Production car racing in Australia has experienced an explosion in popularity over the last few years. This year’s Bathurst 6 Hour featured a starting grid of more than 65 cars, the Wakefield and Winton 300 endurance races continue to attract capacity fields and the Australian Production Car Series has drawn consistently strong numbers this season as well.
The story is just as rosy at a state level, with the NSW Production Touring Car Championship continuing to be one of the most popular CAMS state level categories, while a Queensland arm of the series has been created this year as well.
This weekend, all the focus is on the NSW series, as cars and drivers line up for Round 3 of the MoComm Cup – a series-within-a-series of one-hour endurance races.
The Production Touring Car category awards points based on finishing positions within each class, which means drivers need to focus on beating similar-performing cars to their own rather than necessarily achieving outright race victories. After the first two rounds of the MoComm Cup, it’s Mark Caine who leads the way in his F-Series HSV Clubsport R8, followed by Greg Symes and Paul Loiacono.
This weekend, Caine will drive solo for the one-hour endurance race while Symes will be joined by Toyota 86 Series front-runner Aaron Seton, son of touring car legend Glenn.
Other notable names on the Prod Touring entry list include Toyota 86 Series leader Jimmy Vernon (driving a production-spec 86) and Bathurst 6 Hour winner Luke Searle, in the same BME M135i he drove to victory alongside Paul Morris in the 6 Hour.
Supporting Prod Touring will be a typical assortment of CAMS categories including the ever-popular HQ Holdens. Leading the charge in the HQs will be Brett Osborn, who became the first NSW driver in over a decade to win the HQ nationals last year. Osborn will be challenged by Scott Walker, Chris Molle and Chris Buckley at the front of the field.
Jordan Cox has grabbed plenty of headlines in Improved Production racing this year with spectacular performances in the support races at the Bathurst 12 Hour and Clipsal 500. He comes into this weekend as clear favourite in Under 2 Litre Improved Production, while brothers Peter and Matt Ingram (Mazda RX7s) will do battle with the V8 Commodores of Ahmed Baghdadi and Ben Serifovski in Over 2 Litre Improved Production.
The Production Sports Car Series has implemented a new race format this weekend, with participants to tee off in a pair of half-hour races. Teams have the option of running a solo driver (who competes in both races) or two drivers (who do one race each).
Australian GT Championship regular Andrew Macpherson will be tough to beat in Prod Sports aboard his Porsche GT3-R, while two-time Wakefield 300 winner Adam Burgess should also be a factor in his Ginetta.
Open-wheel fans will be served by Formula Vee and Formula Ford action.
In Vees, reigning champion Dylan Thomas will be challenged by Simon Pace who will race the successful Checkmate chassis for the first time, while four-time champion Daniel Reynolds makes a return to the category.
The NSW Formula Ford Championship has been a hotly-contested affair in 2017 as well, with just 11 points separating James Burge and Lachlan Gibbons at the top of the standings in the Duratec Class.
In the Kent Class, impressive debutant Josh Behn has upgraded to a newer chassis which he is hoping will help him erase the 21-point deficit to Anglo Motorsport team-mate Keith Brennan.