After being on hiatus since late February due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Motorsport Australia NSW State Motor Racing Championships will roar back into life at Wakefield Park this weekend, with a typically diverse assortment of categories filling the program.
While the cars may be rapidly approaching 50 years old, HQ Holden racing shows no signs of abatement and has attracted a healthy field of 25 cars for this weekend’s race meeting.
Brothers Chris and Jason Molle will enter the weekend as the drivers to beat, but will face opposition from former champion Layton Crambrook, a driver who also has national-level success in the V8 Utes Series. Other likely front runners will be the ever-improving Dave Proglio and Luke Harrison, along with Queenslanders Scott and Joseph Andriske.
Another category renowned for its close racing and intense dicing for position is the NSW Formula Vee Championship, which is typified by large packs of cars battling ferociously for position. The field is rich in quality, with a selection of former series champions appearing on the entry list including Daniel Reynolds, who won four consecutive titles from 2009 to 2012, along with Dylan Thomas, Michael Kinsella and Craig Sparke. The other past champion is Stephen Butcher, who has elected to race in the 1200cc class.
In recent MRF Tyres NSW Production Touring rounds at Wakefield Park, the powerful V8 machines of drivers such as Matt Holt have bucked the longstanding trend for the smaller, lighter and more nimble cars to do well at the technical track. This weekend’s round should produce more interesting contests, with the V8 brigade represented by Holt and Daniel Oosthuizen in their HSVs, while the likes of Ben Kavich (Mitsubishi Evo X) and Michael Sheargold (Mercedes A45 AMG) will fly the flag for the turbo, all-wheel-drive crew.
Somewhere in between in terms of mechanical philosophy are the turbo-six BMWs of Anthony Soole (back on track after an engine failure at the Wakefield 300) and Tom Muller.
The Prod Touring category is also renowned for its fierce dices in the lower classes, which are set to continue with drivers like Michael Sherwell and Edan Thornburrow doing battle in their Toyota 86s.
In the Sports Sedans, reigning champion Steve Lacey enters the weekend as the clear favourite in his distinctive yellow Camaro. Lacey’s main opposition is likely to come from Grant Doulman (Falcon) and Brad Shiels, who is missing some engine capacity aboard Joseph Said’s Fiat 124, but will make up for it with sheer driving ability.
The Supersports category, renowned for vehicles that carry extraordinary corner speeds thanks to their high-downforce configuration. The list of likely contenders is long, with the V8-powered Radical SR8s of Peter White and Nick Kelly likely to feature at the front of the field, along with the spectacular Stohr of Darren Barlow.
In the Radical SR3 brigade, Stephen Champion (who is, appropriately, the reigning champion) will be fast, as will Peter Clare and Sue Hughes. Another one to watch will be Ryan Godfrey, who moves across to a Radical SR3 after spending time in production car racing.
Supersports will run a single-day format on Saturday, while two other categories – Superkarts and Production Sports – will race on Sunday only.
In Superkarts, Tony Moit and Lucas Vitale will do battle in the 250cc class while Mark Robin, Lee Vella and Paul Campbell will be the main contenders in the 125cc Gearbox Class. Alan Dodge and Mark Vickers should be the protagonists in the 125cc Non-Gearbox Class.
With his overseas racing options currently restricted, Andrew Macpherson makes a welcome return to Production Sports in his Porsche 911 GT3-R. Also in a GT3-spec car is Nick Kelly (Audi R8), but Jason Miller will keep them honest in his Porsche 911 Cup car.