Sports Sedans Return to Wakefield Park this weekened
The New South Wales State Championships head to Wakefield Park on April 28/29 for their second round of 2012, after an action-packed opening round at Eastern Creek at the beginning of the month.
With so many highly competitive categories on the program, spectators will be treated to some entertaining racing. Here is what can be expected from each category:
David Whitmore was the dominant force in the Duratec class last year, and looks to again have an edge over his rivals after winning at Eastern Creek. However, the horsepower advantage of the Duratec-powered cars will not be as significant around the tight and twisty confines of Wakefield Park, so look at some of the Kent class cars to nip at their heels.
At Eastern Creek, Andrew Gillespie was the winner of the Kent class, but expect him to be strongly challenged by Matt Campbell, Ryan Campbell and the ever-improving Emma Brown. Wakefield 300 competitor Matthew Chahda has also entered the meeting as he continues his learning curve.
This category features an assortment of “wings ‘n’ slicks” style cars, with older Formula 3 cars proving particularly popular.
Regular Australian Formula 3 Championship competitor Graeme Holmes took a clean sweep of race victories at Eastern Creek, ahead of Glenn Lynch. The father-and-son combination of David and Darren Choon were also among the front runners.
One car to keep an eye on will be the AGI Sport entry of Nathan Gotch. Gotch’s Renault-powered Dallara 304 previously ran at the front of the national F3 championship in the hands of Tom Tweedie, and Gotch is competing in both national and state categories as he looks to speed up his adaption to openwheelers after a background in production car racing.
A massive field of Formula Vees contested Round 1 at Eastern Creek, and a similarly large number of cars is expected at Wakefield Park. Ben Porter and Daniel Reynolds shared the spoils at the Creek, and should again do battle at Wakefield Park, while other contenders are Matt Stubbs, Michael Kinsella, Heath Collinson (who finished second overall in the recent VMRC round at Winton) and Dylan Thomas (who returns to Wakefield Park after driving his Mitsubishi Evo to second place in the Wakefield 300).
This is the first round of the NSW HQ Holden Championship for 2012, but if the Hopwood 100 held last month is any guide, look for Anthony Camilleri, Josh Jackson, Duanne Cambridge, Peter Green Jnr, Clinton Green, Chris Buckley and Jeff Proud to be engaged in close and entertaining contests.
Improved Production Over 2 Litre
Dave Loftus was unstoppable at Eastern Creek in his Toyota Starlet. His closest opposition came from the V8 Commodores of Anthony Loscialpo and Ahmed Baghdadi, but the bigger cars will not be as well suited to Wakefield Park, so look for the Mazda RX7 of Joseph Lenthall and BMW E46 3 Series of Brian Anderson to be podium contenders.
Improved Production Under 2 Litre
David Crighton was very fast at Eastern Creek in his Nissan Silvia, but an engine problem ended his weekend and is also expected to keep him out of the Wakefield Park round. Therefore, Hondas are expected to dominate, especially the Civics of Bob Jowett, Andrew Tendli and Brett Morse.
As with the HQ Holdens, this is the first round of the Production Sports Car Championship, but a non-championship event at the Bathurst 12 Hour provided a reasonable form guide, demonstrating that the Porsche 911 of Neale Muston will again be difficult to beat.
Mitsubishi EVO Xs were the vehicles of choice at Eastern Creek, with Bob Pearson’s three-car Pro Duct outfit proving to be the class of the weekend. This should again be the case at Wakefield Park, although Wakefield 300 winner Jake Shelley will be looking to add to his tally of race victories at the circuit in his Mitsubishi Evo VIII.
Geoff Whittaker claimed the round win at Eastern Creek, winning two out of the three races. Anthony Macready, Steven Shiels and Birol Cetin were among the other contenders, while former champion Chris Jackson will be looking to bounce back at Wakefield Park after a shocker of a weekend in which he failed to finish two of the three races.
Wakefield 300 winner Michael Shaw has switched from Radical to Stohr for 2012, but he will have his work cut out trying to beat his team mate Adam Proctor. A number of Radical competitors will also be included in the field.