Endurance races for two highly popular budget categories, the Australian Pulsar Racing Association (APRA) and Series X3 NSW (Hyundai Excel) will headline this weekend’s second round of the Wakefield Park Motor Race Series at the nation’s spectator track.
The APRA Series has boomed in popularity in recent seasons and this weekend has attracted a monumental 51-car field. As a result, the series organisers have applied a twin-grid format with a unique promotion/relegation system.
The system will see the drivers facing off in qualifying and four sprint races on Saturday, with the top 25 scorers earning a place on the grid for Sunday’s Group 1 60-minute endurance race. Those who miss the cut will have their own Group 2 endurance race, also held over a 60-minute duration.
An interesting sub-plot for the APRA action will be the championship battle, which sees reigning champ Josh Craig holding a slender, 22 point advantage over Michael Osmond in the standings. Third-placed Matt Boylan, himself a former champ, is also in title contention, sitting 45 points adrift of Osmond.
In addition to the title contenders, the round has attracted some high-profile entrants including former V8 Ute and Lotus Series competitors Andrew Fisher and Yanis Derums (sharing cars with Ben Dunn and Chris Oxley respectively).
In the Excels, reigning champion Wil Longmore enters the round as the driver to beat; his closest challenger is Jeremy Hodges, who put in a fine performance in the wet at Sydney Motorsport Park earlier in the year.
Other front runners in the Excels are likely to include Sam Christison, who has engaged the services of Super3 and Aussie Racing Car champ Justin Ruggier as his co-driver, the father-and-son combination of Steve and Tom Dalziel, national Formula Ford race winner Cody Burcher (flying solo) and the girlfriend/boyfriend entry of Tim Colombrita/Jessica Martin.
The two endurance categories will be supported on the program by the Legend Cars and Stock Cars.
In the Legend Cars, last year’s series champion Lachlan Ward enters the round as the driver to beat, while the consistent Brendon Hourigan should also feature towards the top of the timesheets along with former Pulsar racer Shane Tate.
Also in the Legend Cars field will be female racer Mia Bolton, who has put in some impressive performances in her first year of circuit racing.
Stephen Chilby will be the driver to beat in the Stock Cars field, having enjoyed a stellar run in the category since stepping up from Legend Cars last season. His main opposition is likely to come from Brett Mitchell and Danny Burgess, while S5000 driver Brayden Willmington is also on the entry list in a V8 Commodore.
Due to the continuing COVID restrictions, spectators will not be permitted at this weekend’s race meeting, but coverage of the Pulsar races will be provided by Blend Line TV.