.sportsracer.com.au