The Wakefield Park office continues be inundated with entries for the opening round of the 2020 Australian 1000, the Wakefield 300 endurance race, which is just over five weeks away.
Now into its 13thyear, the Wakefield 300 has always been one of the “must-do” events for club and state-level motorsport competitors aiming to experience the teamwork aspects of endurance racing on a budget, and this year’s race has already attracted a mixture of familiar faces and new names, and a wide assortment of machinery.
The most experienced driver in this year’s race will be Daniel Flanagan, who has competed in every Wakefield 300 since 2008. Flanagan will team up with Merrick Malouf in a Mitsubishi Evo VIII and will be hoping for a change of fortune, after his recent campaigns have been hampered by niggling mechanical gremlins.
Also among the most experienced entries in the field are Daniel Kapetanovic (BMW 328i) and Anthony Soole/Dylan Thomas (BMW M4). These drivers have all been on the Wakefield 300 outright podium at least twice, but are yet to break through for the elusive overall victory.
After scoring a podium result last year, Terry Denovan returns in his venerable VH Commodore while another familiar face will be Parry Anastakis. Instead of driving his distinctive red Peugeot 205 GTI, Anastakis will instead share a newer 206 with Angus Lithgow.
Another outright contender will be the Mazda MX5 of Todd Herring/Andy Harris, which was victorious in the Sydney 300 endurance race last year after a dramatic surge to the front of the field on the last lap. The entry they overhauled, the Mitsubishi Evo of Ed Kreamer and Stephen Thompson, was in the box seat for victory in the Sydney event only to miss out with a mechanical problem in the very dying stages; they have entered, and will be looking to make amends at Wakefield.
The contest for division honours in the 300km races is always captivating, the division system enabling cars with different mechanical specifications to compete on a level playing field. Cars that won’t have the ultimate speed to compete for outright victory, but will be good chances for division victories, include the David Bailey/Matt Thewlis BMW E36, Honda Integra of Charlie Viola/Ben Hanrahan and Nissan Pulsar of Troy Derwent/Troy Harrison.
Last year’s Wakefield 300 was won by the Mazda RX7 of Brendan Scotter/Greg Boyle, and while the reigning champions are yet to submit an entry, the rotary brigade will be represented by Jake Lougher, who was one of the standout performers in last year’s Mazda RX8 Cup.
In terms of front-wheel-drive contenders, the Sydney-based BYP squad has again confirmed a double assault with the same driver line-up as last year, South Australian Time Attack competitor Matt Longhurst joining Benny Tran in the team’s Honda Integra, while Jimmy Tran is joined by Drew Hall in a Civic.
With entries still open, there will undoubtedly be more strong combinations emerging in the coming weeks, but the 2020 Wakefield 300 is shaping up to be another cracker.