The last time the Australian Production Cars Series (APC) met at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2017, Bob Pearson continued his brilliant form to win all four races and the round.
Fast-forward 12 months, Pearson and the APC are in a totally different situation.
Pearson and co-driver Rick Bates failed to finish in both races at this month’s last round at Winton, ending any hope of a late charge towards the championship.
As for the series itself, Beric Lynton sits on top of the standings after winning the opening rounds, co-driver Tim Leahey joining him in the previous two rounds.
The Bridgestone Select Southport duo were unable to replicate their form during the opening two rounds at Winton, limping to an outright ninth place finish.
Winton saw Grant Denyer and Tony D’Alberto claim their first round win for the season, while Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson secured second place which moved both teams comfortably inside the top ten.
Neither of the three teams competed in last year’s corresponding round at Sydney Motorsport Park, which will be a bonus for the Sherrins who sit second in the outright series standings.
Finishing Winton with 132 points each, Grant and Iain Sherrin traded places with Kyle Alford in each race to place third and fourth respectively, but it was the latter that rounded out the podium at the end of the weekend.
Alford’s result will give him a lot of confidence going into the next round, with the Lotus pilot hoping to make amends for a disappointing end to last year’s Sydney appearance, in which he secured only one point over the weekend.
On the other hand, the Sherrins will also want to improve on their result last year, the aim to finish higher on the podium rather than just on it in a bid to overtake Lynton.
Like the Sherrins, Lachlan Gibbons and Dimitri Agathos also enjoyed a consistent round at both Winton earlier in the month and last year at Sydney Motorsport Park. Behind the wheel of the Subaru WRX, the pair finished inside the top five during both events.
Sydney’s meeting last year kick started their 2017 campaign and with the pair likely to be disappointed with this year’s opening two rounds, a strong result in Sydney to add to their result in Winton should have the same effect on the 2018 season.
As for the other classes, a large number of the Winton round podium placers missed out on last year’s event, which will make the series’ fourth round an interesting one.
Winton’s class podium getters who also took out a podium finish in Sydney last year were Class D’s Ellexandra Best, Class C winner Colin Osborne and Class B1’s Michael Sherrin.
The APC’s schedule this year will be different to last year’s Sydney appearance with drivers to compete in one four-hour race instead of two two-hour races.
The Australian Production Cars Series will be part of the Shannons Nationals final round to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park on 21-22 September.