Oct 14, 2015
CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON COMMENCES IN GOULBURN
A FOUR WEEK DASH to confirm seven Shannons Nationals champions will commence this week at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park Raceway.
Round 7 of the Shannons Australian Motor Racing Nationals will see the Australian Formula 3, Formula Ford and Super 6 Touring Car titles decided in a bumper weekend of racing that includes the Australian Manufacturers Championship (AMChamp) and Kerrick Sports Sedans series.
| ROUND INFO - Click to download entry lists and the full schedule.
Less than four weeks later at Sydney Motorsport Park, the final Shannons Nationals round of the season will sort the winners in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, AMChamp, Sports Sedan, Sports Racer and Kumho V8 Touring Car titles.
This weekend’s event at Wakefield Park will include a furious title battle for the Australian Formula 3 Championship as Australia’s fastest racing cars chase the outright lap record on the twisty Goulburn layout.
The benchmark – set during the series’ last visit in 2010 by New Zealand driver Ben Crighton – stands at 54.5633s but should be bested this weekend thanks to five years of development and later model cars.
However it will likely be the championship fight that steals the headlines with Sydney driver Jon Collins leading Melbournian Ricky Capo by just 19 points ahead of the title decider.
A novel four-race weekend will help decide the championship for the first time, meaning 69 points are up for grabs across the event – ensuring the title is likely to remain wide open through to the final race.
Collins has led for a majority of the season in his Mercedes Benz-powered Dallara however Capo’s consistency and speed has kept him in the mix.
A joker in the pack could be young Queensland teenager, Roland Legge, who has raced at the front in the two previous rounds of the championship and could take points away from the two duelling for the title.
The unique four-race format will see the race one grid determined by qualifying times and the race two grid set by the finishing order from race one – with the top four reversed.
While races one and two will be short, sprint affairs the two final races will be longer and more challenging.
Race three’s grid will be determined by the second fastest lap in qualifying, with the title decider set by the race three result. Bonus points will be on offer for pole position and the fastest lap in each race.
The overall winner will be awarded the City of Goulburn trophy by the region’s mayor.
Meanwhile, the Dial Before You Dig Super Six Touring Cars will also sort out their 2015 champion with the defending winner Gavin Ross in the box seat to take another title.
However double points on offer for this weekend will ensure that two other drivers will remain chances of stealing the crown all going well.
Holden Commodore driver Ross leads Falcon ace Ashley Jarvis by 169 points, while the flying Ben Grice sits 214 points from the series leader having won the last nine straight races.
360 points will be up for grabs at Wakefield Park this weekend ensuring any of the three drivers could take the title this weekend, with fourth-placed Harley Phelan (-305) and Brent Edwards, in fifth (-329), definite outsiders.
While the Saloon car fight is still open, Canberra driver Cameron Hill sits on the verge of becoming the Australian Formula Ford Champion following this weekend’s round – conveniently at his home track.
With 60 points up for grabs in the open-wheel category Hill – who has won eight of the last nine races and the last three consecutive rounds – holds a 53-point lead over nearest challenger Christian Morina.
Hill is looking to become the first ‘privateer’ operator to win the storied Australian Formula Ford title since Neil McFadyen sealed the title in 2003 and would also be the first driver from the Australian Capital Territory to win the crown.
Since then the likes of David Reynolds (2004), Tim Blanchard (2007), Nick Percat (2009), Chaz Mostert (2010) and Cameron Waters (2011) have all gone on to forge V8 supercars careers following Formula Ford title success.
And while most of the focus will be on the three categories with titles up for grabs this weekend, two other high profile championships with plenty to prove will be in action.
The production-car racers of the Australian Manufacturers Championship will do battle for two, 200km races while Australia’s fastest ‘tin tops’, the Kerrick Sports Sedan series, will bring their incredible racing to Goulburn.
The Sports Sedan field will include Jack Perkins, fresh from the Bathurst 1000 last weekend, and a title fight that has Holden Calibra driver Stephen Tamasi leading eight time (and reigning) champion Tony Ricciardello by one point – with 19-year-old reigning Formula Ford champion Tom Randle a further seven points further back.
Admission for this weekend’s racing is $15 for Saturday or $25 Sunday, payable at the gate.
For those unable to attend the event, action will be streamed live from Wakefield Park on Sunday via thenationls.com.au.