The CAMS NSW Motor Racing Championships return to Wakefield Park this weekend, with some of the country’s most talented young drivers set to fight for glory in the sixth and penultimate round of the Australian Formula Ford Championship.
Celebrating its 50thanniversary in 2019, national Formula Ford is widely regarded as the main breeding ground for future stars of the sport
Graduates of Formula Ford include Australia’s two most recent Formula 1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber, while the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship grid consists of eight former national FFord champions: Anton De Pasquale, Jack Le Brocq, Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert, Nick Percat, David Reynolds, Jamie Whincup and Will Davison.
In recent times, Wakefield Park has proven to be a bellwether FFord event; for the last four seasons, the round winner has gone on to win the championship – Cameron Hill (2015), Leanne Tander (2016), Max Vidau (2017) and Hunter McElrea (2018).
After the first five rounds of 2019, it’s Angelo Mouzouris who leads the points; the Sonic Motor Racing driver broke through for his maiden round win with a clean-sweep at Winton, and holds a slender advantage over Zac Soutar and Southern Highlands driver Lachlan Mineeff, who has won the last two rounds of the series at Tailem Bend and Sandown.
This weekend’s Formula Ford round has attracted a 27-car field including all the national series competitors, along with NSW State Championship contenders Cooper Allen and Lachlan Ward, and several cars powered by the older Kent-specification engines.
The Formula Fords will be joined on the program by a couple of other open-wheel categories: Formula Race Cars and Formula Vee.
The Formula Race Cars Championship consists of some of the fastest wings-and-slicks cars in the country, including Dallara Formula 3 vehicles. Aboard his Dallara F301, Aaron McClintock is the current points leader and also comes into the Wakefield Park round with good form, having won overall in the series’ last visit to the Goulburn circuit.
McClintock’s main challengers will be Phil Morrow (who won the last round at Sydney Motorsport Park) and Greg Muddle.
The NSW Formula Vee Championship always produces entertaining racing, and while a number of front-runners are absent from this weekend’s round due to an unfortunate clash with the FVee nationals in Queensland, this has resulted in a championship contest that is wide-open.
Coming into the weekend, it’s Aaron Lee who holds the ascendancy over 2017 champion Craig Sparke, with Leigh Porter third in the points. Stephen Butcher will also be strong, having won the round at Wakefield earlier in the year.
While strictly not classified as open-wheelers, the high-downforce Supersports cars typically set a scorching pace around Wakefield Park. This weekend, they will race on Saturday only in a single-day format, with Stephen Champion leading the overall points for GWR Australia in his Radical SR3, just two ahead of Stohr pilot Darren Barlow.
Also racing on Saturday only will be the Production Sports Cars, for a pair of 30-minute races; Porsche drivers Marcel Zalloua, Sergio Pires and Brad Schumacher will be ones to watch, as will Ginetta drivers Craig and Adam Burgess.
Brett Osborn, John Baxter and brothers Chris and Jason Molle can be expected to fight at the pointy end of the ever-entertaining HQ Holdens, while the Improved Production cars will race on Sunday only, with three races for both Under and Over 2 Litre categories. The standings are led by Harrison Cooper (U2L) and last year’s Wakefield